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The Guardian has released its 2017 University Guide and Cambridge University tops the league table for the sixth year in a row. Close on its heels are two other non-movers, Oxford and St. Andrews, which have taken second and third place respectively. However, there have been some shake-ups, including in the top ten.
The greatest triumph belongs to Loughborough, which has leapt up seven places and now holds fourth place along with Surrey University. Professor Robert Allison, the Vice Chancellor of Loughborough University, celebrated the news as ‘testament to the hard work that has taken place across the University’.
Both Surrey and Loughborough received a score of 85/100 from the Guardian, and had levels of student course satisfaction of over 89%. And compared with the top three incumbents, both institutions count a far lower proportion of former private school pupils amongst their undergraduates.
The news was less good for Glyndwr University, Wrexham, which now holds 113th place at the bottom of the table. Glyndwr has slipped down 55 places in the past two years. At the end of the 2013-14 academic year the institution reported a financial deficit of £4 million, prompting staff cuts.
However, while new Vice Chancellor Professor Maria Hinfelaar recognised that Glyndwr has been through a ‘challenging period’, she was confident that they ‘are making huge strides academically’ and would see a reflection of that in future league tables.
Before making any decisions about which university to apply for – or condemning your Alma Mater – it’s also worth checking the Guardian’s 54 subject tables to see where each institution ranks for the course of your choice. Although Cambridge nabbed the top spot in 12 subjects, other universities rank best elsewhere. For example, Cardiff is the destination of choice for journalism, while Queen’s, Belfast, topped the table for film production and photography.
And in terms of careers prospects 6 months after graduation, Imperial College London just pipped Cambridge to the post.
The Guardian prides its ranking system as taking into account what really matters to students: questions such as how good the standards of teaching and feedback are, how employable graduates are, and what the ratio of staff to students is. It’s certainly worth checking out!
A study by the money transfer platform TransferWise has revealed that Denmark is the best employment destination for British graduates, ranking significantly higher than the UK itself. The study analysed a range of factors, including employment opportunities, standard of living, starting salaries, and cost of living.
The 19 European countries that were included in the study were selected both because of the standard of salary data available and their popularity as destinations for British expats. While Denmark topped the list because of its high starting salaries and comparatively affordable rent and living costs, bottom place was taken by the Czech Republic as both its average salaries and liveability rating are low.
Meanwhile the UK ranked as number 14 on the list, perhaps unsurprising given how notoriously expensive London is. The city’s high population density and crime rate also counted against it.
The study compared data on starting salaries in 6 industry sectors popular amongst graduates: Finance, Business Services, Manufacturing, Retail, Energy, and Health. The highest of these in Denmark was the average starting salary of £49,003 in the Energy sector. However, in the Health sector Denmark offered the lowest average amongst the top 10 countries at £15,036.
It’s been a good week for Denmark, as the report was released just one day after Lonely Planet named the country’s second biggest city, Aarhus, on its list of top European travel destinations. A bustling city packed with museums, restaurants, and a lively student population, Aarhus may now challenge the capital Copenhagen as a popular destination for city breaks.
The publication of the study is also timely given the fast approaching EU referendum, taking place on 23rd June. Membership of the EU means that UK citizens are currently free to study and work in other member states without any need for a visa. If the leave vote triumphs, this will have a significant effect on the ease with which UK graduates can seek work abroad.
TransferWise reported that 80% of students canvassed in the study believe that leaving the EU will have an impact on their job prospects, and concern over career opportunities helped motivate those who opposed Brexit.
Over 30% of UK businesses offer a formal graduate programme and many of those that don’t are still turning to graduates to fill their vacancies. As a result, more employees are finding themselves working alongside recent graduates, so we wanted to explore how UK workers felt towards graduates in the workplace – here’s what they told us:
It’s clear that professionals and businesses reap the rewards of working with graduates, but they also admit to a few drawbacks. To help you tackle any worries you may have about the workplace, we uncovered what employees find most challenging about working with graduates. Here are some tips on how to overcome these issues:
Graduates are the future and though workers admit they face the occasional challenge when working with a graduate, the results are hugely beneficial to a business and its professionals. So if you are starting your career at a graduate level remember our tips and don’t be afraid to offer your ideas and opinions!
CV-Library is the UK’s fastest-growing online job site and attracts over 3.8 million unique job seekers every month. Founded by Lee Biggins in 2000, CV-Library boasts the UK’s largest CV database, containing more candidates than any other job board.
Work experience and internships are absolutely key to retaining the best candidates, new research from the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) suggests.
The report, launched at AGR’s annual development conference, revealed that University leavers who had previously interned at the company stayed an average of 6 months longer than those who arrived new to the graduate scheme.
After surveying more than 200 of the country’s top graduate employers, who represent almost 20,000 graduates, the report found that those who had previously worked at the company stayed on for an average of 4.4 years.
Benedict Hazan, Inspiring Interns Co-Founder, points out that the chance to evaluate during an internship works both ways.
“An internship gives an opportunity for candidates to gain an insight into the inner workings of a company, as well as to assess their predicted career progression if they do return. As a result, these candidates are making an active choice to return to the company, setting them apart from those who have to take companies at face value,” he adds.
With companies spending a median of £2,500 per hire, the report discovered a huge variation of spending between sectors. While banking spent almost £5,000 on each university leaver, sectors like energy and utility were found to have only invested £1,500 on their new hires.
The report found that 91% of candidates stayed on till the end of the training, and almost 10% chose to leave after it ended, suggesting that employers need to focus on acclimatising graduates into the wider business after their training. Unsurprisingly the main factors for graduates choosing to move on were for higher salaries or because their career progression failed to meet their expectations.
Interestingly, this suggests a recovery in prospects for young people, whose living standards were found to suffer most from the crash in 2008. Despite these graduates earning an average of £8,000 more than those not involved in graduate schemes, the offer of better salaries elsewhere, along with high expectations of career progression, displays a wider range of options on offer for the top talent.
According to Stephen Isherwood, Chief Executive of the AGR, it’s not just financial investment that’s key to candidate retention. If employers want to keep the top talent, then they need a more hands on approach of managing expectations and updating candidates on their progression.
“Organisations that retain graduate talent are those that invest in them. Hiring great talent only works if the talent is meaningfully developed, coached and managed,” he points out.
Under new powers given to the student loans company today, graduates who have moved abroad in an effort to avoid paying back their student debt may be tracked down and forced to pay.
Until this point, the government has estimated that it is owed around £76m from graduates who earn above the £21K threshold for beginning to repay the loans back, but live outside of the UK. At the moment, there is no way for the government to track the earnings of the 123,000 graduates who have chosen to move abroad after finishing their studies.
The move will see loans companies having increased powers to take legal action against the defaulters who owe money, as well as impose fines and pass their names onto credit companies.
Currently university students who move abroad on the completion of their studies are merely encouraged to voluntarily pay back their student loans, and there is no process of forcing them to pay back what they owe the student loans company.
As the Financial Times reports, the Universities Minister Jo Johnson says “While the vast majority of borrowers meet their repayment obligations, it is in the interests of fairness to hard-working taxpayers to be tougher on those who abuse the system, which is why we are cracking down”.
As student loans continue to soar, this is the latest attempt from the government to reduce the long term write-off of 25p per £1 loaned out to students. Mr Johnson has also reported an increase in cooperation efforts with European tax offices to find borrowers living abroad too, with a trial in Sweden and the Netherlands helping to track down 80% of borrowers abroad.
There’s a big change happening in the graduate jobs sector right now. Four of the biggest UK graduate employers, PwC, EY, Deloitte and KPMG, are all starting to look beyond academics, with a shift to a system that primarily focuses only on candidate’s potential.
The message is clear from these top professional services firms; there’s a need to modernise the system they use to find the top graduate talent in the UK. It’s becoming increasingly imperative for these companies to increase their appeal to millennials, as well as improving diversity and promoting an increase in social mobility.
With the number of graduate jobs on offer finally returning to pre-financial crisis numbers, firms like EY have an increased interest in making sure some of the talented grads that might have slipped through the cracks in the past are being profiled properly. Absolutist conditions for successful applicants previously included at least 300 UCAS points (equivalent to three B grades) and a 2:1. These have been scrapped.
The focus has instead shifted to online assessments and numerical testing to ensure that only the best candidates are making it through to the interview stage. In June, PwC similarly scrapped UCAS points as a way of profiling candidates too. “A-level results vary significantly with proxies for social class — the south of England versus the north, parents who are better off and parents who went to university” says Richard Irwin, PwC’s head of student recruitment. “Those things can’t be predictors of whether you’re a good accountant or management consultant” he argues.
Deloitte have taken it to the next step, profiling applicants in a way that makes sure the socio-economic circumstances of the candidate is understood as a part of the process. They don’t think all grades are equal; someone with three B grades at a school that averages straight D grades, in fact, is highlighted as remarkable.
Refer a friend and the money is yours!
At Inspiring Interns we don’t mind where we get the top graduate talent from, so long as we get it! If you refer a friend and they go on to take one of our vast number of graduate jobs, then £100 will be yours.
So how does it work?
If you recommend us to a friend directly and they are asked in for an interview or to film a video CV, make sure they tell us who sent them our way.
Alternatively, if you come into our office for an interview or to film a video CV, and have a friend that wants to sign up to Inspiring Interns, pass their email on to the Talent Development Team.
How do I get paid?
Simple – If your friend lands any of our graduate jobs you’re quids in.
Just get back in touch with our team once your friend has been placed, and we’ll send you the money.
Interested? See our current graduate jobs listings to apply!
A new study by graduate recruitment app Debut, has uncovered a shocking disparity between awkward, even illegal interview questions asked to women and those asked to men.
In the study of over 2,800 individuals, it’s been uncovered that just under 25% have been asked about their future family plans, while more than a quarter were asked about their marital status.
Under UK law, employers are not allowed to ask questions with regards to love life, family plans, age or health, so these figures reveal a shocking lack of legality throughout the recruitment process.
While men are more likely to be asked about their sexual preferences, women are asked intrusive, inappropriate questions about almost everything else, including being almost five times more likely to be illegally asked about their age.
Check out the below infographics to find out more.
The UK’s top employers were left to ‘fight it out’ for the top graduates last year, according to market research company High Fliers. Their annual Graduate Market report notes that ‘over 1,000 graduate positions were left unfilled last year’ meaning a reduction in intake of almost a third for the UK’s top employers.
So in a graduate jobs market that appears to be getting increasingly competitive, why are so many sought after roles left empty? Managing Director of High Fliers Martin Birchall, thinks the problem derives from a handful of the most desirable graduates.
‘There are two distinct portions of the market. At the top end, employers have told us that the most sought-after graduates are holding four or five offers’ he said. ‘Overall we probably have twice as many graduates as there are jobs, but at the top end graduates are becoming increasingly choosy.’
With a number of offers in their hand, the top graduates are able to be considerably more selective and so increasingly the pressure is transferred to the top employers to attract their preferred candidate.
The Graduate Market 2016 report, is a study of the country’s top 100 employers graduate schemes, conducted in December 2015.
Other highlights from the report include: