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Student Finance

Volume 405: debated on Monday 19 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will estimate the distribution of lifetime postgraduate income premiums by (a) types of course followed at university and (b) institution attended. [109333]

We said in the White Paper, "The Future of Higher Education", that graduates enjoy different returns from different courses and according to the institution attended. Recent research found a 44 percentage point difference in average returns between graduates from institutions at the two extremes of the graduate pay scale. No specific estimates have been made of the distribution of lifetime earnings premia by type of course or institution attended, for either first-degree graduates or post-graduates. However, we will be publishing research evidence later this year on how lifetime earnings premia might differ according to institution attended.Academic research on graduate returns at a point in time shows that while higher education is a good investment for the average graduate, returns do vary according to degree subject. External research also indicates that graduate earnings vary according to the institution attended. These findings suggest that graduate lifetime earnings differentials may be influenced by degree subject and institution attended.