Tall tales: graduate prospects in the UK labour market

Document type
Discussion paper
Burney-O' Dowd, Rohin;
Intergenerational Foundation
Date of publication
1 October 2017
Education and Skills, Employment, Social Policy
Social welfare
Material type

Download (5.5MB )

The aim of this report is to evaluate whether the government’s financial and administrative reforms, and encouragement of high university participation, have been justified. Successive governments have justified these changes on the basis that they will make the UK higher education system more financially sustainable. These administrations also implied that the system is fairer to non-graduates, who were previously made to contribute towards the costs of educating graduates.

This paper analyses recent ONS data and calls upon findings from Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and the Warwick Institute for Employment Research (WIER) reports. It argues that the justifications of the recent education policy changes should be rejected. The paper concludes that the rhetorical usage of the ‘graduate premium’ has been grounded in highly fallacious reasoning, and calls for a reversal of the tuition fees hikes.

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