York has risen 24 places in the Sunday Times league table for employability this year, as both the University Senior Management and YUSU stress their increased focus on an area York has performed traditionally poorly in.
Graduate prospects, improved between 2008/2009 and 2009/2010, as there was a decrease in the number of graduates deemed to be unemployed between.
This coincides with pleasing findings in regard to the university’s position as measured by the University’s Employment Performance Indicator (EPI).
The EPI is published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) and analyses the number of graduates working in relation to the total number of graduates as reported by the census. It also measures a University’s performance against a benchmark.
The publication shows that in 2009/10, York exceeded its benchmark by 0.4%, achieving a 91.9% EPI rating, with a set benchmark of 91.5%. This places York 10th amongst its key comparator group; ahead of Oxford (90.2%),Imperial (90.9%),and Durham (91.2%).
David Duncan, Academic Registrar, stressed how despite the positive results, York must continue to work to improve graduate prospects. He noted the recently introduced employability module for first-year students, and increased opportunities for internships as ways the University is looking to improve students’ employability prospects.
Graham Osborn, YUSU Academic Officer, expressed his delight at the findings, commenting: “I am pleased to see the University’s employability rankings have improved after its recent poor performance.”
Osborn went on to praise, “The review of the Careers Service and the introduction of the Employability Tutorial” which were introduced specifically to improve graduate prospects, adding: “I am glad to see that these efforts are making a difference.”
The report comes following York’s successful attempt to become involved with the NUS run National Student Skills Award, which is currently being piloted by 22 students’ unions across the country. The award aims to increase graduate prospects by providing students with recognition for extra-curricular activity, volunteering, and part-time work.
Osborn stated how he was “delighted to have got YUSU onto the pilot, as it was extremely competitive”. Osborn added further how “the award itself is badly needed,” noting how university awards, such as the York Award, whilst valuable, do not “have the national recognition that graduates need and deserve.”