York ‘not a target’ for graduate recruitment firms

The lack of graduate recruitment interest has raised concerns of falling standards at York.

Following the ‘Media Circus’ event held in week one of the summer term, event organiser Matt Oliver expressed concerns regarding the reluctance of graduate recruiters to advertise at the University of York. After contacting 60 of The Times Newspaper’s Top 100 graduate recruiters, Oliver found that 40 of the companies declined his offer, and claimed that “York is not one of the universities [they] target for recruitment”.

“At the end of the day our graduate prospects are very, very low in comparison to other universities around us. That’s not good enough” said Oliver.

When questioned as to whether York’s falling position in national university league tables had contributed towards this, Oliver stated: “The fact that companies didn’t want to invest or didn’t see us as a target for graduate recruitment reflects not so much our position in the league table but our position in graduate prospects in those league tables”.

Oliver asserted: “If you take out graduate prospects and student facilities spend (from league table calculations) we would probably be about 5th [in the league tables].”

“I think they’re losing out on some of the best graduates in the country,” commented YUSU President, Anne Marie Canning when confronted with the allegations. “I don’t know why they don’t see us as a good potential for recruitment, but you have to think about geographical reasoning as well – I know that doesn’t sound like much of a factor but many of these recruitment companies are based down in London, coming up to York is not a very attractive prospect. Also, we have a relatively small university community compared to the big hitters in the university market,” she added.

One explanation of York’s relatively poor performance in regards to graduate prospects is that many students are involved with further education after the completion of their degrees, a factor which is not taken into account in league table employability calculations.
“If you took the figure of where University of York students are three years after the end of their degree we would be a lot higher up [the league tables],” said Oliver.