England: Earnings gap between Oxbridge graduates and the rest revealed in government data

Maddalaine Ansell, University Alliance chief executive
Maddalaine Ansell, University Alliance chief executive

The extent of the earnings gap between law graduates of different universities has been revealed in new government data, Times Higher Education reports.

Law graduates from the University of Oxford make median earnings of £61,500 five years following graduation, whereas the figure for graduates from the University of Bradford is £17,500.

Cambridge University followed Oxford with £54,000 for its law graduates while those from Bedfordshire University will make £18,000.

The government is using the law graduate employment data as a pilot for “user feedback” in advance of comprehensive graduate salary data by subject it plans to publish next year.

These outcomes are based on the government’s new longitudinal education outcomes (LEO) data, which use, among other things, tax records. However, the government cautioned that the publication uses “experimental statistics”.

Maddalaine Ansell, University Alliance chief executive, said the data had the “potential” to be useful but needed to be “properly contextualised”.

She said: “If used as part of TEF , should be benchmarked.

“Since salary varies according to geography, subject studied and even parental income, raw earnings data should not be used to measure outcomes as part of the teaching excellence framework.

“If properly contextualised to take into account local and regional labour markets, has the potential to provide useful information for prospective students choosing courses once the time-lag issue has been addressed: currently it only includes data that are eight years out of date.”

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