CGHE Seminar 34

How English domiciled graduate earnings vary with gender, institution attended, subject and socio-economic background

  • Thursday, 10 Nov 2016 12:30 - 14:00
  • Clarke Hall, UCL Institute of Education
  • Anna Vignoles, University of Cambridge

This research uses anonymised tax data and student loan records for 260,000 students up to 10 years after graduation to study graduate earnings. This is the first time a ‘big data’ approach has been used to look at how graduate earnings vary by institution of study, degree subject and parental income.

The data set includes cohorts of graduates who started university in the period 1998–2011 and whose earnings (or lack of earnings) are then observed over a number of tax years. In the paper, we largely focus on the tax year 2012/13 and we find that graduates from richer family backgrounds earn significantly more after graduation than their poorer counterparts, even after allowing for differences in institution attended and subject studied.

There are also particularly big differences in earnings according to which university a student attended. This is in large part, though by no means entirely, driven by differences in entry requirements to different institutions. Differences in earnings according to subject studied are also very substantial with medicine and economics being particularly high earning subjects.

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Anna Vignoles

Anna Vignoles

Anna Vignoles is Professor of Education and Director of Research at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge and a trustee of the Nuffield Foundation. Anna has extensive experience of using large scale administrative data to study factors relating to pupil achievement and students’ outcomes from education. She has published widely on widening participation into higher education and on the socio-economic gap in pupil achievement. Her research interests include issues pertaining to equity in education, school choice, school efficiency and finance, higher education and the economic value of schooling. Anna has advised numerous government departments, including the Department for Education, the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and HM Treasury.

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