Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey

The DLHE survey

What is the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey?

The DLHE survey is a statutory survey that collects information about the employment and further study activities of Higher Education (HE) leavers approximately six months after completion of a course of study.

Nationally, the survey is co-ordinated by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) and the results are submitted by Higher Education Providers (HEPs) to HESA each year. Nationally, results from the DLHE survey contribute to university league table rankings and the employability information stored on the Unistats website.

Every university or HE college in the UK contacts their graduates (and those leaving with a qualifying exit award) by telephone and email for the survey. Nationally, the survey is co-ordinated by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) and the results are submitted by universities and colleges to HESA each year.

Results from the DLHE survey contribute to university league table rankings and the employability information stored on the Unistats website. The information provided by graduates is also useful to advise current students about the employment and study opportunities that might be available to them after leaving university.

At University of Westminster, the DLHE survey is managed by the Planning team in Corporate Planning & Performance.

The latest available DLHE data shows that 84.1% of University of Westminster graduates were in employment and/or further study.

How does the University conduct the survey?

The DLHE survey is conducted every year in accordance with data collection methods prescribed by HESA. Eligible graduates will first be invited to complete an online questionnaire by email.

If we don't receive a completed online questionnaire from you we will try to contact you again. This may be by email or phone.

When we contact you by telephone, taking part in the survey usually lasts no more than 2-3 minutes (but this can depend on your circumstances). If you have caller ID, our calls may either be displayed as coming from an ‘unknown’, ‘private’ or 'blocked' number, or they may show a London telephone number that does not allow you to call back. We understand that many people are reluctant to answer calls from such numbers, but currently this is unavoidable. If you do not answer we will leave a message stating we are calling from the University of Westminster and explaining how to contact us.

If we can't get in touch with you, we may try to get information about what you are doing from a third party; either at the university or someone we can reach using the contact information you have previously provided. However, we do prefer to receive the information from you, so that we know the information is accurate.

You can also call us about the survey on +44 (0)20 3506 6334. We can call you back so you don’t have to worry about the cost of the call, and we have an answering machine where you can request a call back if we are unable to take your call.

Whether you complete the survey online or over the phone it will only take a few minutes and your information is really important to us. We do need to get a certain number of responses for our data to be valid. This is to ensure our data is as accurate as possible and does not simply include the most favourable responses. This means we may contact you a number of times if you do not initially reply. HESA requires that universities achieve the following minimum response rates:

  • UK full-time graduates: 80%
  • UK part-time graduates: 70%
  • EU graduates: 50%
  • Non-EU overseas graduates: 20%

We are aware that it is not easy to complete the survey online using a smartphone with a small screen. We recommend you either complete it using a PC, Mac, laptop or tablet, or call us on +44 (0)20 3506 6334 to complete the survey over the phone.

When does the DLHE survey take place?

DLHE consists of two survey periods relating to two different census dates – one in April and one in January.

The census dates reflect the two main course completion times for students; those who finish a course between 1 August and 31 December will be surveyed during the following April, whereas those who complete their course between 1 January and 31 July will be surveyed the following January. The 2016/17 DLHE survey periods are:

April survey:

  • 12 April 2017 - 23 June 2017
  • Census date: 12 April 2017

January survey:

  • 8 November 2017 - 5 March 2018
  • Census date: 10 January 2018

What if I don’t wish to take part in the survey?

If you do not wish to take part in the DLHE survey, please let us know. You can either reply to the email you have been sent or you can tell the person who telephones you that you do not wish to take part. Alternatively, you can email [email protected] or phone +44 (0)20 3506 6334.

Remember that you will need to give us your name and your student ID number in order for us to identify you and remove you from our survey contact list.

What happens to the information collected?

Data from this survey will be entered onto our student records system for internal statistical analysis and management purposes. This data may be linked to other information about you held by the University. Information we collect from the DLHE survey will be added to your Alumni record. All data will be stored in accordance with the University’s Personal Data Protection Policy.

Anonymous statistics are produced for internal use by the University of Westminster’s Corporate Planning and Performance department in the form of reports at the route, course, faculty and University level. Anonymous data is also used for the purposes of updating internal electronic reports and for the purposes of updating internal Business Information dashboards.

This anonymous information is available to academics, course administrators and Corporate Services staff in the University in accordance with the University of Westminster's Data Protection policy. Anonymous data is also sometimes shared externally with professional bodies for the purposes of research in accordance with the University of Westminster's Data Protection policy.

The data will also be used in an anonymised form to inform current and prospective students (and graduates) of the opportunities available on completion of their courses, both on our website in our graduate destinations reports and Key Information Sets on our course pages, as well as on the Unistats website.

Your HESA record and survey responses will not be used in any way that could be used to make decisions about you and it will not be possible to identify you from any published data.

We will also send your answers to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). This data will be linked to other information held about you as a student, including information you gave when you enrolled, and details about the qualification you gained. Information about the uses of this data are available in the HESA Student Collection Notice.

Under the Data Protection Act 1998 you have a right to a copy of your personal information held by HESA and ourselves. Details of how to request a copy of this information (which may incur a fee) can be found at the following links:

The University of Westminster will store the information you have provided as part of the DLHE survey securely in manual and electronic files.

Follow up survey

A follow-up longitudinal survey is planned for three years' time so that we can get more information about the early careers of those with HE qualifications. You might be asked to take part in this follow-up survey as well, which will be carried out by a different organisation on behalf of the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

Your contact details will be passed on to the organisation contracted to carry out the survey. That organisation will use your details only for that purpose and will then delete them.

If you don’t want to take part in the follow-up, you will have the chance to opt out when you complete the current DLHE six month survey. Alternatively you can contact us at any time to tell us you don't wish to take part. If a third party has completed the survey on your behalf you will automatically be opted out of the follow-up survey.

How to contact us

To complete the survey by phone or to ask any questions you may have, or to opt out of the survey please contact Planning and Performance on +44 (0)20 3506 6334.

If you have any further questions about the DLHE survey, contact Dr Wayne Clark, KPI Enchancement Manager, at [email protected] or Bhavesh Halai, Survey Officer at [email protected].

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