Official statistic

Key performance measure 6

Success and progression

KPM 6 measures the completion and employment from entrant data (CEED) rate over time for full-time undergraduate students at different levels of individual disadvantage.

Note: Year 1 combines completion rates for entrants in 2015-16 with progression rates for qualifiers in 2017-18, Year 2 combines completion rates for entrants in 2016-17 with progression rates for qualifiers in 2018-19 and Year 3 combines completion rates for entrants in 2017-18 with progression rates for qualifiers in 2019-20.

One of our strategic goals is that students’ access, success and progression are not limited by their background, location or characteristics.

If our approach to regulating student outcomes is working, we anticipate that more students will succeed in, and progress from, higher education, and for any improvement in these student outcomes to extend to students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Combined completion and progression rates, including those for disadvantaged students, as measured by KPM 6 using the CEED methodology, should therefore increase, while the gap between CEED rates from disadvantaged backgrounds and other groups should close.

Completion and progression rates have been combined to create the CEED measure. This is used in KPM 6 to consider the likelihood of students from different disadvantage groups completing their course and progressing into highly skilled employment or further study. KPM 6 shows that CEED rates across all three groupings of students has stayed broadly constant over the three years, although the rates declined very slightly in the second year of the time series before rising again in the most recent year. Students classed as ‘other’ have the highest CEED rates, followed by ‘economically precarious’ students, with the lowest CEED rates being among ‘significantly disadvantaged’ students.

In the most recent year, the CEED rate was:

  • 53.6 per cent for ‘significantly disadvantaged’ students and 60.6 per cent for ‘economically precarious’ students.
  • 68.4 per cent for students from the ‘other’ group. This is 7.8 percentage points more than ‘economically precarious’ students, and 14.8 percentage points more than ‘significantly disadvantaged’ students.

When separated by level of study, KPM 6 shows that the highest CEED rates across all three groups of students, across the time scale, was among students on undergraduate courses with postgraduate components, followed by first degree students, and lastly other undergraduate students.

KPM 6 is an experimental measure that brings together data for full-time undergraduate students who complete their studies (completion rates) and the proportion of qualifiers from higher education qualifications who have reported that they progressed to professional or managerial employment, further study, or other positive outcomes, 15 months after gaining their qualification (progression rates) to create a combined completion and employment rate: the CEED rate.

The three most recent academic years are used to calculate the component completion and progression measures of KPM 6. There is no intention to match the entrant cohort (as used for completion) with the qualifying cohort (as used for progression), although there will be some overlap between the two cohorts. The table below shows how these years relate to each other.

CEED year

Completion entrant year

Year in which full-time completion outcome known (four years after entry)

Progression qualifying year

Graduate Outcomes survey period for progression (15 months after graduation)

Year 1




Between 1 December 2018 and 30 November 2019

Year 2




Between 1 December 2019 and 30 November 2020

Year 3




Between 1 December 2020 and 30 November 2021

Further detail about the CEED methodology is given in the CEED technical document.

Download the CEED technical document

KPM 6 uses individualised student data from:

  • the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) Student Record
  • the HESA Student Alternative Record
  • the Individualised Learner Record from the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA)
  • the Student Loans Company (SLC)
  • the National Pupil Database (NPD).
  • the Graduate Outcomes survey

It is based on young (under 21 on entry), full-time undergraduate entrants at English higher education providers, domiciled in England in either completion or progression indicator populations, for whom we were able to link to their NPD record for their GCSE year.

KPM 6 categorises individual students into one of three groups: significantly disadvantaged, economically precarious or other using our measure of disadvantage. Further detail about the methodology used to calculate this measure, which is used in both KPM 5 and KPM 6, is given in the following document.

Download information about our disadvantage measure

If you have any queries, feedback or suggestions about KPM 6, please contact Annalise Ruck at [email protected].

Published 23 March 2023

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