How does personal wellbeing differ for groups of graduates 40 months after graduation?
As the Office for Students, we want 'every student to have a fulfilling experience of higher education that enriches their lives and careers'.
One way to assess the impact of higher education on the lives of graduates is by considering personal wellbeing.
The What Works Centre for Wellbeing says:
'Wellbeing, put simply, is about ‘how we are doing’ as individuals, communities and as a nation and how sustainable this is for the future.'
Personal wellbeing is an important element of this. For the first time, we are able to look at personal wellbeing amongst graduates from a specific cohort. The Office for National Statistics (ONS)’ wellbeing questions were included in the most recent longitudinal destination of leavers from higher education (LDLHE) survey. This surveyed graduates from academic year 2012-13 to explore what they were doing 40 months after their graduation, as well as asking about their personal wellbeing.
Survey questions regarding personal wellbeing
Survey respondents were asked the following questions regarding personal wellbeing.
On a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 means ‘not at all’ and 10 means ‘completely’:
- ‘Overall, how satisfied with your life are you nowadays?’ (life satisfaction)
- ‘Overall, to what extent do you feel the things you do in your life are worthwhile?’ (worthwhile)
- ‘How happy did you feel yesterday?’ (happiness)
- ‘How anxious did you feel yesterday?’ (anxiety)
In this analysis we look at the wellbeing of graduates from first degree courses at English, publicly-funded higher education institutions who were UK domiciled at the start of their course.
The pages in this guide have interactive charts which allow you to explore where there are differences in personal wellbeing across various course and personal characteristics. For each characteristic, you can choose to look at graduates based on either the employment or study activity they were undertaking on the survey date, or to look at all graduates together.