Minister David Willets has warned that leading employers are choosing from a
small graduate talent pool.
Graduates from a
small range of leading universities are being targeted by companies,
potentially leading students from less recognised universities to miss out on
Mr Willets argued
that employers needed to widen the scope of their graduate recruitment
policies so that they look at additional assessment criteria and not solely
rely on degree scores.
find employers who complain that they can’t find the graduates they’re looking
for and how incredibly difficult it is to track them down,” he said. “You talk
to them and discover they’re looking at about six universities and they don’t
spread their gaze beyond that.
"That is to miss out on a large amount of
Up to 75% of
employers are believed to require a first or upper-first class degree from
candidates before they are considered for the first round of interviews.
Minister argues that business should turn to the new-style graduate “report
cards” which asses’ students’ progress in both academic and non-academic areas.
HEAR (Higher Education
Achievement Report) is set to be introduced to all universities
by the end of 2012 amid concerns that a degree classification, such as a 2:1,
its “outgrowing its usefulness”.
Bob Burgess, vice-chancellor of Leicester University, who has coordinated the
development of the report cards, said the introduction of the HEAR would be
welcomed by major corporations:
are interested in both the academic record and students’ other achievements,
for example, whether they have been captain of the rugby first XV, captain of
the hockey team or had a senior role in student welfare,” he said. “The Hear
will give as wide a picture of the individual as possible.”
of Bedfordshire outlined how its HEAR will work:
- A “formative” HEAR - available
online, which students can access throughout their studies, as a basis for
reviewing progress and planning future activities, inside and outside the
curriculum. (This might have content that is not released.)
- A “provisional” HEAR - which students
can use as an aide for applications before graduation, e.g. for sandwich
placements and internships; permanent employment; further study or
- A “final” HEAR - made available at
the point of graduation from undergraduate or postgraduate study. The aim
is that this will be available electronically, for a graduate to release
to those they wish to see it. It might also be available in print format.