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Harper Adams is joint best university in England for graduate employment

Posted 6 July

"It is also very welcome to see that more than 70 per cent of our graduates were in roles classed as professional and managerial, which gives us confidence that our courses are preparing them well to enter their chosen sectors at a higher level"

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Harper Adams University is today revealed as having the joint highest employment rate of any English university.

The university’s 98% employability score is surpassed in its home nation only by four specialist art, music and medical colleges, and is matched by Arts University Bournemouth.

Harper Adams had the second highest response rate (95.3 per cent) of all institutions included in the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey, which also shows that Harper Adams graduates moved into a high number of "professional and managerial" roles and achieved higher average starting salaries than the sector median of £21,000.

Welcoming today’s publication, Careers Advisor and Service Manager Maria Simpson said: “Harper Adams is able to celebrate a consistently high graduate employment rate – averaging 97.8% over the last three years and exactly 98% per cent for UK students who graduated in 2016 from full-time, undergraduate degrees courses.

“It is also very welcome to see that more than 70 per cent of our graduates were in roles classed as professional and managerial, which gives us confidence that our courses are preparing them well to enter their chosen sectors at a higher level.”

Food science students were top of the class for the university – with 100 per cent employment six months after graduation for the last three years. And almost 80 per cent of food graduates were in higher-level professional or managerial roles. Food graduate salaries have increased significantly, from an average of £19,266 for 2014 leavers to £23,338 for those who finished in 2016.

Also hitting 100 per cent employment since graduating last summer were the countryside management students. 40 per cent of them went straight into countryside management jobs, with the others moving into allied professions, such as horticultural management and consultancy.

Business graduates hold a three year average of 99.2 per cent employment and more than 80 per cent of the 2016 cohort moved straight into professional and managerial roles. Starting salaries for business graduates also saw a modest rise on the previous year.

The university’s land and property management graduates achieved a 98.3 per cent employment rate – and 93 per cent of those former students moved straight into professional and managerial roles; the vast majority (82.4 per cent) in the land, property, surveying and auctioneering sector they had trained for four years to enter.

Engineering graduates secured the most impressive single-year increase in salary – a leap of £2,423 from the 2015 figures, to average earnings of £27,130 for the 2016 leavers. Professional and managerial roles account for 83 per cent of engineering graduate destinations, and their overall employment rate is 96 per cent.

Agriculture graduate incomes can be seen growing steadily over the last three years. This group has a 97.3 per cent employment rate, with a broad range of careers destinations. These include partnership in a family farm, managing other farming enterprises, agricultural consultancy, agri-business management and various other ancillary roles.

Animals students also enjoyed a modest increase in average salaries, alongside an overall employment rate of almost 97 per cent. Among veterinary nursing graduates, 95 per cent went straight into vet nursing roles.

Another key outcome from the survey was the students’ verdict on how well their courses prepared them for their new careers. More than 93 per cent of students overall said their studies at Harper Adams had prepared them well or very well for employment. This included 100 per cent of employed vet nursing graduates, 100 per cent of animals graduates, 96 per cent of food graduates and 95 per cent of engineering graduates.

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