At Newcastle, the quality of our degrees, a focus on developing students' employability skills and our reputation with employers means that our graduates are in a strong position in the world of work. We consistently have one of the best records for graduate employment in the UK, with 93.4% of our 2011 UK/EU graduates entering employment or further study within six months of graduating. This puts us in the top 20 in the UK among our peer group of comparator universities. More than three quarters (78.7%) of those in jobs achieved a graduate level position. This track record places us in the top 15 of the major university league tables for graduate career prospects, including The Times Good University Guide,The Sunday Times University Guide, The Complete University Guide, and The Guardian University Guide.
We encourage our students to think about their future early in their studies, and have collaborated closely with employers to identify a set of skills which are needed in life beyond university. These skills, such as business awareness, self awareness and communication, are outlined in our Graduate Skills Framework. All students have opportunities to develop them as part of their degree and outside of their studies.
We work closely with employers to ensure that our degrees reflect the skills needed in the world of work. The majority of our academic schools have advisory boards with graduate employers as members. Many of our degrees are also accredited by professional organisations and even more are informed by employer consultative groups. Employers regularly come on campus to deliver lectures and practical sessions. Students also benefit from teaching and assessment methods that encourage the development of transferable skills, such as teamwork and project-based work.
Our degrees have a strong focus on employability, through direct input from employers on the design of programmes and Career Development Modules, which enable students to undertake work experience, volunteering, or paid work as an accredited part of their degree. Many of our courses include the opportunity to undertake a work placement.
The wide range of ways in which we develop the employability of our students was specially commended by the UK Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA).
Newcastle graduates are in demand and we are one of the top 20 'most targeted' universities by the UK’s leading employers. We have well established links with some of the biggest graduate recruiters, including over 80 of the employers featured in The Times newspaper’s Top 100 Graduate Employers list. We also have excellent links with local employers, who provide a wide range of work experience and graduate opportunities and around 50% of our graduates who go into employment do so in the North East region.
Over 2,000 employers advertise vacancies, work experience and placement opportunities with our Careers Service annually, and more than 260 come to visit our campus each year to deliver presentations, hold interviews and attend recruitment fairs, ultimately to recruit our students.
Our award-winning ncl+ initiative brings together activities from across the University, providing opportunities that enable students to develop the skills in demand by graduate employers. These opportunities include paid activities such as Newcastle Work Experience placements in a local business or working at a range of University events. Around 75 new work experience and part-time jobs are advertised each week on our Careers Service online vacancies database. The majority of our degrees offer study abroad opportunities and we have almost 200 exchange partners worldwide. The skills gained through these experiences, such as language skills and cultural awareness, are increasingly valued by employers.
Our award-winning Careers Service is one of the best, largest and most innovative in the UK and was rated 12th out of 163 universities world-wide in the annual International Student Barometer survey 2011. One-to-one sessions with a professional careers adviser are just one element of the service provided to students. From drop-in CV checks, and unique online resources, to a huge range of skills development workshops covering topics such as how to succeed at interviews, our package of support helps students to develop the strategies to be successful in an increasingly challenging market. Careers Service staff also work closely with academic schools to provide information and workshops which are tailored to our degree programmes.
We also support students and graduates who want to start their own business, and in 2011-12, 28 new businesses were set up by our students. Support is provided by a dedicated team of business advisers, entrepreneurs and professional partners. Students have access to workspace facilities, including hot desks with PCs and printing facilities.
Our Graduate Connections online networking tool enables current students to access careers-related knowledge and experience from past graduates.
Newcastle graduates benefit from our careers support for up to three years after graduation, and business start-up support is available indefinitely.