A recent project on Welsh graduate mobility by WISERD researchers has been featured on the front page of the Western Mail today (January 5th 2012).
The research project – ‘Stay, leave or return? Patterns of Welsh Graduate mobility’– was undertaken in collaboration with the ESRC Centre on Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance (SKOPE) and investigated the nature and scale of graduate flows to and from Wales.
The research revealed the existence of a net outflow of graduate labour in Wales, since some of the brightest students leave Wales to study and work elsewhere in the UK. This could be interpreted as a ‘brain drain’; however the mobility patterns are very complex. The data compiled by the researchers at Cardiff and Swansea also revealed that Welsh graduates who stay in Wales are less likely to have studied subjects deemed “strategically important”.
The project focused on key questions such as to what extent does Wales retain its human capital in higher education and subsequent employment? Does Wales retain those who come to study from elsewhere in the UK? And do Welsh graduates who have studied or worked elsewhere return to Wales at a later stage?
The project also investigated the location and employment outcomes of successive ‘graduate cohorts’ since the 1992 expansion of Higher Education. It augmented the widely-used graduate first destinations data produced by the Higher Education Statistics Agency with detailed analysis of the Labour Force Survey and Annual Population Survey data.
The research team comprised Rhys Davies, Dr Madeleine Pill and Dr Gillian Bristow based at Cardiff University and Dr Stephen Drinkwater from Swansea University.
Rhys Davies said: “The analysis has helped to provide new insights into the returns to human capital acquisition and to our understanding of the different stages of graduate mobility.
“This in turn has implications for higher education and skills policies in Wales and highlights important inter-relationships between the mobility of students and graduates” he added.
The report was launched at a workshop in October 2011 at Cardiff University and published on the e-journal ‘People, Place and Policy Online’.
For further details about the research and to view the report in full, please visit the project website.
View an online version of the media coverage here.
Listen to Dr Stephen Drinkwater discuss the report on BBC Radio Wales this morning (5th January).