This one is for the wonks.
HEFCE has published a set of interactive charts on its website on Higher Education Provision in England.
According to the HEFCE site, Professor Madeleine Atkins, HEFCE Chief Executive, said:
‘As the Government seeks to ensure that economic recovery and growth is more evenly shared across different localities and industry sectors, universities and colleges continue to play a critical role in supplying a highly educated and skilled workforce, providing opportunities for individuals while meeting the needs of the economy and society.
‘The data shows us that the issues associated with HE cold spots can often be complex. Higher education providers, working collaboratively with their local enterprise partnerships, will be able to use this powerful new toolkit to establish a detailed picture of HE in their localities, enabling them to identify any gaps in provision, participation and the supply of graduates. This provides a strong evidence base to explore potential solutions for delivering local economic recovery and growth.
‘Universities and colleges play a key role as economic and social ‘anchors’ in their local and wider communities. Working with local partners in this way to reach a joint understanding of the issues that affect them collectively, they can make an important contribution to the ongoing development of Strategic Economic Plans, and also, of course, to decisions about where and when to invest different forms of funding.’
The maps show that there appear to be HE “cold spots” in: border areas between England and Wales; along the Cumbrian coast; Humberside and North Yorkshire; from Kent to the Wash, and the south-west.
Looking at the interactive maps in detail we can see that for the West Midlands students traveled an average of 41 miles from home to their institution, and 30 miles from home to graduate employment. Only students in London traveled less from home to work.
71% of graduates whose home was the West Midlands ended up working in this region (only the North East and North West have a higher number of graduates returning to work in their home region. However, when looking at where graduates who studied in the West Midlands ended up working, then only 57% were retained in the region.
Looking at subject level data, it’s notable that in terms of student numbers, Staffordshire punches above its weight in terms of the numbers of STEM students (I’ve excluded Birkbeck from this sheet just so I could get a screengrab), but there are few unis above us in terms of numbers enrolled.
We’re also pretty big in terms of new entrants to technology awards too.
So, in summary, here’s a resource from HEFCE that brings together data that is available elsewhere, for instance HEIDI and DLHE, but possibly less easy to visualise. Using the website and the downloadable app for graphing means that some quick comparisons can be created to show how, for instance, relative strengths of subject areas.