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Graduation statistics and fun facts in 2024

Graduating is not for everyone. 

While many students plan to complete their studies, many of them don’t graduate. In this post, we’ll see some interesting statistics on graduation in the UK. 

Key Uni graduation statistics in the UK

  • Each year, about 900,000 students obtain their undergraduate certificates, while 390,000 earn their Masters’ degrees. 
  • When it comes to grading, 32% of students are awarded first-class honours and 46% are awarded second-class honours. 
  • 22.6% of British adults attained a bachelor’s degree or higher.
  • 6 out of 100 students drop out from a UK university. 33% of those who drop out are first-generation students and leave University within the first year.
  • Full-time students graduate earlier than part-time students. Also, full-time students are more likely to graduate.

Fun facts about graduation in the UK in 2024

  • Tassels on graduation caps were originally used by French scholars in the 14th and 15th centuries to keep their long hair out of their faces.
  • The practice of throwing graduation caps into the air began in 1912 in Annapolis, Maryland. This was the moment when the inaugural group of U.S. Naval Academy students were commissioned as officers. In a festive gesture, they launched their hats skyward in a spontaneous way.
  • Graduation ceremonies are typically governed by a specific dress code, yet various nations have the tradition of students wearing their national or cultural dress.
  • The nature of graduation gifts has evolved through time: once centred around Bibles and books, today’s favoured presents encompass modern gadgets, jewellery, and even enriching travel experiences.
  • The most popular graduation songs are “Time of Our Lives” by Tyrone Wells and “History” by One Direction.

Graduation and employment statistics 2024

  • Graduates face an 87% employment rate nationally. 
  • There are 96,000 unemployed graduates each year.
  • Graduates continue to have higher employment rates than non-graduates. 
  • The nominal salary for working graduates is £38,000/ year, while post-graduates salary is £45,000/year.
  • The number of graduates recruited in 2022 jumped by 14.5%, compared with graduate recruitment in 2021
  • On average, employers received 39 applications per graduate vacancy in 2022
  • The number of graduate jobs available in 2024 is expected to increase by a further 6.3%

Graduates statistics by demographics

  • Women are more likely to complete a university degree than men.
  • 66% of women earned a degree within 6 years compared to 60.4% of men
  • 39.4% of white graduates got a first-class degree – the highest percentage out of all ethnic groups, followed by graduates with mixed ethnic backgrounds (35.6%)
  • Just 20% of graduates are of black ethnicity, the lowest percentage of all ethnic groups. 
  • ⅔ of all students who enrol at age 18 or younger will graduate within five years.
  • 65% of graduates moved to London or the South East, while 15.9% migrated to the North of England.

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What are the main categories of Uni degrees and academic disciplines? 

Close to one-fourth of undergraduate students opt for business as their major field of study. Additionally, law, health sciences, social sciences, and engineering remain popular choices for undergraduate degrees. The field of business also holds the top spot for master’s programs, while medical and health sciences dominate the doctoral level.

What percentage of the population holds a university degree? 

The number of students achieving a degree increased significantly in the past few years. According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency, 33.8% of all full-time graduates achieved a degree.

What is the typical graduation rate in the UK? 

An 85% graduation rate is the average among students enrolled in public universities within a six-year timeframe. Private non-profit universities show a lower rate of 60%, while private for-profit colleges lag behind at 25%. 

What if you don’t want to graduate to start your career?

The fitness and nutrition industries have always had a shortage of qualified professionals. You could take a look at:






Education data

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