Exploring the factors that promote or hinder graduate retention in the North-East of England

McGowan, Richard John (2023) Exploring the factors that promote or hinder graduate retention in the North-East of England. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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Currently, around 55% of graduates who study at universities in the North-East of England remain in the region for work after graduation. However, HESA’s Destination of Leavers Surveys suggest that this respectable figure is boosted by a large number of ‘local’ graduates, who grew up in the North-East and stayed in their home region for university and then work. Meanwhile, around three quarters of the region’s graduates who came to the region to study from other areas of the UK leave, either to return home or to live somewhere new. This all means that most of the ‘brain drain’ from the North-East is being driven by graduates from its universities who originate from elsewhere in the UK.

Firstly, through qualitative interviews, my research investigates the extent to which a graduate’s socio-economic status can impact their ability and propensity to be mobile, and influences the pattern of graduate retention in the North-East described above. Secondly, I am investigating if and why organisations such as the North-East Local Enterprise Partnership and the NewcastleGateshead Initiative (NGI) believe that retaining graduates is important for regional development in the North-East. Graduates are often assumed to be highly mobile; however this is not always the case. My interviews with graduates have revealed that many self-identified working-class graduates from the North-East feel a sense of frustration with their lack of mobility, brought about by certain obligations and restrictions which can be linked to their economic, social and cultural capital. Meanwhile, for those graduates who originate from elsewhere in the UK, social networks and job prospects, amongst other issues, are pulling them back home or fuelling their desire to move somewhere new.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Pierre Bourdieu, social class, economic, social and cultural capital, migration of talent
Subjects: X900 Others in Education
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Newcastle Business School
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 18 May 2023 09:21
Last Modified: 18 May 2023 09:30
URI: https://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/51574

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