Podcast: Grad jobs, staffing, China, student finance

This week on the podcast the Institute of Student Employers (ISE) has published its annual Student Development Survey - what does it tell us about graduate jobs and skills?

News and analysis of higher education from our leading team of wonks.

This week on the podcast the Institute of Student Employers (ISE) has published its annual Student Development Survey – what does it tell us about graduate jobs and skills?

Plus we discuss staffing in the sector, a new report from HEPI on China, and institution-level student financial support.

With Helen O’Sullivan, Deputy Vice Chancellor and Provost at the University of Chester, Pete Quinn, independent higher education consultant, David Kernohan, Wonkhe’s Associate Editor and presented by Jim Dickinson, Wonkhe’s Associate Editor.

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Correlate

This week’s question is a perennial in higher education. Everyone knows that the staff student ratio varies by provider and by subject. But is the idea that more students need more staff the best predictor of variation.

If you plot academic staff FTE (excluding atypicals) against total student FTE for all cost centres, does it correlate?

The answer is yes. There is a medium correlation (or as David Hulse at Keele University would have it, a medium coefficient of determintate) – R squared is 0.597 and that’s at p is greater than 0.0001.

What fascinates me is the other thing that predicts variation – you may remember the Wonkhe groups that I use (yellow, pink, mint, teal…) to mark similar providers. Well, if you look at the graph the group is a very good predictor of staff-student ratio. I should also note that the graph allows you to look at each academic cost centre in isolation.

Data is from the HESA staff and where it doesn’t exist I’ve not plotted it.

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