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About the survey

There are two annual DLHE collections. Each census point takes place roughly six months after students have left the institution.

  • The first collection (tranche 1) in April, covers leavers between 1 August and 31 December.
  • The second collection (tranche 2) in January, covers leavers between 1 January and 31 July.

The data from the survey is published as part of institutional performance indicators.

It is used to provide information for prospective undergraduate students through the Unistats website as part of the Key Information Set.

In England the DLHE survey is a condition of HEFCE grant funding.

Higher education institutions

Higher education institutions (HEIs) have used the DLHE survey in its current form since 2002-03. It was known before as the First Destination Survey.

Individual HEIs fund and administer their own surveys, using materials provided by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).

Data is returned to HESA, which publishes the results of the survey annually in July. They also use the data in their employment performance indicators published in July.

Alternative Providers (APs)

Alternative Providers who hold institutional designation or specific-course designation for student support must also fund and administer the DLHE survey for all their eligible student leavers and return it to HESA.

Further education colleges

Students studying on courses in further education colleges (FECs), which are franchised from HEIs, are included in HEIs’ DLHE survey data.

Colleges fund and administer the survey for directly funded HE students and return the data to HEFCE.

We publish the data on a regular basis as part of FECs’ performance indicators.

More information for colleges

Support for running the survey

HEFCE has appointed i-graduate as the preferred supplier to run the survey for colleges, alternative providers, or any interested higher education institutions. Read more about i-graduate.

Any provider which chooses to use this contractor will not need to run a separate procurement process.

Contact for more information.

Note that providers using the new framework supplier will remain responsible for providing up-to-date student contact details and funding the data collection and return. 

Longitudinal Destinations of Leavers from higher education (LDLHE) survey 

The LDLHE survey asks graduates and postgraduates about their working life and experience roughly three and a half years after they leave their studies.

It surveys a sample of respondents to the six-month survey and is currently undertaken every two years.

Page last updated 19 August 2016