The resourcing of HE careers services during a pandemic and beyond - January 2021

25 January 2021

Since the beginning of lockdown in March 2020, careers service delivery, the wider HE sector and the global economy have changed rapidly. This is the third in our series of snapshot reports tracking how the resourcing of higher education careers services has changed, and is expected to change further, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. It aims to capture how HE careers services are resourced and how the Covid-19 pandemic is influencing changes in service provision and modes of delivery.

These reports intend to give careers and employability professionals up-to-date information about the resourcing of UK HE careers services during this period. Throughout the report, we show how the data can be used by careers service leaders to support resourcing conversations in their institution.

The resourcing of HE careers services during a pandemic and beyond - January 2021

Key findings include:
  • A greater number of careers services have lost income than predicted in September 2020, with 91% of services having experienced a decrease in income generated. The loss of income is primarily due to reduced income from careers fairs, with some services charging less for employers to attend and others not charging at all; 
  • Just over a third have experienced no change to their external funding (35%) and just under a third have received an increase in funding this academic year (29%);
  • There is an average of 25 FTE staff in careers services. The average careers service staff: student ratio is 1:995.
  • 82% of respondents have seen more demand from the 2020 graduate cohort compared to previous years. No services have seen a decrease in the demand for support from 2020 graduates.
  • The greatest challenges facing careers services are Resourcing increased demand, HE funding and student numbers and Cuts to staffing, funding and budgets, but other challenges include Student/graduate disengagement, Supporting international students to gain post-study work and Tackling pervasive negative press headlines about the graduate labour market; 
  • The most common priorities for careers service leaders during the academic year are to Increase/maintain student engagement and Resource demand.

If you require further information on the survey, please contact Gabi Binnie, AGCAS Policy and Research Manager.