January 2014


Start of the fifth survey on the labour market outcomes/destinations of graduates from Catalan universities

Editorial board - AQU Catalunya

Start of the fifth survey of the labour market outcomesKnowledge generation is one of the strategic areas for the activities of AQU Catalunya. The mission of the Agency is to make headway in new scenarios that present themselves and play a dynamic role in the quality assurance and enhancement of the Catalan university system, which means providing relevant information on the running and functioning of the university system and thereby contribute to the successful fulfilment of each university's strategic vision.

For example, AQU Catalunya has been a pioneer in Europe in carrying out studies and surveys on graduate destinations (labour market outcomes). With more than 55,000 records, Catalonia has one of the most complete and representative databases in Europe on the transition from education to employment of graduates from Catalan universities. As a result of the four surveys on the labour market outcomes of graduates that have been carried out so far – in 2001, 2005, 2008 and 2011 – and more than a dozen research papers by different university groups, there is now a considerable body of knowledge on the subject. This body of knowledge will be added to considerably this year with the fifth survey on the labour market outcomes/destinations of graduates from the Catalan university system, which, through AQU Catalunya, will involve all of the public and private universities in Catalonia.

The two main objectives of the study, which is carried out once every three years, are to:

  • Establish the extent and quality of the labour market outcomes/destinations of graduates, and
  • Gather significant information at programme level for the improvement of curricula that are being offered at Catalan universities.

The survey will look into employment (employment/unemployment rate, the time taken for graduates to find their first job, ways of entering the labour market, work setting, job sector, etc.), job quality (if they work in the same field that they studied in, job duties, factors to do with recruitment and hiring, contractual stability, annual income, job satisfaction, etc.) and their satisfaction with their studies at university (skills/competences acquired, usefulness in the workplace, if they would retake the same degree, mobility, etc.).

New developments in the fifth survey are:

  • For the first time, graduates of Master's programmes are to be included in the survey, which will result in an increase of 50% in the survey population compared to the previous survey (2011)
  • For the first time, an online survey will be used to gather data on those who have completed doctoral/PhD and international Master's degrees.

The cohorts to be surveyed are: pre-Bologna undergraduate degrees (graduates who completed their studies in 2009 except for graduates in Medicine, who graduated in 2007); Master's degrees (graduates who completed their studies in 2010 and 2011); and doctorates/PhDs (who completed their studies in 2009 and 2010). The total reference population to be interviewed is 51,743 people, with an anticipated sample of 27,848 people. 

  Reference population
(no. people)
Anticipated sample
Survey type
Those who graduated at the end of the 2009-2010 academic year (in the case of Medicine, those who graduated at the end of the 2006-2007 academic year)
31,734 17,295 Telephone
Those who graduated at the end of the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 academic years
12,370 6,074 Telephone
(International: Masters programmes with at least 40% foreign students)
2,372 Online
Those who completed their programme at the end of the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 academic years
2,135 1,443 Telephone
(International: foreign students)
664 Online
TOTAL 51,743 27,848  



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