Estimating the returns to part-time undergraduate degrees – September 2018

Sector: Economics of Education | Education and Labour Markets | Higher education
Client: The Open University
Published: 10 September, 2018
Document type: Report 
Tagged: 2018 economics of education education England higher education impact assessment London Economics public policy quantitative analysis UK

London Economics were commissioned by The Open University to undertake an analysis of the net graduate premium and net Exchequer benefit associated with undergraduate degrees undertaken on a part-time basis. The key findings indicated that

  • The net graduate premium achieved by a representative English-domiciled student in the 2015-16 cohort completing a part-time undergraduate degree at The Open University with GCE ‘A’ Levels as their highest level of prior attainment is £52,000 in today’s money terms per male graduate and £34,000 per female graduate. Reflecting the larger academic ‘distance’ travelled, when estimating the net lifetime benefit achieved by a part-time undergraduate degree holder in possession of 5 or more GCSEs as their highest level of attainment, the net graduate premium for men stands at approximately £93,000 compared to £49,000 for women
  • The net Exchequer benefits generated by individuals in the 2015-16 Open University cohort are of roughly comparable size as the net benefits achieved by graduates themselves. Compared to individuals in possession of GCE ‘A’ Levels as their highest level of prior attainment, the net Exchequer benefit per representative English-domiciled part-time undergraduate degree student at The Open University stands at £57,000 for male and £29,000 for female graduates. The respective net Exchequer benefit relative to possession of 5 or more GCSEs stand at £95,000 per male and £43,000 per female graduate, respectively.

The full report is available for download through the link above.