Andrew Pozzi Celebrates Winning Gold at the BUCS Visa Outdoor Athletics ChampionshipsThe Higher Education sector has undergone significant change over the past three years and as a result sport within institutions is expected to meet new organisational priorities, demonstrating an impact against student experience and graduate employability amongst other objectives. For a long time those working in the sector have proclaimed that sport has a positive impact on graduate employability through learning and practising key skills and behaviours like teamwork, leadership, collaboration, communication etc……well, now we can prove it!

New research from BUCS has revealed that the current average salary of graduates who engaged with sport at university is £32,552, compared with £26,728 for those who did not. The positive effects of sports participation go beyond earning power, according to the BUCS’ Impact of Sport on Graduate Employability study.  More than half (51 per cent) of graduates say sporting involvement has helped them develop team work skills and leadership qualities in the workplace.

Employers also recognise the benefits of sport in developing career-enhancing qualities, with more than nine in 10 (94 per cent) of those questioned identifying a clear link between university sport participation and valuable skills and strengths in potential employees.

Furthermore, more than a quarter (27 per cent) of graduates who did not play sport at university have experienced a period of unemployment at some point in their career, compared with just over one in five (21 per cent) of those who did participate in sport.

With 5,838 students and 112 of the UK’s top blue-chip graduate employers taking part in the study – conducted by the Sport Industry Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University – the results prove employers view involvement in sport outside of academic courses as a hugely beneficial addition to the skill-set for an individual’s future value to their organisations.

The research was undertaken by The Sports Industry Research Centre (from Sheffield Hallam University), after a full tender process by BUCS. Since March 2013 they have engaged in primary research with Vice Chancellors, Graduates and Graduate Employers as well as a full literature review and secondary research of different data sets like Active People. The results were resoundingly positive, as can be seen from the full report (click here) and the presentation slides (click here) taken from the launch presentation delivered at BUCS Conference 2013 (‘University Sport – why it matters’) at Herriot Watt University in Edinburgh.

In order to maximise the potential impact of this research, BUCS is producing a key findings headline document to support members to make the business case for sport within their individual institutions as well as to highlight the impact to nationally across the HE sector.

BUCS Employability Research

Last updated: 17th Jul 2013 10:12

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