The survey is a tracer survey of the 2010 cohort of graduates from the four public universities in the Western Cape. These are the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), University of Cape Town (UCT), Stellenbosch University (US), and the University of the Western Cape (UWC). The Survey was initiated and overseen by a reference group of the Cape Higher Education Consortium (CHEC) (representing these universities) with input from the Western Cape Government (WCG), as part of CHEC's ongoing work on graduate attributes. The primary task of the survey was to determine levels of graduate employment and unemployment and to understand the differing pathways from higher education to work. CHEC consultants conducted the survey between September to November 2012.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
The survey was designed as a longitudinal survey of all students who graduated in 2010 from one of the four universities in the Western Cape. The survey was ‘longitudinal’ in that it was designed to trace graduates
after two years of having obtained a qualification in 2010 and to possibly trace the same graduates further into the future.
v.1: Edited, anonymised dataset for public distribution
The survey collected data on graduate employment and unemployment as well as work placement and internships and the regional migration of skilled graduates in and out of the Western Cape.
The lowest level of geographic aggregation of the data is Province.
The data is at the level of individual institution
The survey covered all graduates of 2010 at the four public Universities in the Western Cape
Producers and sponsors
Cape Higher Education Consortium
The sample frame constituted a list of all graduates who received either a certificate, diploma or degree in 2010 at one of the four public universities in the Western Cape. The sample frame was compiled using Higher Education Management Information System (HEMIS) data from each of the four universities.
There were a total of 5 560 responses – a response rate of 22.5% of the total of 24 710 graduates. Roughly half these responses were online (2 873 or about 52%) while the other half were from telephonic interviews (2 687 or about 48%). The aggregate response rates for institutions are as follow: CPUT – 21.8%, UCT – 21.9%, SU – 21.6% and UWC – 26.7%.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Data Collection Notes
South Africa Commercial Direct, a call centre, was appointed to administer the questionnaire under the guidance of the research team. The survey was administered online and by telephone. Graduates could only access the online survey by logging in with their student numbers, which were provided to them in personalised emails and cellphone messages sent out by the call centre. The telephonic segment was intended as backup pending the response rate obtained from the online survey. At the final count 2,873 responents were surveyed online and 2,687 respondents responded to telephonic interviews.
South Africa Commercial Direct
The survey questionnaire made use of chronological rather than thematic sections to systematically guide the respondent from past to present to future. These included:
Section 1: At high school (which included questions about the graduate’s schooling background);
Section 2: At university (which included questions about the graduate’s studies leading up to the qualification obtained in 2010);
Section 3: Background, employment and relevance of qualification (which included questions about family background whilst studying, employment before and just after studying, employment as on 1 September
2012, and various questions in relation to different forms of employment or occupation, including relevance of qualification in relation to current employment);
Section 4: Current studies (which included questions about qualification type (if studying further), field, reasons for further study);
Section 5: Future plans (which included questions about possible future studies, current place of residence, emigration and reasons for emigration).