1 August 2011World-first study underway at University of Auckland
Some 3770 University of Auckland final-year students have been approached to take part in a world-first study of graduates.
The Graduate Longitudinal Study New Zealand (GLSNZ) is being commissioned by Universities New Zealand – Te Pōkai Tara. It involves surveying 14,000 final-year students across New Zealand about their lifestyles, employment, projected career development, and their health and well-being. As a longitudinal study, the participants will be re-approached for follow-up surveys in two, five and ten years’ time.
The study aims to determine the ongoing impact of a university education on New Zealand graduates’ lives. The breadth of questions and length of time the study follows graduates into the future make the study a world first.
University of Auckland Vice-Chancellor Professor Stuart McCutcheon says: “ The insights generated will be invaluable to future students, policy-makers and universities themselves. It will allow us to work towards improving the quality and value of a university education for the benefit of all.”
The GLSNZ study is being carried out by the National Centre for Lifecourse Research (NCLR) – a multi-university group headquartered at the University of Otago and responsible for the Dunedin Multi-disciplinary Study, which follows the lives of about 1000 people from birth to now (the participants are around 40 years old).
Centre Co-Director Professor Richie Poulton is leading the GLSNZ study. He says the survey will provide the most detailed picture to date of what actually happens to graduates after they leave university.
“We will learn a great deal about how their lives unfold. For instance, how careers develop, the university-related influences which have the greatest impact on employment success, when they begin to have families, where they live, the state of their finances, their health and their social relationships.
“We will also learn about less tangible aspects of their post-university life – like how their values, attitudes and behaviours evolve over time – and what contribution to broader society they make.”
Results of the initial baseline survey will be released in February next year.
Senior Communications Adviser