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July 18, 2011 | by  | in News |
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Graduate Longitudinal Study

Students wondering whether their investment of time and money at university is worthwhile will be pleased to know that a comprehensive study to see how tertiary education ultimately impacts graduates’ lives is about to commence.

Organised by Otago University, the Graduate Longitudinal Study of New Zealand will see about 14,000 final-year students from New Zealand’s eight universities complete online surveys over the next decade. The first as they leave university, followed by subsequent questionnaires two, five and then 10 years later.

The research is being lead by Professor Richie Poulton of the National Centre for Lifecourse Research. He says “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.”

It is also hoped the study will provide information on the less tangible aspects of post-university life, such as “how their values, attitudes and behaviours evolve over time, and what contribution to broader society they make.”

The study may unlock answers about whether a university education is as useful in gaining employment as it once was, in an information age where Wikipedia could provide a student with a better understanding of New Zealand Politics than POLS 111.

A baseline report outlining the results of the initial survey will be released in February next year.

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