Response to the “Employer Satisfaction with Graduates” report and related media coverage
Dear Colleagues, Students and Alumni,
Recently, there has been media coverage (dated 28 June) quoting documents from the University Grants Committee (UGC) related to University Accountability Agreements (UAA). The report cited data from the Education Bureau (EDB) in 2016, stating “CityU graduates score the lowest in employers’ satisfaction”. The University considers the document to be unfair and does not believe that it objectively reflects the latest development of CityU graduates. The University has therefore issued a letter to the media asking for clarification and has put forward a strong protest to the UGC. Following is the relevant rationale:
1. The ratings on various aspects of university graduates stated in the UGC document are not based on any surveys conducted by professional academic institutions. The sample size of 2,244 in this report is miniscule in comparison to that used by professional ranking evaluation agencies, such as QS and Times Higher Education (THE), which normally conduct surveys with a sample size exceeding 50,000. In addition, in the employer responses on about 2,000 first degree graduates, only 267 of them had employed CityU graduates. Considering we graduate several thousand students every year, no generalisations at all can be drawn from the results from this relatively small sample.
2. In the past three years, CityU has continued to devote tremendous resources and effort to improving the quality of teaching and learning, nurturing talent and producing graduates whose employability is widely recognised. In the 2019 QS graduate employability ranking, CityU ranked 121–130 worldwide and second in Hong Kong. This global ranking certainly seems more reflective of reality given the much larger sample size, so it is puzzling why the UGC ignored it.
3. The EDB survey results are questionable to say the least, and in any case, there was only a small difference of 3.52 to 3.77 in the scores of the eight UGC-funded universities in the UAA document, which is not really statistically significant. This controversial report was publicised at a critical time, when many of the Joint University Programmes Admissions System (JUPAS) applicants were considering their choice of universities. CityU regrets that this report might unfairly lead to misunderstanding among the public about the University, thus affecting the JUPAS applicants’ impressions and choices related to CityU.
4. Therefore, the University has put forward a strong protest in relation to the above statement, expressing our deep concern that the report has been released without proper consideration of the potential consequences.
We hope the media and members of the public will examine the strengths and latest developments of CityU in a more objective manner.