§ Alan Johnson
The Department does not conduct a formal cost-benefit assessment, or rate of return, to university qualifications by subject or by institution.
However, the Department has commissioned research to estimate the earnings benefits of different degree subjects. Table 1 shows the estimated percentage wage premium by subject over and above someone with A levels alone.1161W
Table 1: Wage benefits to HE by subject1 Percentage Subject Women Men Languages 20 4 Health 24 23 Nursing 12 10 Science 7 11 Maths 19 22 Engineering 11 18 Architecture 21 10 Economics 20 23 Law 24 23 Education 2 -3 Social science 4 6 Arts -2 -8 Combined 5 11 1Source: Analysis provided by Ian Walker and Yu Zhu, from data used in their research: "The Returns to Education: Evidence from the Labour Force Surveys—DfES research report No.313.
Recent research evidence has also found up to 44 percentage point differences in average graduate earnings depending on the institution attended.1
1 Conlon and Chevalier (2000) Financial Returns to Undergraduates and Tuition Fees, CIHE.