World-first study underway at the University of Canterbury

20 September 2011

About 700 University of Canterbury final-year students have been approached to take part in a world-first study of graduates.

About 700 University of Canterbury 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 Pokai 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 10 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 are the features which make the study a world first.

University of Canterbury Vice-Chancellor Dr Rod Carr expressed his gratitude to UC students who are participating in the study.

"The in-depth information that the study will provide will help us to ensure that our graduates are well-equipped for the future careers that they pursue. It will also allow us to follow the career development of our alumni and will contribute to our understanding of how we can develop enduring, mutually-beneficial connections with those who have chosen UC as their University."

The GLSNZ study is being carried out by the internationally-respected National Centre for Lifecourse Research (NCLR) - a multi-university group headquartered at the University of Otago and responsible for the world-renowned 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.

For more information please contact:
Jacquie Walters
Public Relations Consultant
University of Canterbury
Ph: 027 503 0168


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