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Frequently Asked Questions

Questions:

  1. Why take part?
  2. Is the Futuretrack survey open to everyone in higher education?
  3. Can I complete the survey more than once?
  4. I think I have already responded, how can I find out?
  5. Can I save the survey halfway through and return to it later?
  6. An error occurred when I was completing/submitting it, how can I find out if my response has been received?
  7. Why doesn't the survey have a warwick.ac.uk domain?
  8. I am not a student at Warwick University, does Futuretrack still concern me?
  9. Will my university/college find out my answers?
  10. How are the National Student Survey (NSS) and Futuretrack linked?
  11. Will the research team contact me after university/college?
  12. Will my personal details be passed to organisations trying to sell goods or services?

Answers:

1. Why take part?

The evidence will be used to inform policymakers and improve careers advice for students. In order for the findings to be as useful as possible, there needs to be a large number of respondents, representative of the full spectrum of educational and career development experience. Also, you might win one of the prizes offered as an incentive to complete the survey – and the odds of being a winner are 70 000 times higher than winning the National Lottery jackpot (assuming the number of survey responses is the same as for the last stage).

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2. Is the Futuretrack survey open to everyone in higher education?

No, it is a longitudinal study of the 2005/06 cohort of applicants to higher education; a single cohort study.

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3. Can I complete the survey more than once?

No, duplicates are removed at each stage.

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4. I think I have already responded, how can I find out?

Email the research team with your name, age, university and course and they'll let you know: graduateresearch@warwick.ac.uk 

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 5. Can I save the survey halfway through and return to it later?

Yes, you can save your progress and return to complete it at any time.

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6. An error occurred when I was completing/submitting it, how can I find out if my response has been received?

Email the research team: graduateresearch@warwick.ac.uk

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7. Why doesn't the survey have a warwick.ac.uk domain?

The research team at Warwick are working with Snap Surveys, a specialist research company which has secure data collection facilities, and which assists with the survey design, hosting and data collection. They send out emails on the team's behalf and store the data securely.

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8. I am not a student at Warwick University, does Futuretrack still concern me?

Yes, the survey is for the cohort of all 2006 UCAS applicants who applied to study on full-time undergraduate courses in the UK.

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9. Will my university/college find out my answers?

No, the information is treated as confidential and will be seen only by the research team. You can refer to the Institute for Employment Research's privacy statement for more information.

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10. How are the National Student Survey (NSS) and Futuretrack linked?

The two surveys are entirely separate:

The NSS is an annual ‘snapshot’ survey, involving different cohorts of UK-domiciled final year undergraduate students each year. It thus provides evidence of change in the experiences, attitudes and plans of successive cohorts of students prior to their completion of undergraduate study, and allows for comparison over time, in relation to changing higher education organisation and funding and changes in the economy. Its area of investigation is primarily the quality and evaluation of the higher education, being funded by government to gather feedback on the quality of students' courses in order to contribute to public accountability as well as to help inform the choices of future applicants to HE. See http://www.hefce.ac.uk/learning/nss/

Futuretrack is a comprehensive longitudinal survey of one particular cohort, those who applied for undergraduate courses through UCAS in the 2005-6 application round. It is funded by the Higher Education Careers Services Unit – an independent educational charity set up to inform careers advisers, students and higher education applicants about the graduate labour market, and by the Institute for Employment Research at the University of Warwick, which has an interest in understanding the relationship between higher education, training and occupational change. The survey investigates the process of higher education and career decision-making, tracking as high a proportion as possible of undergraduate applicants from the point at which they applied to enter higher education until six years later, when most will have completed their courses and entered the labour market. It includes those who studied across the full range of undergraduate provision, including EU and overseas students. In addition, it includes applicants who did not enter HE but went on to take alternative routes and it allows for very detailed analysis: for example, of the impact of taking a gap year, or coming from a particular socio-economic background.

NSS and Futuretrack are consequently complementary studies and the research teams concerned have liaised to avoid overlap and confusion in their common interest to obtain the best possible information about the relationship between higher education and opportunity. To maximise the response to Futuretrack and ensure that all those eligible had the opportunity to participate, 2005-6 UCAS applicant NSS respondents in 2008, 2009 and 2010 were sent a link to Futuretrack once they have completed the NSS, to remind them to participate if they had already joined the research programme or invite them to join it if not.

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11. Will the research team contact me after university/college?

At the moment, Stage 4 is the final stage of the longitudinal study. At the end of the survey, you have the option to withhold your contact details if you do not wish to provide them, and if you have already provided them, you can contact us to have them removed from the securely-held database at any time. However, we hope you will not do this. This is a very comprehensive study with enormous analytic potential. The research team are keen to maximise the research value of the data and hope to obtain further funding. There is potential to follow up particular areas of labour market investigation, beyond the very early career experiences of this cohort which, we know from previous labour market study, is likely to be extremely varied and, given the current economic climate and in relation to changes in HE funding and provision, particularly relevant to core socio-economic development issues.

Please note, though, that we will only contact you again with your permission, you will be under no obligation whatsoever to participate in future research, and we will never pass your contact details to others without your explicit permission.

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12. Will my personal details be passed to organisations trying to sell goods or services?

No, your personal details will only be used to enable the researchers to contact you. You can refer to the Institute for Employment Research's privacy statement for more information about how your details will be used.

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