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Graduate Impact

The Kreager Report: detail of the front page

Humanities Graduates and the British Economy: The Hidden Impact

Higher education is historically rooted in a model of learning based in the Humanities in which literate, critical, and communication skills are a recognised public good. These skills and the public values they serve — such as the capacity for making informed choices, for evaluating evidence and argument, for creative thought and problem-solving — are widely recognised as much more than economic means and ends. However, the need to demonstrate the impact and value of Humanities higher education to society and the economy has intensified during the recent period of economic crisis.

Humanities Graduates and the British Economy: The Hidden Impact  


This report, believed to be the first of its kind, evaluates the contribution of the study of the Humanities to the economy by looking at career paths and mid- and end-career destinations of Humanities graduates, and combines statistical profiles with in-depth interviews on life courses. The evidence demonstrates that the long-established system of Humanities-based higher education in Oxford has proven highly responsive to national economic needs. While this is a pilot project, it provides a methodology that could lead to additional studies of other UK universities as well as graduate contributions in the sciences and social sciences.

Humanities Graduates and the British Economy: The Hidden Impact was first published on 11 July 2013. It has been commissioned by the University of Oxford, researched and written by Dr Philip Kreager, and has been kindly supported by Oxford alumnus Guy Monson.

The launch of Humanities Graduates and the British Economy: The Hidden Impact took place at the Radcliffe Humanities Building, University of Oxford on 11 July 2013, with speeches by Professor Andrew Hamilton, Vice-Chancellor, Professor Shearer West, Head of Humanities Division, and Professor Sir Adam Roberts, President of The British Academy. For a short film on the report and its launch, see Humanities Graduates and the British Economy: the Hidden Impact (movie).

For news relating to the report, see
For further information, please contact:
Professor Shearer West, Head of the Humanities Division


Photos from the launch event by John Cairns.