These UK cities are the best at retaining graduates

Scottish university cities such as Edinburgh are good at retaining graduates. Photo: Getty

Glasgow and Edinburgh are the best cities in the UK for keeping students in the city after graduation, research shows.

A survey of 2,000 recent graduates by student accommodation provider Liberty Living found over half (51%) of those who studied in the Scottish university cities decided to stay to work after their studies.

London takes third place, with 47% of its graduates staying to work in the English capital after finishing their studies.

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The study found that, overall, 58% of students leave their city of study after graduation, with a third returning home.

There are clear reasons why Glasgow is retaining its graduates. Nearly four in five (78%) Glasgow students rated the city’s culture as good or excellent, making it the best in the UK. It was also voted as having the second-best atmosphere, with again nearly four in five (79%) graduates rating it as good or excellent.

While Scottish cities are doing well, Brighton is struggling to keep hold of its students after graduation. The seaside town currently has the worst graduate retention rate in the UK with just 23% of its former students staying for work after they finished their studies.

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Family proved to be the biggest influence on students when deciding where to settle after university, and even more so than job opportunities. Over a third (36%) moved to be closer to their family after graduation, compared to 27% of students who said they were influenced by job opportunities.

Nearly a quarter (24%) of students said house and rent prices influenced their decision about where to work after graduation. And 24% also said they moved to be closer to their partner.

The top 10 university cities for student retention in the UK

  1. Glasgow (51%)

  2. Edinburgh (51%)

  3. London (47%)

  4. Birmingham (41%)

  5. Leeds (39%)

  6. Sunderland (39%)

  7. Cambridge (39%)

  8. Newcastle (36%)

  9. Norwich (33%)

  10. Southampton (32%)