The universities minister Chris Skidmore has acknowledged problems with the way that data measuring graduate earnings portray universities in poorer regions, and called on academics to help improve how the information is used.
The government has stated its desire to make the Longitudinal Education Outcomes data, which include information on the salaries of graduates from different institutions, more readily available to people applying to university. It believes this will help ensure that students get the best value for money from their studies.
But critics say the data are unreliable as they do not take into account regional differences and they contain out-of-date information. For example, LEO data does not reward institutions whose students go on to earn relatively little, even if they cater for people in areas where salaries are typically not as high as in other regions and access to higher education may be far lower.