Jisc and HESCU Prospects announce merger

May, 2020

Higher Education Careers Services Unit and Graduate Prospects have merged with Jisc as part of a new student services directorate

Today (1 May 2020), the Higher Education Careers Services Unit and its commercial subsidiary Graduate Prospects (HECSU Prospects) have joined forces with Jisc, the UK's technology solutions organisation for higher and further education.

HECSU Prospects' staff, products and services will be retained, adding digital careers information and guidance as well as degree verification to Jisc's portfolio to form a new student services directorate.

The combined organisations will support delivery of the government's Careers Strategy as well as its International Education Strategy.

HECSU Prospects and Jisc already benefit from a successful strategic alliance, which has included the development of digital services such as Career Explorer (also in collaboration with HESA and UCAS) and XCRI.

The consolidation will mean greater collaboration in intelligence-led careers information, and the development of products, adding significant value to higher education while transforming the experience and employability of students considering their options at 16, as well as older learners.

Parents, educators and employers will also benefit from improved and expanded data to help young people identify and explore the relevant pathways, skills and traits that enhance employment in regional and national labour markets.

Jayne Rowley, chief executive of HECSU Prospects, comments: 'This merger cements the strategic partnership that we have nurtured over several years. It means that the benefits of our products and services will be more widely dispersed among students and graduates and that we can better support careers services through greater investment opportunities, delivering a broader, more innovative offering.'

Jisc's deputy chief executive and chief operating officer Alice Colban, says: 'Jisc and HECSU and Graduate Prospects already benefit from a successful strategic alliance, which includes the development of digital services such as Career Explorer and XCRI, so a merger was a natural step to take.

'While we already deliver several services that are valued by students, the merger will enable us to develop a more targeted offering. By immediately adding digital student information, and advice and guidance services to our portfolio we will be in a better position to achieve our long-term strategy of improving the student experience.'

While the HECSU identity will be phased out, the UK's biggest student careers brand, Prospects, will remain and continue to deliver a portfolio of careers publications and prospects.ac.uk. With more than 800,000 registrants, the leading early careers website includes the UK's official postgraduate course database and unique planning tools Planner and Job Match.

Investment will continue into labour market information such as the What do graduates do? report using new graduate outcomes data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency as well as bespoke research for educators and employers. Degree verification service Prospects Hedd and the degree fraud detection service run on behalf of the Office for Students will also be enhanced.

Prospects' strategic partnerships with the NUS, Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services and Institute of Student Employers will continue.

About Jisc

Jisc's vision is for the UK to be the most digitally advanced education and research nation in the world. At its heart is the super-fast national research and education network, Janet, with built-in cyber security protection. Jisc also provides technology solutions for its members (colleges, universities and research centres) and customers (public sector bodies), helps members save time and money by negotiating sector-wide deals and provides advice and practical assistance on digital technology. Jisc is funded by the UK higher and further education and research funding bodies and member institutions.

For more information, contact kate.edser@jisc.ac.uk, or 07918 562869 (alternatively, media@jisc.ac.uk, or 07443 983571), or Clare Tregaskis c.tregaskis@prospects.ac.uk, or 07792 429227.

About HECSU Prospects

The Higher Education Careers Services Unit (HECSU) supports the work of university careers services in the UK and Republic of Ireland. As the commercial subsidiary of HECSU, Prospects has worked at the heart of higher education for nearly 50 years. It collaborates with government, universities and employers to improve student and graduate career outcomes through information, guidance and opportunities including:

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