The University of Southampton students were the most likely in Southampton to be employed five years after graduating, figures suggest.

The latest figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency show 87.4% of The University of Southampton graduates from class of 2013 were working or still studying five years later.

This was the highest of both universities in Southampton, with data from 3,610 of the institution’s graduates recorded living in the UK.

Meanwhile, 86.3% of alumni from Solent University were still in education or employment in the 2018-19 tax year.

Across Britain, languages graduates had the lowest average rate of employment or further study five years after finishing their course, of 79%.

And at 93%, those studying nursing and midwifery had the highest average rate.

The average rate for all graduates was down slightly on previous years.

The ISE said there is no denying that it takes longer for those who graduate in a recession to catch up with those who leave university at a more economically prosperous time.

And it warned that the coronavirus pandemic has made the jobs market tougher for students, and means any job they do get might not be one they had set their sights on.

Stephen Isherwood, chief executive of the organisation, said: “If a student starts on the career ladder a couple of rungs lower than they would under normal circumstances, then it will take them longer to get to the stage where they want to be.

“Even though it’s difficult, it’s important to keep developing skills and be prepared to work harder to get a job.

“We need to make sure universities and employers continue to support this year’s graduates so they’re not forgotten in a year’s time when the new cohort enters the labour market.”

The HESA figures show that those who studied at The University of Southampton were also earning the highest salaries in Southampton.

The University of Southampton students were earning a median salary of £32,100 in the 2018-19 tax year, which was higher than the average of £27,300 across all institutions from that year.

At Solent University, the average salary was £25,200.

Imperial College London alumni had the highest salaries after five years – earning an average of £47,800 each – while those from the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama, in London, were making just £16,900.