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Leading article: Not so dismal a prospect for graduates, after all


A flicker of good news, at last, from an unexpected quarter. The prospects of those graduating from British universities this summer may not be as dismal as had been widely forecast.

Starting salaries are up, after three years of stagnation, and the decline in job vacancies has slowed. This year's record crop of graduates means competition remains tough, but the overall picture is more cheerful than it has been for a while.

Just as some were starting to question whether higher education was really a worthwhile investment for many school-leavers, here is evidence that for most of them, even in harsh economic times, it still is. That employers are ready to pay a little more also suggests that universities may now be producing graduates with more of the skills they need.

It is too early to be confident that the positive trend will continue, but green shoots deserve a welcome, wherever they appear.