If you’ve seen Graham or myself presenting recently about the LIDP, you’ve probably seen this graph (described here)…

The graph shows 5 years of graduating students (2005/6 thru to 2009/10, with approx 3,000 graduates per year) and the average number of books they borrowed. So, “2005/6” shows the average number of books borrowed by the 2005/6 graduates

Quite early on during our data analysis, I noticed that the correlation in book borrowing seemed to be there from day one for students — in other words, students who eventually get the highest grades borrow more in their first year of study than those who eventually get lower grades.

So, here’s a year by year breakdown of the above graph, where “year 3” is the year the student graduated in…

**borrowing in year one only**

I’m actually quite surprised how clear the gaps are between each grade, even though we’re not talking about large numbers of loans.

**borrowing in year two only**

The borrowing by students who go on to get a first is fairly similar in the second year, as is the borrowing by those who’ll get a third. However, the borrowing by 2:1 students increases to a similar level to firsts (although you can see in 2009/10, second year borrowing by the firsts is breaking away).

**borrowing in year three only**

In the final year of studies, we see a marked increase in borrowing (no surprises there!). As with the original graph, we can see that 2:2s and thirds are showing a declining trend in borrowing.

In many of the data sets we’ve looked at in this project, we’ve seen similar(ish) borrowing levels for firsts and 2:1s. At most, in 2009/10, the gap in average borrowing is only 4 books. However, it does look like borrowing by 2:1s in their final year of study is also showing a declining trend.