Tertiary institutes will conduct a first joint investigation on the career development of their graduates. THE territory's first inter-institute tracer study on graduate career development will be jointly conducted by five tertiary institutes. The institutes will trace the career development of their 1988, 1989 and 1990 graduates. The longitudinal study, sponsored by the University and Polytechnic Grants Committee (UPGC), will study the career development of graduates, including job changes, reasons for such changes, job satisfaction and the progress these graduates have made in terms of status and salary. It will also explore the relationship between the graduates' disciplines of study and their career destinies and performance. The study will interview some 12,000 graduates who received a Bachelor's degree from the City Polytechnic of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Baptist College, the Hong Kong Polytechnic, the Chinese University of Hong Kong or the University of Hong Kong in 1988, 1989 and 1990. Mrs Grace Chow, convenor of the Steering Committee on the ''Tracer Study on Graduate Career Development'', said the information derived from the study would be of considerable value to both the UPGC and the tertiary institutes regarding curriculum planning. ''It would also help the institutes strengthen career guidance programmes and placement services,'' Mrs Chow said. The findings would also serve as useful reference to employers in the areas of salary and personnel management as well as the Government in planning manpower distribution. Mrs Chow said the tracer study was only a preliminary research project. A more in-depth study would be conducted later. Mr Robert Chung, chief investigator of the study, said questionnaire would be sent by post to the targeted graduates before January 15, 1994. All personal information would be kept strictly confidential. It was hoped that these graduates would support the study and return the completed questionnaires to the respective institutes. Mr Chung said they expected about 50 per cent of the questionnaires to be returned in the first round of the study. He said follow-up telephone calls would be made to track down the graduates who do not return the questionnaires. Mr Chung added that a report on the study would be released in July 1994.