Definitions - Students & qualifiers

 

Definitions for students & qualifiers statistics

The following definitions relate to the HESA student record 2007/08 to 2011/12.

Coverage
     Standard Registration Population (used in counts of student enrolments)
     Qualifications Obtained Population
     FTE & the HESA session population
Rounding and suppression strategy

Region of institution
Subject areas  (shorter version)
Course Title
Term-time accommodation
Domicile
Nationality

Ethnicity
Age
Gender
Disability status
Socio-economic classification
Type of school

Mode of study (Full-time/Part-time)
Level of study
Qualification obtained
Class of first degree
Initial Teacher Training
Highest qualification on entry
Year of study
Location of study (Distance Learning)
Expected length of programme

Subject of study and JACS codes (long version)
     Specification of JACS
     Course codes
     Apportionment
     Subject areas
     Principal subject

Aggregate Offshore Record
     Coverage
     Location of provision
     Level of study
     Type of activity

Coverage

In general, the HESA Student record is collected in respect of all students registered at a reporting higher education institution (HE institution) who follow courses that lead to the award of a qualification(s) or institutional credit, excluding those registered as studying wholly overseas. The data specification of the record uses the term 'instance' to describe a student's engagement with the institution, which, because a student can have more than one instance of engagement, will exceed the number of students. Unless stated otherwise, student data is based on an instance of engagement. Postdoctoral students are not included in the HESA Student record.

Courses involving collaborative or franchising arrangements are administration specific:

In England and Northern Ireland all students included on the Higher Education Students Early Statistics Survey (HESES) return to the Higher Education Funding Council (HEFCE), whether fundable or not, are returned to HESA. This includes all students funded through franchised, associate and regional college arrangements. Students funded through a HEFCE recognised funding consortium or students registered at another institution, although included in the HESES return of the lead institution, are not included within the HESA return of that institution. These students are included in the HESA (or the Data Service) return of the registering institution.

In Wales students included on the HESES return to the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW), whether fundable or not, are returned to HESA regardless of where the student is registered. This includes all students funded through franchise arrangements where the provision is franchised out from the institution. Students who are franchised in to the institution are excluded. The term franchise, also referred to as outreach, in HE in Wales refers to a HE course taught at an institution (the franchisee) which is not directly in receipt of funding from HEFCW for that course, and for which quality assurance is provided by another Welsh institution (the franchisor). Students taught at institutions in Wales may be registered at the franchisee or franchisor institution. However, students registered at institutions outside Wales, with a Welsh institution providing quality assurance, are not included within the definition of franchised students.

In Scotland students taking articulated or franchised courses at further education (FE) colleges, or other courses at other HE institutions or FE colleges, for the years of such courses for which the institution does not provide any of the teaching input, does not receive any funding or does not receive any tuition fee payment (e.g. from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland) are excluded from the HE institution's return to HESA. In the case of those years of a course for which two or more HE institutions are involved in providing the teaching input and/or receiving funding or tuition fees, only one of the HE institutions includes the students in its returns to HESA. It is up to the institutions concerned to agree between themselves who should be responsible for making the returns to HESA, and for which years of the course (or for which students on a particular year of the course), as seems most appropriate given their administrative arrangements.

If it is known at the beginning of the course that a student will spend a block of eight weeks or more in the UK as part of their programme then they are included on the Student record throughout, and not included in the Aggregate offshore record. For the reporting years in which their location of study is identified as being abroad, the student instance, whilst being collected in the year's Student return, is however excluded from the standard HESA student populations and hence from the standard publication figures.    

The reporting period for the HESA Student record is 1 August to 31 July.

Higher education (HE) students for the purpose of HESA's data collection are those students on courses for which the level of instruction is above that of level 3 of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) National Qualifications Framework (NQF) (e.g. courses at the level of Certificate of HE and above).

The HESA standard registration population 

The HESA standard registration population has been derived from the HESA Student record, from all registered higher education and further education student instances active at a reporting institution in the reporting period 1 August to 31 July, following courses that lead to the award of a qualification or institutional credit, and ensures that similar activity is counted in a similar way irrespective of when it occurs.

The population splits the student experience into years of study. The first year is deemed to start on the commencement date of the student instance, with second and subsequent years starting on, or near, the anniversary of that date. Student instances are counted once for each year of study. However students who leave within two weeks of their instance start date, or anniversary of their start date, and are on a course of more than two weeks duration, are not included in the standard registration population.

Also excluded from this population are:

  • dormant students (those who have ceased studying but have not formally de-registered)
  • incoming visiting and exchange students
  • postdoctoral student instances
  • instances where the whole of the programme of study is outside of the UK
  • instances where the student has spent, or will spend, more than 8 weeks in the UK but the study programme is primarily outside the UK
  • Teaching Agency (TA) Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) student instances
  • students on sabbatical, and
  • writing-up students.

The HESA standard registration population forms the basis for most counts of first year and continuing student instances.

The standard registration population changed in 2007/08. Data published prior to this included sabbatical and writing-up students. Data published in recent (2007/08 to 2009/10) Statistical First Releases covering earlier years have been re-calculated using the new standard registration population, and may therefore not match data published before 2007/08.

Please note, the following students are included as standard in HESA populations:

  • Students registered at, but not taught by the reporting institution - this is usually through a collaborative/franchising agreement. It may be for the whole or a proportion of the academic year.
  • Students based in the UK on distance learning programmes.
  • Student based outside of the UK on funded distance learning programmes e.g Crown servants overseas and the Services
  • On industrial placement for the whole or a proportion of the academic year.
  • On study year abroad for the whole or a proportion of the academic year.

If you require, HESA is able to remove any of these students from bespoke data requests. Please be aware that any alterations to standard HESA populations will mean that data will not align with HESA data published elsewhere.

The HESA Qualifications Obtained Population

The HESA qualifications obtained population is a count of student instances associated with the award of an HE qualification (excluding HE institutional credits) during the HESA reporting period. This includes qualifications awarded from dormant, writing-up and sabbatical status.

Incoming visiting and exchange students are excluded from this population.

Full-time equivalent & the HESA session population

Full-time equivalent (FTE) data represents the institution's assessment of the full-time equivalence of the student instance during the reporting period 1 August to 31 July.

The HESA session population forms the basis for counts of full-time equivalent (FTE) student instances. It includes all registered higher education and further education student instances active at a reporting institution at any point in the reporting period 1 August to 31 July, following courses that lead to the award of a qualification or institutional credit, except:

  • dormant student instances (those who have ceased studying but have not formally de-registered)
  • incoming visiting and exchange student instances
  • postdoctoral student instances
  • instances where the whole of the programme of study is outside of the UK
  • instances where the student has spent, or will spend, more than 8 weeks in the UK but the study programme is primarily outside the UK
  • Teaching Agency (TA) Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) student instances, and
  • students on sabbatical.

Incoming visiting and exchange students are excluded from the session population in order to avoid an element of double-counting with both outgoing and incoming students being included.    

Rounding and suppression strategy

HESA implements a strategy in published and released tabulations designed to prevent the disclosure of personal information about any individual.

Counts of student instances (and apportioned subject-level data) are rounded to the nearest multiple of 5.
For example 0, 1, 2 are rounded to 0, 3 is represented as 5, 22 is represented as 20, 3286 is represented as 3285 while 0, 20, 55, 3510 remain unchanged.
This rounding strategy is also applied to total figures, so the sum of numbers in each row or column may not match the total shown. 

Average values and percentages are calculated on un-rounded raw numbers. Averages based on populations (denominator) of 7 or fewer individuals are suppressed. Percentages based on populations of 52 or fewer individuals are also suppressed. Suppressed values are normally represented as '..' in published tables.

FTE values are not rounded.

 

Region of institution

The allocation of an institution to a geographical region is done by reference to the administrative centre of that institution. There may be students registered at institutions who are studying in regions other than that of the administrative centre of the institution.

Although The Open University teaches throughout the UK, its administrative centre is located in South East England, and except where shown separately, is counted as a wholly English institution.

Subject areas

HESA has defined nineteen subject areas in terms of JACS codes for reporting information broken down by subject to present a useful broad-brush picture. The subject areas do not overlap, and cover the entire range of JACS Principal Subjects. This page shows how Principal Subjects are grouped into Subject Areas: http://www.hesa.ac.uk/index.php/content/view/102/136/1/6/

Apportionment

A procedure of apportionment is used whereby each student instance is, where necessary, divided in a way that in broad-brush terms reflects the pattern of a split course.

For split courses not involving an ITT component, institutions assign their own percentages based on a broad assessment of the relative contribution of subjects to a course, rather than detailed analysis of the contributions of subjects to individual students' courses of study. It is therefore expected that most institutions will apply the same percentages to all courses and only vary this where there is a substantially different subject split. For institutions in England, Northern Ireland and Wales the listed standard percentages are recommended, and in Scotland obligatory:

  • Balanced 50% for each of the two subjects
  • Major - Minor 67% and 33%
  • Triple 34%, 33% and 33%.

The sum of the proportion allocated to each subject studied on a course must equal 100.

ITT students at undergraduate level who also have specialism subjects recorded (typically, secondary ITT students) are apportioned 50% to the 'Education' subject area and the remaining 50% is further assigned according to the percentages recommended above. Where no subject other than education is recorded, or where the student is on a PGCE course, apportionment is 100% to the 'Education' subject area.

Course Title

Although compulsory, the Course Title field is not subject to specific checks regarding its validity. The only validation check is that the field contains at least one character. Conclusions about the provision of courses and subjects should not be drawn on the basis of the Course Title field.

Term-time accommodation

Term-time accommodation identifies where the student is living during the academic year. It is only compulsory for full-time and sandwich students.

Institution maintained property includes housing owned by the institution and sub-let to students.

Not in attendance at the institution is used for full-time and sandwich students not currently in attendance at the institution for reasons such as industrial placement or language year abroad.

Domicile

Domicile data is supplied to HESA in the form of postcodes (UK, Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man domiciled students) or country codes. Postcodes are mapped to counties, unitary authorities and UK nations using the National Statistics Postcode Directory (NSPD). Countries are mapped to geographical regions, informed by the National Statistics Country Classification 2006 grouping of countries (www.statistics.gov.uk/downloads/theme_other/Explanatory_Notes_NSCC.pdf). Where no data is supplied about the student's domicile, fee eligibility is used to assign to either UK region unknown or Non-European-Union unknown.

United Kingdom domiciled students are those whose normal residence prior to commencing their programme of study was in the UK, and for the purposes of this publication include Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man. (Officially, the Crown Dependencies of Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man are not part of the UK or the EU.)

Other European Union domiciled students are those whose normal residence prior to commencing their programme of study was in countries which were European Union (EU) members as at 1 December of the reporting period. EU countries are those which were EU members as at 1 December 2007. This includes Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

Where European Union countries are shown separately, individual country figures exclude those domiciled in the Åland Islands, the Canary Islands, and the French overseas departments of French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Réunion. These figures are included in European Union not otherwise specified.

Other EEA countries includes the European Economic Area countries of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

Other Europe includes Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus (Non-European-Union), Faroe Islands, Georgia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Svalbard and Jan Mayen, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, Vatican City and Europe not otherwise specified.

Non-European-Union students are those whose normal residence prior to commencing their programme of study was outside the EU. Where Non-EU countries are shown separately, individual country figures exclude the country's overseas territories. These individual country figures are listed within the geographic region in which they lie.

Nationality

This field defines the country of legal nationality. The field is optional for students who commenced their study before 1 August 2007 and for all students at institiutions in Northern Ireland. Please see the coding guidance notes for more detail: NATIONALITY 2012/13

 

Ethnicity

Students domiciled in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man are required to report their ethnic origin. However, HESA advises that the figures reported in analyses may not be representative of the total student population because ethnic origin information is only required from this subset. (This subset also excludes certain FE, Incoming visiting and exchange, and Dormant status students.)

It is HESA's intention to adopt national classifications where they exist and are appropriate. The use of Census 2001 ethnicity coding in the Student record is an example of this practice. The coding frame is that recommended by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) for UK-wide data collection. However, there are variations to the Census 2001 ethnicity coding adopted in Scotland and Northern Ireland. The ethnic category groupings are:

White includes White and Irish Traveller.

Black includes Black or Black British - Caribbean, Black or Black British - African, and other Black background.

Asian includes Asian or Asian British - Indian, Asian or Asian British - Pakistani, Asian or Asian British - Bangladeshi, Chinese, and other Asian background.

Other (including mixed) includes mixed - White and Black Caribbean, mixed - White and Black African, mixed - White and Asian, other mixed background, and other ethnic background.

Not known includes not known and information refused.

Age

Student age is as at 31 August in the reporting period.

For the Qualifications Obtained Population age is at 31 July in the reporting period (the end of the academic year).

Gender

From 2007/08 the specification for student gender falls within the scope of the Aligned Data Definitions adopted by the Information Standards Board (ISB) for education, skills and children’s services (escs).

Indeterminate gender means unable to be classified as either male or female, and intended to identify students who are intersex, and not trans-gender nor as a proxy for not-known.

Disability status

The disability categories indicate the type of disability that a student has on the basis of their own self-assessment. Students are not obliged to report a disability. HESA therefore advises that the figures reported in analyses are derived from a subset which may not be representative of the total student population.

For 2010/11 entrants, with the introduction of the Disability Equality Duty, and on the recommendation of the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU), HESA adopted a version of the coding frame introduced by the Disability Rights Commission (DRC). From 2010/11 new entrants may not be returned to HESA coded as information refused, information not sought or not known. These codes are only used for continuing students.

Entrants in 2010/11 and later

The full label descriptions for each disability are available at www.hesa.ac.uk/manuals/10051/a/DISABLE.

In certain analyses of students who entered in 2010/11 or later disability may be grouped as follows: 

  • Known to have a disability includes students who reported a disability that categorised as: a specific learning difficulty; blind or a serious visual impairment; deaf or a serious hearing impairment; a physical impairment or mobility issues; personal care support; mental health condition; social communication/Autistic spectrum disorder; a long-standing illness or health condition; two or more conditions listed plus another disability, impairment or medical condition.
  • No known disability includes students who reported they have no known disability plus students who refused to provide disability information, students for whom this information was not sought, those for whom information was not known and those for whom this information was not applicable.

Entrants before 2010/11

The full label descriptions for each disability are available at www.hesa.ac.uk/manuals/09051/a/DISABLE.

In certain analyses of students who entered before 2010/11 disability may be grouped as follows:

  • Known to have a disability includes students who have a disability reported as blind or partially sighted, deaf or hearing impairment, wheelchair user or mobility difficulties, personal care support, mental health difficulties, an unseen disability (e.g. diabetes, epilepsy or asthma), multiple disabilities, Autistic Spectrum Disorder, a specific learning difficulty e.g. dyslexia, or another disability not listed.
  • No known disability includes students who indicated that they do not have a disability.
  • Not known includes students who refused to provide disability information, students for whom this information was not sought and those for whom information was not known.

Socio-economic classification

To identify the socio-economic classification of students participating in HE.

For applicants in 2008/09, UCAS changed the question on their application form which feeds into this field. The change is as follows...

For applicants prior to 2008/09, this is the socio-economic background/occupation of students aged 21 and over at the start of their course, or for students under 21 the socio-economic background of their parent, step-parent or guardian who earns the most.

For applicants for 2008/09 entry only, this is based on the socio-economic background/occupation of the student if they are not in full-time education, or for students in full-time education, the socio-economic background of their parent, step-parent or guardian.

Code 9 'Not classified' includes the 3 categories:

Students
Occupations not stated or inadequately described
Not classifiable for other reasons

Compulsory for undergraduate students entering through UCAS

Institutions are encouraged to provide this information for other full-time undergraduates in order to provide more complete statistical information for the sector.

Type of school

School type is taken from previous institution attended (in technical terms, HESA field PREVINST). All schools or colleges that are not denoted ‘independent’ are assumed to be state schools. This means that students from sixth-form or further education colleges, for example, are included as being from state schools.

 

Mode of study

(Applicable to HESA populations except the qualifications obtained population)
Full-time includes students recorded as studying full-time, normally required to attend an institution for periods amounting to at least 24 weeks within the year of study, plus those enrolled on a sandwich course (thick or thin), irrespective of whether or not they are in attendance at the institution or engaged in industrial training, and those on a study-related year out of their institution. During that time students are normally expected to undertake periods of study, tuition or work experience which amount to an average of at least 21 hours per week for a minimum of 24 weeks study/placement.

In certain analysis, full-time and sandwich modes of study may be shown separately, defined as follows:

Full-time includes students who are normally required to attend an institution for periods amounting to at least 24 weeks within the year of study.

In certain analysis sandwich mode of study is shown separately, defined as follows:

Sandwich includes students enrolled on a sandwich course (thick or thin), irrespective of whether they are in attendance at the institution or engaged in industrial training. During that time students are normally expected to undertake periods of study, tuition or work experience which amount to an average of at least 21 hours per week for a minimum of 24 weeks study/placement.

Part-time includes students recorded as studying part-time, or studying full-time on courses lasting less than 24 weeks, on block release, or studying during the evenings only.

Where analysis includes FE level students, part-time includes those recorded as studying part-time, or studying full-time on courses lasting less than 24 weeks, on block release, or studying during the evenings only, plus those students on FE continuous delivery.

Writing-up and sabbatical includes students who are normally expected to submit a thesis to the institution for examination, have completed the work of their course and are not making significant demands on institutional resources, plus those on sabbatical.

Writing-up students and students on sabbatical are excluded from the HESA standard registration population.

(Applicable to HESA qualifications obtained population)

Full-time includes students whose study was recorded as full-time (as described as above), and also includes awards from dormant and writing-up status where the student's mode of study was previously full-time.

Part-time students are those whose study was recorded as part-time (as described above), and also includes awards from dormant and writing-up status where the student's mode of study was previously part-time, and awards given to those on sabbatical.

Level of study

Level of study is taken from the course aim of the student.

HESA classifies courses according to a framework which aligns with the framework for HE qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (FHEQ), the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) (of which the framework for qualifications of HE institutions in Scotland is a constituent part) and the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) and Bologna frameworks. Details are available at www.hesa.ac.uk/C09051/a/COURSEAIM. It includes level M for taught masters degrees, and level H for honours degrees.

Note: Many students who study for a doctorate qualification will initially be enrolled on a masters course and will transfer to a doctorate course after a year or two. For this reason, numbers of doctorate students may be under-counted and numbers of masters students may be over-counted where an extract uses these groupings.

Postgraduate courses are those leading to higher degrees, diplomas and certificates (including Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE at level M) (unless shown separately) and professional qualifications) which usually require a first degree as an entry qualification (i.e. already qualified at level H).

Higher degree (research) includes doctorate (incorporating New Route PhD) and masters degrees studied primarily through research.

Higher degree (taught) includes doctorate and masters degrees not studied primarily through research, and postgraduate bachelors degrees at level M. Masters in Teaching and Learning are included in this category.

Other postgraduate includes postgraduate diplomas, certificates and professional qualifications, Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE at level M), level 7 Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector, institutional postgraduate credits and non-formal postgraduate qualifications.

In analyses where postgraduate level of study is disaggregated into postgraduate (research) and postgraduate (taught), the following groupings are used:

Postgraduate (research) includes doctorate (incorporating New Route PhD), masters degrees and postgraduate diplomas or certificates (not Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) at level M) studied primarily through research.

Postgraduate (taught) includes doctorate, and masters degrees, postgraduate bachelors degrees at level M and postgraduate diplomas or certificates not studied primarily through research, including Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) at level M (unless shown separately), Masters in Teaching and Learning, level M Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector, and professional qualifications.

Postgraduate Certificate in Education are those PGCE qualifications which are pitched at level M.

Undergraduate courses are programmes of study at level H, I, J and C including, but not limited to, first degrees (including eligibility to register to practice with a health or social care or veterinary statutory regulatory body), first degrees with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)/registration with a General Teaching Council (GTC), postgraduate bachelors degrees at level H, enhanced first degrees (including those leading towards obtaining eligibility to register to practice with a health or social care or veterinary statutory regulatory body), first degrees obtained concurrently with a diploma and intercalated first degrees, Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE at level H), foundation degrees, diplomas in higher education (including those leading towards obtaining eligibility to register to practice with a health or social care or veterinary statutory regulatory body), Higher National Diploma (HND), Higher National Certificate (HNC), Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE), Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE), foundation courses at higher education level, National Qualifications Framework (NQF) levels 4 and 5, post-degree diplomas and certificates at undergraduate level (including those in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector), professional qualifications at undergraduate level and other undergraduate diplomas and certificates including post-registration health and social care courses. Entrants to these programmes of study do not usually require a higher education qualification.

First degree includes first degrees (including eligibility to register to practice with a health or social care or veterinary statutory regulatory body), first degrees with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)/registration with a General Teaching Council (GTC), postgraduate bachelors degree at level H, enhanced first degrees (including those leading towards obtaining eligibility to register to practice with a health or social care or veterinary statutory regulatory body), first degrees obtained concurrently with a diploma and intercalated first degrees.

First degree equivalent includes all qualification aims at level H or level I except first degrees, including, but not limited to, professional qualifications, graduate certificates and diplomas, and post-registrations health and social care qualifications.

Sub-degree includes all qualification aims at level J and C, including, but not limited to foundation degrees, Higher National Diploma (HND), Higher National Certificate (HNC), Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE) and Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE).

Other undergraduate includes qualification aims equivalent to and below first degree level, including, but not limited to, Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) at level H (unless shown separately), foundation degrees (unless shown separately), diplomas in higher education (including those with eligibility to register to practice with a health or social care or veterinary statutory regulatory body), Higher National Diploma (HND), Higher National Certificate (HNC), Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE), Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE), foundation courses at higher education level, National Vocational Qualification (NVQ)/Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) at NQF levels 4 and 5, post-degree diplomas and certificates at undergraduate level (including those in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector), professional qualifications at undergraduate level, other undergraduate diplomas and certificates including post-registration health and social care courses, other formal higher education qualifications of less than degree standard, institutional undergraduate credit and non-formal undergraduate qualifications.

Professional Graduate Certificate in Education are those PGCE qualifications which are pitched at level H.

Foundation degrees (e.g. FdA, FdSc) were introduced to provide vocational higher education qualifications at level I.

Further education programmes of study includes Diplomas, Certificates and National Vocational Qualification (NVQ)/Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) at level 3 and below, A/AS levels, Advanced Highers/Highers (Scotland), GCSEs, Intermediates (Scotland), HE Access courses, Welsh for Adults and other qualifications below higher education level.

More information about the different classifications of level of study can be found at the links below (these are external web pages not hosted or endorsed by HESA):
http://ofqual.gov.uk/help-and-advice/comparing-qualifications/
http://www.coursesplus.co.uk/qualifications.php/

Qualification obtained

Qualification obtained is taken from the qualification awarded to the student during the reporting year, usually at the end of an instance. The qualification awarded may be different to the student's qualification aim, and the student may be awarded more than one qualification during the reporting period.

Qualification obtained is based on the HESA Qualification obtained population and therefore also includes qualifications awarded from dormant, writing-up and sabbatical status.

The groupings are as Level of study, except in certain analysis where the following groupings may be used:

Doctorate includes doctorate degrees obtained/not obtained primarily through research and New Route PhD.

Other higher degree includes masters degrees obtained/not obtained primarily through research, Masters in Teaching and Learning, pre-registration masters degrees leading towards obtaining eligibility to register to practice with a health or social care or veterinary statutory regulatory body and postgraduate bachelors degrees at level M.

Other postgraduate qualifications includes supervised research at level D, E and L for institutional credits, National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ) at level M and E, other postgraduate qualifications obtained primarily through research, fellowships, diplomas and certificates at level M, Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) 5, professional taught qualifications at level M other than a masters degrees, Level M Diplomas in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector, and other taught qualifications at level M.

HND/DipHE includes Diplomas of Higher Education (DipHE) (including those leading towards obtaining eligibility to register to practice with a health or social care or veterinary statutory regulatory body) and Higher National Diplomas (HND).

Class of first degree

The classification of a first degree indicates the qualification class obtained. Certain qualifications obtained at first degree level are not subject to classification of award, notably medical and general degrees. These, together with ordinary degrees and aegrotat qualifications have been included within Unclassified. Third class honours, fourth class honours and the pass have been aggregated as Third/pass. Lower second and undivided second class honours have been aggregated as Lower second.

Initial teacher training (ITT)

Information about ITT students is presented as a count of instances.

ITT students are based on the 'Standard registration population' and includes instances that are: initial or pre-service teacher training courses leading to Qualified Teacher Status or registration as a school teacher with the General Teaching Council for Scotland; other initial teacher training courses not leading to Qualified Teacher Status nor to registration as a school teacher with the General Teaching Council for Scotland; Teacher Development Agency (TDA) funded flexible provision (ITT).

ITT qualifiers includes qualifications obtained from the categories of ITT instances listed above, and as it is based on the 'Qualifications obtained population' includes qualifications awarded from dormant, writing-up and sabbatical status.

Highest qualification on entry

It should be noted that a student's highest qualification on entry is not necessarily that which was required for entry to the programme of study. Categories used are:

Postgraduate (excluding PGCE) includes all higher degrees, postgraduate diplomas and certificates (excluding Postgraduate and Professional Graduate Certificates in Education (PGCE at levels M and H)) and postgraduate equivalent qualifications.

PGCE includes Postgraduate and Professional Graduate Certificates in Education (PGCE at levels M and H), with and without Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)/registration with a General Teaching Council (GTC).

First degree (UK institution) includes first degrees of UK HE institutions plus undergraduate qualifications with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)/registration with a General Teaching Council (GTC).

Other graduate and equivalent qualifications includes graduate qualifications obtained outside the UK, General National Vocational Qualification (GNVQ)/General Scottish Vocational Qualification (GSVQ) level 5, National Vocational Qualification (NVQ)/Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) level 5 and other graduate equivalent qualifications not already specified.

HE credits includes Open University credits and credits from other UK higher education institutions.

Other HE and professional qualifications includes certificates and diplomas of education, Higher National Certificate (HNC) or Higher National Diploma (HND) (including BTEC and SQA equivalents), Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE), General National Vocational Qualification (GNVQ)/General Scottish Vocational Qualification (GSVQ) level 4, National Vocational Qualification (NVQ)/Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) level 4, professional qualifications, foundation courses at higher education level, other higher education qualifications of less than degree standard and foundation degrees.

GCE A level, SQA Highers and equivalent includes any combination of these qualifications plus General National Vocational Qualification (GNVQ)/General Scottish Vocational Qualification (GSVQ) level 3, National Vocational Qualification (NVQ)/Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) level 3, Ordinary National Certificate (ONC) and Ordinary National Diploma (OND) (BTEC and SQA equivalents).

Access courses include those Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) recognised, those not QAA recognised and other accredited and unaccredited Access courses.

GCSE/O level, SQA O grades and Standard grades includes any combination of these qualifications.

Other qualifications includes foundation courses at further education level, baccalaureate, other non-advanced qualifications, National Vocational Qualification (NVQ)/Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) level 2, Diploma in Foundation Studies, Advanced Modern Apprenticeships, and other non-UK qualifications (level not known).

No formal qualification required/held includes Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning (APEL/APL), mature students admitted on basis of previous experience/institution's own entrance examination, or it is known that the student has no formal qualification.

Not known/sought - nothing is known about the student's qualifications on entry to their programme of study.

Year of study

First years includes those students who commenced their programme instance within the reporting period and is based on the HESA standard registration population. In some cases the student's first year of study may be the second or subsequent year of a programme.

All years includes all student instances regardless of their commencement date and is based on the HESA standard registration population.

Location of study (Distance Learning)

This describes the location at which the student is studying.

From 2007/08, students studying for the whole of their programme of study (to date) outside of the UK are not included in this field and are included in the aggregate overseas record

However, there are a small number of distance learning students studying outside the UK who are funded - e.g. Crown servants overseas and the Services. For these students a full record is needed, and is collected through the individualised Student Record. Such students have been coded 9 'Distance Learning - Non-UK based student (funded only)' in this field.

Expected length of programme

The expected length of programme is an indication of the normal elapsed time from the commencement of study to the completion of the instance as a whole, even if particular student instances have different lengths of study, e.g. because of direct entry into the second year. The length study time includes holiday time and will normally include time for examinations.

 

Subject of study and JACS codes

Specification of JACS

All JACS subject codes consist of a letter followed by three digits, the first of them non-zero (except the generic codes described below). The initial letter identifies the subject group, for example F for Physical Sciences. The initial letter and immediately following digit identify the principal subject, for example F5 Astronomy. F500 is a valid JACS code used where there is no need for a higher level of precision, but subjects can be identified more precisely using a second non-zero digit, for example F520 Space and planetary sciences, and, with even more precision, F521 Space science and F522 Planetary science. Often it is necessary to consider together all the codes, or all the student numbers, falling within a principal subject, and this is done by referring to it using just the first two characters, so F5 refers to all of Astronomy and to total numbers in it, by no means all of which will have code F500. Similarly, F52 refers to the whole of Space and planetary sciences.

In 2007/08 a review of a selection of subject areas resulted in the implementation of a revision of the JACS subject codes, JACS2. The full listing of JACS2 can be found at www.hesa.ac.uk/jacs2.

Course codes

Student courses often involve combinations of subjects, and so cannot be described by a single JACS code. Within the HESA student data collection, there are two mechanisms for dealing with this. First, JACS has been slightly extended to allow codes to be assigned to highly integrated courses which cut across principal subjects. Where such a broadly-based course falls within a single subject group, it can be coded as the group letter followed by three zeroes, for example F000 would code such a course in Physical sciences. This is known as a generic code, and is an extension of JACS for the purpose of coding complete student courses; generic codes may not be used in any other way, for example for coding modules. Courses which cut across subject groups are given the generic code Y000, which is equivalent to continuing to recognise the need for a 'Combined' subject group. The second mechanism is designed to describe less integrated courses of the kind often known as Joint Honours. The HESA Student record allows the reporting of up to three subject descriptors for each course and a proportion of time allocated for each subject studied on a course.

Apportionment

Additionally, a procedure of apportionment is used. Under apportionment, each student instance is, where necessary, divided in a way that in broad-brush terms reflects the pattern of a split course. This is analogous to the use of FTE calculations (with a variation for initial teacher training (ITT) students).

For split courses not involving an ITT component, institutions assign their own percentages based on a broad assessment of the relative contribution of subjects to a course, rather than detailed analysis of the contributions of subjects to individual students' courses of study. It is therefore expected that most institutions will apply the same percentages to all courses and only vary this where there is a substantially different subject split. For institutions in England, Northern Ireland and Wales the listed standard percentages are recommended, and in Scotland obligatory:

  • Balanced 50% for each of the two subjects,
  • Major - Minor 67% and 33%,
  • Triple 34%, 33% and 33%.

The sum of the proportion allocated to each subject studied on a course must equal 100.

ITT students at undergraduate level who also have specialism subjects recorded (typically, secondary ITT students) are apportioned 50% to the 'Education' subject area and the remaining 50% is further assigned according to the percentages recommended above. Where no subject other than education is recorded, or where the student is on a PGCE course, apportionment is 100% to the 'Education' subject area.

Subject areas

HESA has defined nineteen subject areas in terms of JACS codes for reporting information broken down by subject to present a useful broad-brush picture. The subject areas do not overlap, and cover the entire range of JACS Principal Subjects. Apart from the need to separate the 'Mathematical science' and 'Computer science' elements of Principal Subject G0 and G9, they are expressed entirely in terms of JACS Principal Subjects, and correspond closely to JACS Subject Groups.

Since Initial teacher training data is presented on a count of instance basis rather than an apportioned basis, the figures are not directly comparable with the apportioned figures in the 'Education' subject area, and are tabulated separately to reduce the risk of misinterpretation.

Subject areas JACS code
Medicine & dentistry A
Subjects allied to medicine B
Biological sciences C
Veterinary science D1/2
Agriculture & related subjects D0/3/4/5/6/7/9
Physical sciences F
Mathematical sciences G00/01/1/2/3/90/91
Computer science G02/4/5/6/7/92
Engineering & technology H, J
Architecture, building & planning K
Social studies L
Law M
Business & administrative studies N
Mass communications & documentation P
Languages Q, R, T
Historical & philosophical studies V
Creative arts & design W
Education X
Combined Y

 

Apportionment at principal subject level

Although subject areas provide a broad-brush framework for presenting information, a more detailed breakdown to JACS principal subjects is used in some tables. Again, a process of apportionment is necessary, and the procedure is consistent with that used for subject areas, as follows:

For split courses not involving an initial teacher training (ITT) component, the apportionment algorithm is as reported by the institution.

ITT students at undergraduate level who also have a specialism subject recorded (typically, secondary ITT students) are apportioned 50% to the 'X1 Training teachers' principal subject and the remaining 50% is further apportioned according to the algorithm for non-ITT students. Where no subject other than education is recorded, or where the student is on a PGCE course, apportionment is 100% to the 'X1 Training teachers' principal subject.

 

Aggregate offshore record

Coverage

The Aggregate offshore record for students studying wholly outside the UK (Aggregate offshore record), collects data about all students studying (to date) wholly outside the UK, who either registered with a reporting UK higher education institutions (HEI) or who are studying for an award of the reporting HEI. This includes all students active at any point in the reporting period, including students who became dormant part way through the year, and those withdrawing from courses.

The small number of distance learning students studying outside the UK who are funded (e.g. Crown servants overseas and the Services), or considered fundable under Funding Council Early Statistics rules, are not included in the Aggregate offshore record, but included in the in the individualised Student record.

Students who commence their studies outside the UK and subsequently come to continue their studies within the UK are included in the Aggregate offshore record up until the point at which they enter the UK, when a full individualised record is required. Students studying under articulation arrangements but who do not meet the criteria of being either registered with the reporting HEI or studying for an award of the reporting HEI are not included in the record, nor are students who spend a sandwich, language or other year abroad as part of their overall course, which is otherwise UK based.

Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man are counted as being outside the UK, but within the European Union, within the Aggregate offshore record.

Location of provision

Country of overseas provision data is supplied to HESA in the form of country codes. Countries are mapped to geographical regions, informed by the National Statistics Country Classification 2006 grouping of countries (www.statistics.gov.uk/downloads/theme_other/Explanatory_Notes_NSCC.pdf).

Within the European Union includes students whose location of study country was a European Union (EU) member state. This includes Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Irish Republic, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden. Figures from location of study in the Åland Islands, the Canary Islands, and the French overseas departments of French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Réunion are included in this category.

Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man, for the purposes of these tables, are counted as within the European Union. (Officially, the Crown Dependencies of Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man are not part of the UK or the EU).

Outside the European Union includes students whose location of study country was outside the EU.

Level of study

Level of study is taken from the level of provision and describes the qualification that will be obtained as a result of successful completion of studies. It is based on the coding frame used for course aim in the Student record.

HESA classifies courses according to a framework which aligns with the framework for HE qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (FHEQ), the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) (of which the framework for qualifications of HE institutions in Scotland is a constituent part) and the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) and Bologna frameworks. Details are available at www.hesa.ac.uk/C09051/a/COURSEAIM. It includes level M for taught masters degrees, and level H for honours degrees.

Postgraduate (research) includes doctorate and masters degrees studied primarily through research (levels D and L).

Postgraduate (taught) includes doctorate and masters degrees not studied primarily through research (levels E and M).

First degree includes bachelors degrees with honours and ordinary bachelors degrees (levels H and I).

Other undergraduate includes qualification aims equivalent to and below first degree level (levels J and C).

Further education includes qualifications at FE level (level P and below).

Type of activity

Type of activity defines the arrangements under which overseas programmes are provided.

Students registered at a UK higher education institution

Overseas campus of reporting institution includes those studying at a campus set up as a branch campus of the parent institution, and as such it is seen as no different from any other campus of the institution.

Distance, flexible or distributed learning denotes educational provision leading to an award of an awarding institution delivered and/or supported and/or assessed through means which generally do not require the student to attend particular classes or events at particular times and particular locations. (There are a small number of distance learning students studying outside the UK who are funded (e.g. Crown servants overseas and the Services). These students are returned in the Student record and not included in the Aggregate offshore record.

Other arrangement including collaborative provision denotes provision leading to an award of an awarding institution delivered and/or supported and/or assessed through an arrangement with a partner organisation. Collaborative provision, sometimes described as 'franchised' provision includes consortia and joint award arrangements.

Students studying for an award of a UK higher education institution

Students studying for an award of a UK HEI are not registered students of the reporting institution but are studying for an award of the reporting institution, and are registered at an Overseas partner organisation or via some Other arrangement.

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