Education and Training
This Statistical First Release (SFR) has been produced by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) in collaboration with statisticians from the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS), the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG), the Scottish Government (SG) and the Department for Employment and Learning Northern Ireland (DEL(NI)). It has been released according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority. It provides details of student enrolments and qualifications obtained by higher education (HE) students at HE institutions (HEIs) in the United Kingdom (UK) for the academic year 2007/08.
Readers should be aware that data definitions sometimes change over time and this can affect the validity of time series comparisons. In particular, there have been considerable changes in the 2007/08 enrolments and qualifiers data collection. As a result, time series data within this release will not correspond to previously published HESA data. Any significant changes have been explained in the Notes to Editors and/or Definitions.
Please note, key points have been derived from the Excel tables (these can be found below). Comparisons with 2006/07 data have only been included where they can be derived from these tables.
student enrolments on HE courses by level of study, mode of study and domicile,
2003/04 to 2007/08
||All student enrolments on HE courses by location of institution, mode of study and domicile, 2003/04 to 2007/08|
|Table 2||First year student enrolments on HE courses by level of study, mode of study and domicile, 2003/04 to 2007/08|
|Table 2a||First year student enrolments on HE courses by location of institution, mode of study and domicile, 2003/04 to 2007/08|
|Table 3||Student enrolments on HE courses by mode of study, level of study and subject area, 2003/04 to 2007/08|
|Table 3a||Student enrolments on HE courses by location of institution, mode of study, level of study and subject area, 2007/08|
|Table 4||UK domiciled, first year student enrolments on HE courses by domicile, location of institution, mode of study and level of study, 2006/07 & 2007/08|
|Table 5||Qualifications obtained by students on HE courses at HEIs in the UK by mode of study, domicile, gender and level of qualification obtained, 2003/04 to 2007/08|
|Table 5a||Qualifications obtained by students on HE courses at HEIs in the UK by location of institution, mode of study, domicile, gender and level of qualification obtained, 2003/04 to 2007/08|
|Table 6||Class of degree achieved by students obtaining first degree qualifications at HEIs in the UK by gender and mode of study, 2003/04 to 2007/08|
|Table 6a||Class of degree achieved by students obtaining first degree qualifications at HEIs in the UK by location of institution, gender and mode of study, 2007/08|
|Table 7||Qualifications obtained by students on HE courses at HEIs in the UK by level of qualification obtained, gender and subject area, 2003/04 to 2007/08|
|Table 7a||Qualifications obtained by students on HE courses at HEIs in the UK by location of institution, level of qualification obtained, gender and subject area, 2007/08|
Download all tables (xls)
None of the tables presented should be interpreted without reference to the Notes to Editors and Definitions provided below.
The data presented in this SFR is based on the 2007/08 HESA Student Record. The statistics in this SFR are derived by HESA from data collected from all publicly funded HEIs in the UK (including The Open University - see definition 5) and from 2004/05 onwards from The University of Buckingham, which is privately funded. The figures therefore exclude HE enrolments and qualifications obtained by students at further education colleges and at other private and independent HE colleges.
The 2007/08 data for HE enrolments in further education colleges in the UK is not included in this SFR, however it will be published in Table 0 of the HESA publication, Higher Education Statistics for the UK, in September 2009.
The specification of the HESA Standard Registration Population has changed for 2007/08 enrolments. Writing-up and sabbatical students are now excluded from this population where they were previously included in published enrolment data. In order to maintain time series accuracy, all data for 2003/04 to 2006/07 has been run using the 2007/08 definition of the Standard Registration Population (excluding writing-up and sabbatical students). As a result, enrolment data will not match other published HESA data for the years 2003/04 to 2006/07.
The table below shows writing-up and sabbatical student enrolments for the years 2005/06 to 2007/08 split by location of institution.
| Scotland HEIs
| Northern Ireland HEIs
| Total all HEIs
The field ‘gender' has changed to be consistent with the MIAP common data definitions coding frame. Students of ‘indeterminate gender' are now included in total figures but not in separate breakdowns. 'Indeterminate' means unable to be classified as either male or female and is not related in any way to trans-gender.
Students with a domicile of ‘UK unknown' have been included in total figures but not in separate breakdowns.
First degree qualifiers with a classification of ‘not applicable' have been included in total figures but not in separate breakdowns. These qualifiers are also not included in percentage calculations.
The figures presented in this SFR include all qualifications submitted to HESA by a reporting deadline, however this deadline has changed over the years. Details of reporting schedules are given in earlier versions of this SFR. These changes are not thought to have affected the number of qualifications reported.
As a consequence of a problem identified with data submitted by an institution in 2004/05, a number of students were not returned as first years although included in the all year figure. The error affected data only for the 2004/05 academic year and was corrected for 2005/06. However as a result, the increase in first year enrolments between 2004/05 and 2005/06 appears greater than in reality, particularly in respect of undergraduate entrants. More detail about this anomalous reporting can be found in SFR 107.
In 2006/07 an institution in Scotland misreported a number of awards (1295) as ordinary degrees, showing in the tables as unclassified awards. This should be taken into account when looking at time series in Table 6.
In 2006/07 an institution in Northern Ireland reported a number (955) of unknown domiciles, mostly on short credit bearing courses within their Open Learning Programme. Consequently the number of Northern Ireland students in Northern Ireland institutions may be under-reported by this amount.
In the years 2004/05 to 2006/07, an institution in Scotland misreported a number of part-time students as taught postgraduate when they should have been classified as undergraduate. As a result, taught postgraduate figures in Table 5a may be over-reported for the years 2004/05 to 2006/07.
Foundation degrees have not been introduced in Scotland. As numbers of foundation degree students in Wales and Northern Ireland are small, these are not separately reported in the text of this SFR.
The 2007/08 figures in this SFR are provisional; the data presented is as reported to HESA by HEIs.
A statistical reference volume ‘Students in Higher Education Institutions, 2007/08' setting out more information about students in higher education in the UK will be published by HESA in Spring 2009.
For the purposes of Table 4, ‘England HEIs' does not include data for The Open University. Data for this institution is shown separately and included in total figures. For all other tables, The Open University is included within ‘England HEIs'.
The qualification acronym ‘PGCE’ has traditionally been understood to stand for ‘Post-Graduate Certificate in Education’. However, the academic level of PGCE courses does vary. In April 2005 the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education issued guidance in relation to the Framework for HE Qualifications, which introduced a distinction between those PGCEs pitched at a level equivalent to the final year of an undergraduate Honours degree and those pitched beyond Honours level. The existing postgraduate level qualification was augmented by a new undergraduate level version, entitled the ‘Professional Graduate Certificate in Education’. This change was reflected in the HESA Student Record from 2007/08. For purposes of time-series in this SFR, within Tables 5 and 5a where PGCEs are shown separately both postgraduate and undergraduate versions are included. Where the level of study disaggregation does not show PGCEs separately, ‘Postgraduate Certificates in Education’ are included in ‘Postgraduate’ totals and ‘Professional Graduate Certificates in Education’ are included in ‘Other undergraduate’ totals.
Higher education students are those students on courses that are of a standard that is higher than the Advanced Level of the General Certificate of Education, the Higher Grade of the Scottish Certificate of Education, GNVQ/NVQ level 3 or the BTEC or SCOTVEC National Certificate/Diploma.
Level of study/qualification obtained
Postgraduate programmes of study are those leading to higher degrees, diplomas and certificates (including Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) and professional qualifications) and usually require that entrants are already qualified to degree level (i.e. already qualified at level 6 of the QCA National Qualifications Framework).
First degree includes first degrees with or without 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 the General Teaching Council (GTC), enhanced first degrees, first degrees obtained concurrently with a diploma and intercalated first degrees.
Foundation degrees were first introduced in September 2001. They are vocational higher education qualifications and are at level 5 of the QCA National Qualifications Framework.
Other undergraduate includes qualification aims below degree level, such as foundation degrees, diplomas in HE with eligibility to register to practice with a Health or Social Care regulatory body, Higher National Diploma (HND), Higher National Certificate (HNC), Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE), Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE), foundation courses at HE level, NVQ/SVQ levels 4 and 5, post-degree diplomas and certificates at undergraduate level, professional qualifications at undergraduate level, other undergraduate diplomas and certificates including post registration health and social care courses, other formal HE qualifications of less than degree standard, institutional undergraduate credit and no formal undergraduate qualifications.
Mode of study - enrolments
Full-time students are those normally required to attend an institution for periods amounting to at least 24 weeks within the year of study, on thick or thin sandwich courses, 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.
Part-time students are 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.
Mode of study - qualifications obtained
Full-time students are those whose study was recorded as full-time (described as above), including sandwich students. Awards from dormant status and those writing-up theses are also included where a student's mode of study was previously full-time.
Part-time students are those whose study was recorded as part-time, or studying full-time on courses lasting less than 24 weeks, on block release, or studying during the evenings. Awards from dormant status, those writing-up theses and on sabbatical are also included where a student's mode of study was previously part-time.
UK domiciled students are those whose normal residence is 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).
GB domiciled students are those normally resident in England, Scotland and Wales.
On 1 May 2004 ten new countries joined the EU and on 1 January 2007 two additional countries joined; the 2004 and 2007 accession countries, and these are listed below. Up to 2003/04, the 2004 accession countries are included in the ‘Non-EU' category in the tables; as from 2004/05 these countries are included in the ‘Other EU' category. In the same way, up to 2006/07 the 2007 accession countries are included in the ‘Non-EU' category in the tables; as from 2007/08 these countries are included in the ‘Other EU' category.
The table below illustrates the position regarding student enrolments in HE using HESA standard definitions. The brackets indicate the figures for the 2004 and 2007 accession countries prior to their inclusion on 1 May 2004 and 1 January 2007 respectively.
|EU countries excluding UK||84,250||93,995||99,985||105,410||112,150|
|EU countries prior to 1 May 2004||84,250||83,170||83,715||83,560||89,305|
|EU 2004 accession countries
|EU 2007 accession countries||(1,050)||(1,050)||(1,120)||(1,295)||2,430|
2004 accession countries: Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.
2007 accession countries: Romania, Bulgaria
Location 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.
The Open University is counted as a wholly English institution. The administrative centre is located in England, although The Open University teaches throughout the UK.
Classification of first degrees
The classification of an undergraduate degree indicates the qualification class that the student obtained. Certain qualifications obtained at first degree level are not subject to classification of the award, notably medical and general degrees. These, together with ordinary degrees and aegrotat qualifications have been included within the unclassified category. Third class honours, fourth class honours and the pass category have been aggregated. Lower second and undivided second class honours have been aggregated. The percentage calculations included in this SFR are expressed excluding unclassified first degrees from the denominator.
First year students are based on the HESA standard registration population who commenced their instance in the reporting period relevant to the data collection year. The term 'instance' is used to describe a student's engagement with the institution aiming towards the award of a qualification(s) or credit.
Age is as at 31 August within the relevant academic year.
In the text and tables the figures presented are rounded, 0, 1 and 2 are rounded to 0. All other numbers are rounded up or down, to the nearest 5. Percentages are calculated on the base data and are suppressed if they are calculated on a population which contains 52 or fewer individuals. These cases are represented as '..'.
Press enquiries should be directed to the Press office at the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), 95 Promenade, Cheltenham, GL50 1HZ: Tel: 01242 211120. General enquiries about the data contained within this SFR should be addressed to James McLaren, Information Provision Manager, HESA (at the same address): Telephone: 01242 211133.