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Our bid to become the designated data body

In May the Higher Education & Research Act 2017 was passed, establishing a new regulator for higher education in the Office for Students. HESA has now been designated for the role identified in the Act, to provide information about the higher education sector.

To achieve this we had to submit an Expression of Interest to the Department for Education for this role. This, along with our supporting statements are below for your information.

Download our Expression of Interest

We feel that HESA is the most suitable candidate for this role because:

We are the trusted experts, with 24 years’ experience in collecting, processing, storing, publishing, and providing data.
  • We work collaboratively with, and have built the confidence of: providers, funding councils, government departments, sector bodies, and politicians; but we remain an independent agency working on behalf of the HE sector.
  • We provide authoritative data and analysis spanning 24 years of the HE sector. Our freely available statistics have been used by over 65,000 people this year.
  • Our expertise allows us to provide guidance for the 261 providers who submit data to us.  In addition to several thousand pages of web support, our friendly and effective Liaison team guide data suppliers through the process. Our information and statistical analysts are always on hand to help those using the data too.
  • Our CPD-accredited training courses are run throughout the year to support and inform those involved with our data.  Over 2,500 delegates have used our training services this year.
As an independent charity, governed by and representative of the HE sector, we work on your behalf.
  • We are independent of individual providers and groups of providers, funding councils, government departments, and other sector bodies.
  • Our charitable status means that we are driven by our charitable purpose – to advance education for the public benefit – so we are not driven by profit-seeking. 
  • We embrace working collaboratively, to remain proactive in the face of a diverse and changing sector. 
  • To ensure that we work in the best way to meet your needs, we are updating our governance structure to include representatives of alternative providers, students, and graduate recruiters.
  • We focus on achieving efficiencies and delivering value for money for our subscribers through our continuing collaboration with other sector bodies.
Through continuous innovation we support and improve information for and about the full range of HE activity.
  • Innovation is intrinsic to our in-house ‘scrum’ teams, who devise new and efficient ways to collect, enrich, and quality assure our data.
  • Our market-leading Heidi Plus system, co-designed with Jisc and HE providers, provides our subscribers with access to our trusted information allowing them to manipulate the data to meet their business needs. 
  • With over 2,610 active users, Heidi Plus is responsible for informing strategic decisions across the sector and, with the Analytics Labs project, innovative new dashboards are being developed by the sector for the sector.
  • We are co-designing our new data platform with top technological consultants and volunteers from the sector to meet the growing demands for information.  We are developing an approach that employs cloud technology and bespoke software solutions.
  • Our innovation supports efficiency for the sector. From 2021 all of our publications will be available in Open Data format, allowing additional access to the information we enrich.
We drive efficiencies in the collection and analysis of data for you, for us, and for the HE sector.
  • Our constant focus on minimising burden empowers efficiency in your organisation. 
  • We provide you with trusted and robust information allowing you to make strategic decisions with confidence.
  • Through our expertise and governance of the HE data landscape, we facilitate the improvement and effective use of data to promote the UK higher education sector.
  • Our comprehensive and user-friendly market information provides you with the information you need to gain a competitive advantage.