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Official statistics

Compliance statement

  • HESA (Higher Education Statistics Agency)
  • 95 Promenade
  • Cheltenham
  • GL50 1HZ

Background

The Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 introduced the concept of Official Statistics. This encompassed the previous category of National Statistics which continues to exist as a sub-category of Official Statistics. The Official Statistics Order 2008 first designated HESA as a producer of Official Statistics.

The Code of Practice for Statistics (Principle T3: Orderly release) states that organisations should commit to releasing their statistics in an open and transparent manner that promotes public confidence.

This statement explains how HESA complies with the principle.

Types of Official Statistics

HESA publishes four types of official statistics as defined by the Code of Practice for Statistics:

  • Official statistics: Statistics produced by crown bodies, those acting on behalf of crown bodies, or those specified in statutory orders, as defined in section 6 of the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007.
  • Experimental official statistics: A subset of newly developed or innovative official statistics undergoing evaluation. Experimental statistics are published in order to involve users and stakeholders in the assessment of their suitability and quality at an early stage.
  • Ad-hoc official statistics:  Statistical analyses produced and released where there is a pressing need for official statistics in the public interest. 
  • National Statistics: Official statistics assessed as fully compliant with the Code are given National Statistics status by the Office for Statistics Regulation, in line with the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007.

National Statistics designation can be broadly interpreted to mean that the statistics:

  • Meet identified user needs
  • Are well explained and readily accessible
  • Are produced according to sound methods
  • Are managed impartially and objectively in the public interest.

Once statistics have been designated as National Statistics it is a statutory requirement that the Code of Practice shall continue to be observed.

Types of HESA releases

HESA releases Official Statistics in three types of publication:

  • Statistical Bulletins: provide high level statistics at a national level.
  • Open data releases: larger suites of interactive open data tables providing detailed views of the data.
  • Ad-hoc Statistical Bulletins: statistical analyses published where there is a pressing need for official statistics in the public interest

Regular Official Statistics publications

HESA’s regular Official Statistics releases are listed below. None of these releases are regarded as market sensitive.
  • Higher Education Student Statistics (Statistical Bulletin) (National Statistics)
  • Higher Education Staff Statistics (Statistical Bulletin)
  • Higher Education Student Data
  • Higher Education Staff Data
  • UK Performance Indicators
  • Higher Education Provider Data: Finance
  • Higher Education Provider Data: Business and Community Interaction
  • Higher Education Provider Data: Estates Management
  • Higher Education Graduate Outcomes Statistics (Statistical Bulletin)
  • Higher Education Graduate Outcomes Data
  • Unistats Dataset

Pre-announcement

The final decision on the timing of Official Statistics releases is agreed between HESA and the devolved UK administrations and is published on our publication schedule.

Forthcoming Official Statistics releases are also announced on the National Statistics publication hub.

Any delay in the availability of publications will be announced via the HESA website and the National Statistics publication hub where applicable.

Timing of releases

Statistical publications classed as Official or National Statistics are issued at 09.30 hours on the pre-announced date.

Pre-release access

The pre-release access to Official Statistics provide advanced sight of statistical releases in specific circumstances. For full details of HESA's compliance with pre-release access please view this page.

Statistical policies

Quality reports