Skip to main content

Who we are and what we do

We collect, assure and disseminate data about higher education (HE) in the UK. This includes a wide range of functions to support HE providers and data users in submitting, processing and understanding the data.

We collect data from universities, higher education colleges and other specialist providers of higher education. Collectively, we refer to these organisations as HE providers. Much of the data we collect is published as open data

Statutory role

HE providers have a statutory requirement to report data to HE funding and regulatory bodies. We work closely with providers to support this data collection process and to analyse and quality check the data they submit.

We are the Designated Data Body for England under the Higher Education and Research Act 2017 with a statutory relationship to the Office for Students. We perform a similar official role in supporting the statutory funders and regulators of HE in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Independent, co-regulated and collaborative

We are a not-for-profit private limited company owned by our members; Universities UK and GuildHE. HESA is funded by subscriptions from the higher education providers from whom we collect data. Our company details, registration numbers and trustees are published in Governance and company information, while Compliance and regulation covers the various regulatory regimes that we work under.

Our Vision and principles explain why we do what we do. Impact and strategy explains what we are trying to achieve and how well we’re doing.

We work with colleagues throughout the UK higher education sector, collaborating with sector bodies, representative groups and HE providers. Our data analytics team joined Jisc in September 2019 to form a new data analytics directorate offering enhanced data analytics for the higher education sector.