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Why we do what we do

HESA was set up by agreement between higher education funding councils, higher education providers, and the relevant government departments. 

Both the Further & Higher Education Act 1992 and the White Paper ‘Higher Education: a new framework’ identified a need for a more aligned and co-ordinated approach to higher education statistics and information.

This is why our mission is to support the advancement of UK higher education by collecting, analysing, and disseminating accurate and comprehensive statistical information in response to the needs of all those with an interest in its characteristics and a stake in its future.

Our vision

Our aim is to be the analytical powerhouse for the UK HE sector, and the trusted source of national HE statistics and public information.  We seek to provide flexible, efficient, high-quality data, information, and analytical services to meet our user needs, to support better decision-making in higher education, to promote public trust and confidence, and to enhance the competitive strength of the UK HE sector.

Our core principles

A set of core principles underpins everything we have done since we began collecting data in 1993:

  1. We are a charitable company operating under a statutory framework on behalf of the funding councils and UK government departments. We support HE providers in fulfilling their data reporting requirements.
  2. We are part of the UK’s ‘statistics family’. We produce Official Statistics, a sign that a number of our statistical outputs have met a rigorous quality threshold. These outputs are regulated by the UK Statistics Authority which has a direct line of accountability to Parliament, independent of any government department.
  3. We are principally funded by subscriptions from HE providers. We are dedicated to ensuring that we deliver value for money, and our subscription rates are kept low due to our commercial activities.
  4. In addition to our work with HE providers and sector bodies, we are driven by a wider public purpose: to advance higher education in the UK.

Our Strategy

Our Strategy aims to ensure that we provide the right information to the right people at the right time.

Read more about our Strategy and the impact it is having