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Relaunching major reviews: expanding the Student record

We have now relaunched our major review activity across data collections and we are working on the expansion of the Student record from 2024/25 onwards. This will mean changes to the Initial Teacher Training record and the Aggregate offshore record for providers in all nations. 

In 2019, we launched two collection major reviews, but we paused during the COVID-19 pandemic. We changed our focus to supporting providers and maintained existing collection requirements. 

What is a major review?

A major review is an investigatory project that creates a business case for change. 

Reasons to launch a major review include:  

  • Ensure ongoing integrity of an existing record or records.  
  • Create value by using new technology. 
  • New situation in national policy. 
  • An identified opportunity to gather and use data.    

Every major review includes opportunities for engagement, workshops and consultations.  

Every major review includes opportunities for engagement, workshops and consultations

Student record: expansion and improvement

We will combine the Initial Teacher Training (ITT) record from providers in England in 2024/25 and there will not be a separate ITT record.

We are expanding the Student record to incorporate the Aggregate offshore (AOR) record for providers in England and Wales.

We will bring Transnational Education into the record for 2025/26 for providers in England and Wales, and we plan to expand the coverage of UK partnership data.

ITT: moving into the Student record

The Initial Teacher Training (ITT) record will join the main Student record from 2024/25. The requirements for data collection of students on teacher training courses (leading to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)) won’t change – though in some cases it will reduce – but we will expand the Student record to accommodate data items currently collected in the ITT record. This consultation includes: 

  • Details about the data item additions or changes.
  • Proposals and initial principles to adapt the new HESA Data Platform (HDP) to include the ITT functionality, such as the delivery mechanism to DfE. 

The consultation for the ITT record closes 14 July 2023.

AOR: the story so far

The Aggregate offshore record (AOR) collects data on students studying wholly outside the UK. We have relaunched the review of the AOR, with focus on improving and increasing the data collected on transnational education (TNE).  

We expect the Aggregate offshore record to remain separate    and as an ‘aggregate’ return for providers in Northern Ireland and Scotland.

In 2019 we identified gaps in the data we collect on Transnational Higher Education (TNE) but had to pause all major review activity in March 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. TNE continues to grow rapidly, with UK HE TNE student numbers rising by approximately 13% between 2019/20 and 2020/21.   

Separate AOR consultations for England and Wales and Scotland and Northern Ireland are live for individual and organisational responses. Both AOR consultations close on 24 August 2023.

We have published supporting content on the AOR major review pages to help you with your responses:

  • Webinars hosted in June 2023: we have published recordings that include the question and answer sessions.
  • Scenario animations for different AOR provisions. 

What do we need to know about TNE?

We want to ensure TNE data continues to be fit for purpose. We have identified we need to know more about:  

  • The financial value of TNE.  
  • The subjects and disciplines taught.  
  • Nature of the provision.  
  • Relationship to the host institution or system.  
  • The outcomes graduates achieve. 

The new data model for TNE will follow the structure of the Student Data Futures model, but there will be a lot less data required.  

Partnership arrangements in England and Wales

The AOR consultation includes questions about expanding the collection of data about partnership arrangements in England and Wales. We want to fill the current gap in our knowledge, concerning: 

  • Students studying in the UK, taught by the reporting provider. 
  • Students studying for an award of the reporting provider, but not registered by the reporting provider nor any other provider that is required to report student data. 

We publish consultations and other opportunities to get involved on our major reviews page and we will communicate outcomes in the HESA weekly update. We send the weekly update to all operational contacts, but you can subscribe and change your preferences at any time.


Rachel Wilkes

Collections Development Manager