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HESA Student Record 2007/08

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HESA Student Record 2007/08

Frequently asked questions

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Version 1.3 Produced 2007-04-25

Will HESA accept returns in the old format for 2007/08? The statutory customers are firm that HESA cannot delay the implementation of the new record - and that given the amount of change in the new record, the old and new specifications cannot be run in parallel.
Will there be an extension to the data collection period for the 2007/08 record? The date on which HESA delivers final data to the Statutory Customers is fixed in the formal agreements between HESA and each Statutory Customer. The data collection timetable is designed to give each institution enough time to work through the various stages of quality assurance that are applied to the data. The only way to increase the amount of time allowed for checking is to begin the process earlier.
Will HEFCE continue to run the HESES/HESA comparison? HEFCE have confirmed that they intend to continue to use the HESA student record in 2007-08 to monitor institutions HESES returns. To facilitate this monitoring HEFCE will continue to provide a facility that allows institutions to re-create their HESES return during the live collection cycle. HESA are working with HEFCE to see how this process might be streamlined.

The change to all institutions reporting student load according to the academic year in which it occurs will, in turn, lead to a change in HESES which will mean that all students on non-standard academic years will have their activity reported on HESES in the academic year in which the year of instance ends. HEFCE are aware that this may affect funding for some institutions to the extent that the numbers of students on non-standard academic years have changed during 2007-08. HEFCE expect to deal with such transitional problems by exception.
Are any of the new requirements being phased in for particular sub-populations? In general, no - the new specification applies to all students. One exception to this is the requirement for Student.NATION which is compulsory for students who begin instances on or after 2007-08-01
Will I have to return data for all my Continuing Education students? The HESA record does not contain a definition for the term "Continuing Education" but if you are at an institution in England, you might like to consider whether the reduced record for low credit bearing students could be used in this case.
With every data item wrapped in tags, aren't the XML files going to be much larger than the pre 2007/08 submissions? There are gains and losses here - XML allows us to only collect the fields that are relevant to each student (as opposed to the old structures which results in HESA collecting a lot of blank fields). However, those fields we do collect are wrapped in tags and these inflate the size of the files. Compression (using the ZIP algorithm) is much more effective with XML than with the old style files and significant savings can be achieved.
Can we send the full Entry Profile for all students every year? If there are errors or omissions in the Entry Profile returned in a previous year, you should send an updated Entry Profile for that Instance. If there are no updates to be made, you should not resend the Entry Profile. HESA are considering appropriate quality checks to trap unnecessary resending and data degradation.
How can I find out the UK Provider Reference Number (UKPRN) for an institution? Manual searches can be undertaken using the UKRLP web site. You might wish to utilise the software developers toolkit (available from to incorporate search functionality into your local systems. Since the list of institutions (and institution names) is dynamic, HESA is not publishing a list as a part of this documentation.

Contact Liaison by email or on +44 (0)1242 388 531.