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HESA Student record 2011/12

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HESA Student record 2011/12

Coverage of the record


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Version 1.1 Produced 2012-04-30

General definition

In general, the Student record will be collected in respect of all students registered in the reporting institution who follow courses that lead to the award of a qualification or institutional credit. The specification of the record uses the term 'instance' to describe a student's engagement with the institution aiming towards the award of a qualification(s) or credit.

'Registered' for the purpose of HESA's data collection is to be interpreted as being identical to the definition of registered adopted by each institution's Funding Council.

'Higher Education level' for the purpose of HESA's data collection is to be interpreted as being identical to the definition of Higher Education adopted by each institution's Funding Council. Broadly this will be those instances for which the level of instruction is above that of courses leading to GCE A levels, SCE Highers and Certificate of Sixth Year Studies, ONC or OND.

'Further Education level' for the purpose of HESA's data collection is to be interpreted as student instances which are below higher education level.

'Institutional credit' is to be interpreted as a credit which can be carried forward and ultimately count towards the award of a qualification, for example, credit points which can be accumulated towards the award of a degree.

The emphasis of the coverage of the Student record is those students who are (or were) actively following a course at some time during the HESA reporting period, and it is from these students that the HESA standard registration population is taken.

The reporting period is from 1 August in year 1 to 31 July in year 2.

However, some institutions will be in the position of having made awards in one year to students who were not actively following a course in that year. In order to be able to record details of all awards made in the year, these awards from dormant status need to be included. Institutions with awards made in one year to students not active in that year should include a record for these students in that year's data collection. This may either be via a full record (all fields will be validated) or through a reduced record for dormant students.

Students studying wholly outside the UK

There is no requirement to send an individualised Student record for any student studying for the whole of their programme of study outside of the UK and those not funded for study by distance learning overseas. Institutions must not return individualised records for students studying for the whole of their course outside of the UK.

Link between coverage of the Student record and the Aggregate Offshore record

If it is known at the beginning of the course that a student will spend a block of eight weeks or more in the UK as part of their programme then they should be included on the Student record throughout. For reporting years in which they spend no time in the UK they should be coded as 'S -Studying abroad and included in the Student record as student has spent or will spend more than 8 weeks in the UK' in Instance.LOCSDY.

If a period of time of eight weeks or more is an optional part of the programme then the student should be included in the Student record only if they come to the UK, and for the reporting year in which they come to the UK onwards. The Instance.COMDATE should reflect the start date of the instance abroad.

If a student is expected to spend less then eight consecutive course weeks in the UK during their entire programme they should be included on the Aggregate Offshore record throughout.

For years where the student spends the whole year at the reporting institution, use code 'X - At returning and/or franchised institution for whole year' in Instance.LOCSDY. For years where the student spends part or all of the year abroad, use code 'S -Studying abroad and included in the Student record as student has spent or will spend more than 8 weeks in the UK' in Instance.LOCSDY. Instance.STULOAD should reflect only that part of the course undertaken in the UK.

Where students on distance learning programmes move between UK and overseas locations as a consequence of changes in personal circumstances they will need to remain on the Student record.

In addition, there may in any year be a small number of UK-domiciled (probably research) students who, due to the nature of their research, spend their entire studies overseas. These students will need to be included in the HESA Student record. Such students should be coded 'F On study year abroad for the year as a whole' in Instance.LOCSDY, for each year of their instance, with the appropriate full-time or part-time codes used for Instance.MODE. Given the likely small numbers of such students it this combination of coding will be accepted by means of a validation switch.

Distance learners outside the UK

There are a small number of distance learning students studying outside the UK who are funded - e.g. Crown servants overseas and the Services. For these students a full record is needed. Such students should be coded 9 'Distance Learning - Non-UK based student (funded only)' in Instance.LOCSDY.

No other distance learning students studying outside the UK should be included in the Student record.

ITT courses

Institutions are not expected to return data for students on employment-based routes (e.g. GTP, OTT and RTP). The TA collects this data via the Employment Based Routes Data Management System (EBRDMS).

Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE)

Although Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) instances do not lead to the award of a qualification or institutional credit, these instances must be included in an institution's return in order for TA to monitor this scheme. These instances are identified by the use of code F in Course.TTCID. These instances will not be included in standard populations.

Courses that involve collaborative or franchising arrangements

For students whose study is on a collaborative or franchised course see the specific guidance for each country below.

Institutions in England and Northern Ireland

All students who are included on the HESES return to HEFCE, whether fundable or not, should be returned to HESA, even if this is not normally compulsory under the coverage of the record. This will include all students funded through franchised, associate and regional college arrangements. Where students are funded through a HEFCE recognised funding consortium, students registered at another institution, although included in the HESES return of the lead institution, should not be included within the lead institution's HESA return. Such students should be included within either the HESA or LSC individualised student returns for the registering institution. The HESES and HESA returns should therefore be consistent.

Institutions in Scotland

Scottish higher education institutions should exclude from their returns to HESA students who are taking:

  • 'articulated' courses at further education colleges, or
  • 'franchised' courses at FE colleges, or
  • other courses at other HE institutions, or at FE colleges,

for those years of such courses for which the institution:

  • does not provide any of the teaching input, or
  • does not receive any funding, or
  • does not receive any tuition fee payment from, e.g. the Student Awards Agency for Scotland.

This applies, for example, if the HE institution validates the course and awards the qualification to which it leads, if this is the extent of its involvement with the course.

In the case of those years of a course for which two or more HE institutions are involved in providing the teaching input and/or receiving funding or tuition fees, only one of the HE institutions should include the students in its returns to HESA. It is up to the institutions concerned to agree between themselves who should be responsible for making the returns to HESA and for which years of the course (or for which students on a particular year of the course), as seems most appropriate given their administrative arrangements.

Institutions wishing further advice on these matters should contact the Statistics Branch at SFC (Telephone: 0131 313 6500).

Institutions in Wales

All students (with the possible exception of any students studying wholly outside the UK and not funded by the funding council) who are included on the HESES return to HEFCW, whether fundable or not, should be returned to HESA, regardless of where the student is registered. This will include all students funded through franchise arrangements where the provision is franchised out from the institution. Students who are franchised in to the institution should be excluded.

The term 'franchise', also referred to as 'outreach', in higher education in Wales refers to a higher education course taught at an institution (the franchisee) which is not directly in receipt of funding from HEFCW for that course, and for which quality assurance is provided by another Welsh institution (the franchisor). Students taught at institutions in Wales may be registered at the franchisee or franchisor institution. However, students registered at institutions outside Wales, with a Welsh institution providing quality assurance, are not included within the definition of franchised students.

Other points on the coverage of the return:

Students who leave shortly after registering

Institutions need not return records for students who start a course and leave within the first two weeks without completing. Students who start a course and do not leave within the first two weeks will need a record returned. It should be noted that any records returned for students who start a course and leave within the first two weeks without completing will be excluded from any progression analyses by Statutory Customers or HESA. There are no current plans to create Performance Indicators (PI) based on early leavers but there is a policy interest in the extent to which students leave early in the course.

Incoming/Outgoing visiting and exchange students

Those incoming/outgoing and exchange students who are registered at the reporting institution must be included in the HESA Student record and flagged as incoming/outgoing/exchange student in the field Instance.EXCHANGE. A reduced record is acceptable for incoming students.

Dormant students

Any students with a mode of study 'Dormant' will be excluded from the HESA standard registration population used for analysis purposes. Once a record has been temporarily closed, continuing records for dormant students are not required except in the case where awards have been made to students from dormant status. Institutions with awards made in a reporting period to students not active in the same reporting period should include a record for these students, coding Instance.MODE to 63 or 64. A reduced record is acceptable for these students. Where a student becomes dormant either part way through or for the entire reporting period (as indicated through Instance.MODE), with the exception of the following fields the data should remain as when the student was last active: Instance.MODE, Instance.STULOAD (to reflect the period of dormancy), Instance.NOTACT.

Post-doctorate students and Higher Doctorates

Post Doctorate students and those awarded Higher Doctorates should not be included in the return.

Doctorates awarded by publication

Students registered for research qualifications awarded primarily on the basis of published works must be excluded from the Student record, unless they are undertaking a significant amount of research at the reporting institution.

In-house courses

In-house courses run by institutions for their own employees can be included in the Student record provided that the attendee staff member is registered as a student at the reporting institution. If a course is credit-bearing the students must be included on the individualised Student record.

University of London external students

University of London external students registered for an examination only and based in the UK must be included in the Student record.

Contact Liaison by email or on 01242 211144.