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HESA Student Record 2012/13 - Highest qualification on entry

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HESA Student Record 2012/13

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Highest qualification on entry

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valid entries
Short nameQUALENT3

This field indicates the highest qualification that a student holds on entry, not necessarily that applicable for entry to the course.

Applicable toEngland Northern Ireland Scotland Wales

All entrants where Instance.REDUCEDI = 00, 01, 04 or 09 and Instance.COMDATE is on or after 2010-08-01

Valid entries and labels
DUKUK doctorate degree
DZZNon-UK doctorate degree
D80Other qualification at level D
MUKUK masters degree
MZZNon-UK masters degree
M2XIntegrated undergraduate/postgraduate taught masters degree on the enhanced/extended pattern
M41Diploma at level M
M44Certificate at level M
M71Postgraduate Certificate in Education or Professional Graduate Diploma in Education
M80Other taught qualification at level M
M90Taught work at level M for institutional credit
HUKUK first degree with honours
HZZNon-UK first degree
H11First degree with honours leading to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)/registration with a General Teaching Council (GTC)
H71Professional Graduate Certificate in Education
H80Other qualification at level H
JUKUK ordinary (non-honours) first degree
J10Foundation degree
J20Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE)
J30Higher National Diploma (HND)
J49Foundation course at level J
J48Certificate in Education (CertEd) or Diploma in Education (DipEd) (i.e. non-graduate initial teacher training qualification)
J80Other qualification at level J
C20Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE)
C30Higher National Certificate (HNC)
C44Higher Apprenticeship (level 4)
C80Other qualification at level C
C90Undergraduate credits
P41Diploma at level 3
P42Certificate at level 3
P46Award at level 3
P47AQA Baccalaureate (Bacc)
P50A/AS level
P5114-19 Advanced Diploma (level 3)
P53Scottish Baccalaureate
P62International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma
P63International Baccalaureate (IB) Certificate
P64Cambridge Pre-U Diploma
P65Cambridge Pre-U Certificate
P68Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma (level 3)
P80Other qualification at level 3
P91Level 3 qualifications of which some or all are subject to UCAS Tariff
P92Level 3 qualifications of which none are subject to UCAS Tariff
P93Level 3 qualifications of which all are subject to UCAS Tariff
P94Level 3 qualifications of which some are subject to UCAS Tariff
Q5114-19 Higher Diploma (level 2)
Q52Welsh Baccalaureate Intermediate Diploma (level 2)
Q80Other qualification at level 2
R5114-19 Foundation Diploma (level 1)
R52Welsh Baccalaureate Foundation Diploma (level 1)
R80Other qualification at level 1
X00Higher education (HE) access course, Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) recognised
X01Higher education (HE) access course, not Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) recognised
X02Mature student admitted on basis of previous experience and/or admissions test
X04Other qualification level not known
X05Student has no formal qualification
X06Not known

For students entering through UCAS this information will be available from UCAS via the *J transaction.

Where Instance.COMDATE is on or after 2010-08-01, this coding frame must be used. Where Instance.COMDATE is before 2010-08-01 it is not a requirement to recode for continuing student instances, but institutions may do so if they wish.

EntryProfile.QUALENT3 records a student's highest qualification on entry to the instance. It should NOT be updated to reflect qualifications gained during the instance. Institutions in England need to consider qualifications gained by students during the instance to establish ELQ status, but should not subsequently update EntryProfile.QUALENT3. Any potential change to fundability status as a result of ELQ should be reflected year-on-year within Instance.FUNDCODE.

For guidance on the use of academic qualification codes in EntryProfile.QUALENT3, institutions should refer to the guidance for Course.COURSEAIM, as it was always intended that the two coding frames be closely linked. For guidance on the use of the vocational qualification codes, colleagues can refer to the recently revised Framework for Higher Education Qualifications QAA publication Qualifications can cross boundaries - a rough guide to comparing qualifications in the UK and Ireland.

Institutions may wish to seek advice from UK NARIC ( about the relative level of qualifications awarded from abroad.

These data are used extensively in publications including Unistats and in the PI benchmarks.

Multiple Level 3 qualifications - P91, P92, P93, and P94

The following codes are available for the coding of students who may have multiple highest qualifications on entry at Level 3:

  • P92 Level 3 qualifications of which none are subject to UCAS Tariff
  • P93 Level 3 qualifications of which all are subject to UCAS Tariff
  • P94 Level 3 qualifications of which some are subject to UCAS Tariff

P93 and P94 have been introduced for 2012/13 to replace the previously available code P91 'Level 3 qualifications of which some or all are subject to UCAS Tariff'. This code is still valid for continuing student instances, and it is not a requirement to recode to P93 and P94, but institutions may choose to do so if they wish.

P91 'Level 3 qualifications of which some or all are subject to UCAS Tariff' is not valid for instances with a Instance.COMDATE on or after 2012-08-01.

For institutions who receive the UCAS data for HESA (*J) transaction, the QUALENT3 value for applicants will be derived using P93 and P94.

No hierarchy is implied in level 3 qualifications. If a mixture of qualifications are relevant, then use code P92, P93 or P94 rather than any single qualification included, such as A/AS level. Please be aware that P92 may be used as a filter to exclude instances with no tariffable qualifications from calculations of UCAS tariff. P93 or P94 are acceptable as a general code for qualifications, or mixtures of qualifications, that are subject to tariff (the detail of qualifications should be returned in the QualificationsOnEntry entity).

Code ‘P92 Level 3 qualifications of which none are subject to UCAS Tariff’ relates to the type of qualification. This code should not be used in cases where the student holds non-tariff bearing grades for a tariff-bearing qualification. In these circumstances the appropriate P code for the level 3 qualification or P93/P94 should be used in EntryProfile.QUALENT3.

Any level 3 qualification not featured in the coding frame should be coded to P92, P93 or P94.

Please note that the Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art and Design is a level 3 qualification.

Further guidance for specific codes:

X00 'Higher education (HE) access course, Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) recognised', and
X01 'Higher education (HE) access course, not Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) recognised':

A recognised Access to HE course is one validated by an Authorised Validating Agency, licensed for the purpose by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) under the terms of the QAA Recognition Scheme for Access to Higher Education in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Relevant Access courses are recorded on the Access to HE Courses Database. QAA does not licence any AVAs in Scotland.

Access courses at institutions in Scotland can only be coded X01 'Higher education (HE) access course, not Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) recognised'.

J10 'Foundation degree'

Code J10 covers those programmes institutions are running as foundation degrees, which are consistent with the 'Statement of Design Principles' for foundation degrees issued by UUK and GuildHE.

X02 'Mature student admitted on basis of previous experience and/or admissions test'

Code X02 should only be used where the student does not have any formal qualifications at level 3 or above. For students holding qualifications at level 3 or above who are admitted on the basis of APL or an admissions test, the relevant code for their level 3 or above qualifications should be used in preference to X02.

X06 'Not known'

Code X06 should not be used as a default. Institutions are expected to seek and code the highest qualification on entry.

Full information, where available should be reported in QualificationsOnEntry.

HEIs in England

For HEFCE fundable students (Instance.FUNDCODE=1 or 4) it is expected that the highest qualification on entry will be known, as without these data it is not possible to determine whether or not the student falls under the ELQ policy. Details of the ELQ policy can be found in HESES Annex G, which can be downloaded via the HEFCE website

Some students are exempt from the ELQ policy, for example those on foundation degrees. Whilst the requirement for highest qualification on entry data for these students is less, HEFCE would still expect institutions to make reasonable endeavours to ensure that these data are as precise as possible. This is because these students may move from an exempt to a non-exempt category, at which point their highest qualification would be relevant in determining their fundability. Notwithstanding the increased granularity in this field it is still not possible, in all cases, to fully determine whether or not a student is an ELQ solely using EntryProfile.QUALENT3 and Course.COURSEAIM (e.g. where the student has gained a qualification since starting their instance this could lead to them becoming an ELQ, but would not be reflected in EntryProfile.QUALENT3).

For codes P91, P93 and P94, HEFCE expect to see entries in the QualificationsOnEntry entity.

P80 should only be used where no other code is appropriate. In particular students holding UK qualifications should not be allocated to P80 as another P code will normally be applicable. Students recorded as P80 will therefore typically be international students with non-UK qualifications.

HEFCE use qualification on entry data to inform funding. Since 2005-06 students with unknown entry qualifications have received zero weighting in the widening participation and improving retention funding streams. In particular, where students have entered via UCAS with qualifications that are made available by UCAS for inclusion on the HESA Student record which are not returned by institutions HEFCE may give them a zero weight.

Quality rules
Quality rules relating to this field are displayed here.
Reason required

This field, together with information in QualificationsOnEntry gives information about a student's qualifications on entry to a course. It is also used to identify students with tariff-bearing qualifications.

Part of
Field length3
Minimum occurrences0
Maximum occurrences1
Schema components
Element: QUALENT3
Related fields
Date modified2013-04-30
Change management notesAdditional guidance added to Notes, specifying that code X02 must only be used where a student does not hold any formal qualifications at level 3 or above. Business rule 1 updated to extend coverage to include the Unistats (09) reduced return. Business rule 6 added as code P91 is only valid for continuing students.

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