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Finance record 2015/16 - Introduction

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Finance record 2015/16 - Introduction

Version 1.1 Produced 2016-11-17


The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) has been established to undertake data collection and analysis about higher education in order to make possible consistent information provision about higher education throughout the UK, and to enable the universities and colleges and the funding councils to meet their obligations under relevant legislation. The formal responsibility for the provision of information to Ministers rests with the funding councils, who have agreed to engage HESA as their agent for this purpose.

HESA has the responsibility for integrating statistical data collection across all publicly funded UK higher education providers (HEPs) and subscribing alternative providers, within which there are different traditions and practices. The record has been constructed in such a way as to recognise this diversity. As far as possible, the aim has been to generate a single record that can be applied to all HEPs throughout the UK, irrespective of their different natures and funding regimes.

The coding manual sets out the requirements for the collection of data for the annual Finance return. Throughout this manual, the term "funding council" should be interpreted as referring to the HEP's principal funding body, and therefore includes; the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL), the Scottish Funding Council, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, and the Department for Education (Northern Ireland).

Record specific detail

Full details of the coverage of this record can be found in the coverage statement of the coding manual. This contains detailed information about the purpose and scope of each element of the return.

Data collected

The Finance record is collected annually from all UK publicly funded higher education institutions (HEIs) and a number of alternative providers (APs), collectively referred to as higher education providers (HEPs) by HESA. It is submitted in an Excel workbook. Currently the Finance record provides the primary financial statements from published accounts (Tables 1-4), HESA cost centre-based data (Tables 5 and 8), tuition fees (Table 6), a more detailed breakdown of income (Table 7), expenditure (Table 8), capital expenditure (Table 9) and an additional table (Table 10) detailing material items from the financial statements. The figures recorded in the Finance record must be consistent with those recorded in the audited published accounts.

Data collection

All HESA records are collected on the basis of the HESA reporting period that determines the time period that the data being returned relates to. This ensures consistency across the data streams collected. The reporting period is from 01 August year 1 to 31 July year 2, for example, the 2014/2015 Finance record was collected in respect of the activity which took place between 01 August 2014 and 31 July 2015.

Data must be returned using the templates provided by HESA for the relevant year. The Finance record will be distributed by HESA as spreadsheet template files to be completed and returned by HEPs. The template (in .xlsx format) for the returns are available for HEPs to download from the Finance home page. Once completed, these files should be returned using the data collection system. To complete the Finance record the templates must be submitted and have passed exception stage quality rules before they can be set to credible and signed-off. Information on submitting data to HESA is available from

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