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Higher Education - Business and Community Interaction 2015/16: Support guides

This page provides an overview of the 2015/16 Higher Education - Business and Community Interaction (HE-BCI) collection (C15032).

This should be used alongside the C15032 coding manual, which provides more detailed, technical information about the collection.

Need help? Contact us by email or on +44 (0)1242 211144

Higher Education - Business and Community Interactions overview

We collect data across a number of streams. These streams focus on different aspects of higher education.

The Higher Education - Business and Community Interaction (HE-BCI) stream collects data about the interactions that higher education providers have with businesses and the wider community. Details of what information needs to be returned to us are included in the Coverage document found in the Coding Manual.

The data we collect on behalf of the sector is provided to governments and funding bodies in order to support the regulation of higher education. We also make data available to the public to enhance understanding of UK higher education and to support its advancement.

Our coding manuals provide you with all the necessary documentation to support your data return. The coding manual contains technical documents giving detailed information on the record's coverage, data specification and submission formats. Familiarising yourself with these documents will help you make an accurate and timely return.

Each collection has its own coding manual which can be found in the Data collection section of our site. By default, you will land on the open collection for each record; you can then select previous or future years.

The coding manuals will be updated throughout the data collection cycle and Record Contacts informed by email when new versions are made live. Be sure to check the manual's Revision history for a summary of changes.

The below table provides an overview of the data collection schedule. A more detailed timetable can be found in the Coding manual.

Period Actions
From August 2016 Providers' local preparation
October 2016 Preparation guide released
November 2016 Data collection opens
16 December 2016 Return date
16 December 2016 to 25 January 2017 Data quality checking period
25 January 2017 Last submission
27 January 2017 Sign-off deadline

You submit data via our Data Collection system. To access this, you will need to have an appropriate role in our Identity System (IDS). We publish an IDS user guide which includes information on creating and editing your account.

You will need to be given access to the Data Collection system by the relevant Record Contact at your provider.

Once you have access to the system you will be able to upload files and track the progress of the collection.

The coding manual homepage includes all the technical information you require, including:

  • The data specification
  • File format specifications
  • A detailed collection schedule
  • Our XML data entry tool (available for some streams)
  • Quality rules.

This Support guides page collects together the following resources:

  • User guide
  • Data collection system: Known issues and release history.

In the Support area of the HESA website, you can find:

Our Data innovation section includes information about:

  • Open and recently completed record reviews, including information about changes we are implementing
  • Our Data Futures programme which will transform the higher education information landscape.

In the About section, you can find:


Our expert analysts have a thorough understanding of our records and processes. We are here to support you throughout the data submission process. There is also specific HE-BCI e-learning which focusses on data collection and analysis which is a useful tool for new and existing contacts.

Contact Liaison by email or on +44 (0)1242 388531  

Find out more about Liaison

Data collection system: Release history and known issues

Issue summary Status Date raised Date resolved

Experiencing an issue not listed here? Let us know.

Release ID Release date Release summary

Preparation guide

Key changes for 2015/16

There are no significant changes since the 2014/15 collection, there are however changes to the data collection system reports.

Credibility Reporting

HESA has updated the way in which the data submitted is presented back to HE providers. This replaces the old Excel ‘Check Documentation’ with online ‘Credibility Reports’. Credibility reporting will present data in a way that is easier for users to review and interpret. As with the checkdoc, it will highlight to the user the potential issue within their data that could be queried in Minerva once the data has been committed.

C15032 Timescales

The full timescales for data collection can be viewed at C15032 Timescales. 

Late November

C15032 Data Collection opens

16 December 2016

Return Date

16 December 2016 to 25 January 2017

Data quality checking period

25 January 2017

Last submission

27 January 2017

Sign-off deadline

Revision History

Providers should ensure that they refer to the most recent version of the coding manual. Any changes to the coding manual are listed within the Revision history.

Minerva user guide

The Minerva user guide provides detailed help with using the data quality database.

Need help?

Contact the Institutional Liaison team on 01242 211144 or email [email protected]

Responding to Minerva queries

Providers are required to actively engage with data quality checking and resolution of Minerva queries within the collection period. Recognised best practice is to interact with Minerva and the HESA data collection system frequently throughout the period so as to gradually resolve issues either through providing explanations of genuine data or submitting revised data that corrects issues identified. Through adopting this approach providers are able to iteratively improve the quality of their data and expose issues in a timely manner leading to better quality returns.

Providers are expected to have responded to all queries raised prior to sign-off by the head of institution, failing to do so may result in the sign-off not being accepted.

Record contact changes

The record contact is the first point of communication during data collection. Access to the Data Collection System (through the HESA Identity System) is managed by the nominated record contact. If these details have changed please ensure you notify [email protected] to prevent any delay in the granting of this access.

HESA Identity System

The HESA Identity System (IDS), serves as a single sign-on portal governing access to HESA websites. The HE-BCI Record contact for each provider will have access to the HESA Data Collection System and through the IDS will be able to invite colleagues to also have access to the system to submit data and view reports.

Further information can be found in the IDS User Guide.

HE-BCI Jiscmail Group

There is a separate Jisc mailing list for HE-BCI contacts, designed to share key information and act as a discussion forum for contacts. If you wish to join this list please contact [email protected].