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Alternative provider student 2016/17 - Religion or belief

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Alternative provider student 2016/17

Fields required from institutions in All fields

Religion or belief

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valid entries
Short nameRELBLF

This field records the religious belief of the student, on the basis of their own self-assessment

Applicable toEngland Scotland

Optional for all students on designated courses or where designation is held at provider level. Not permitted for students on non-designated courses.

Valid entries and labels
01No religion
04Christian - Church of Scotland
05Christian - Roman Catholic
09Christian - Other denomination
80Any other religion or belief
98Information refused

Religion or belief is recorded on the basis of the student's own self-assessment.

Suggested questions and valid entries are those used in the 2011 Census.

England and Wales: What is your religion?

Scotland: What religion, religious body, or denomination do you belong to?

Northern Ireland: What religion, religious denomination or body do you belong to?

The phrase 'Prefer not to say' can be used when collecting the data.

Code 98 'Information refused' should be returned when the question was asked but the individual answered that they 'preferred not to say'.

Coverage of the HESA coding frame is shown in the following table.

Code 98 'Information refused' should be returned when the question was asked but the individual answered that they 'preferred not to say'.

HESA coding frame for providers in: E S W NI
01 No religion Y Y Y Y
02 Buddhist Y Y Y Y
03 Christian Y Y
04 Christian - Church of Scotland Y
05 Christian - Roman Catholic Y Y
06 Christian - Presbyterian Church in Ireland Y
07 Christian - Church of Ireland Y
08 Christian - Methodist Church in Ireland Y
09 Christian - Other denomination Y Y
10 Hindu Y Y Y Y
11 Jewish Y Y Y Y
12 Muslim Y Y Y Y
13 Sikh Y Y Y Y
14 Spiritual Y Y Y Y
80 Any other religion or belief Y Y Y Y
98 Prefer not to say/Information refused Y Y Y Y

The Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) has recommended inclusion of code 14 'Spiritual' which was not included in the Census. This will be grouped with 'Any other religion or belief' for onward analysis. ECU define 'Spiritual' as 'Spiritual - belief in the spiritual dimension of all life, which can be experienced directly and without the assistance of conventional religion'. All other categories are consistent with the census of the applicable country.

ECU has a number of resources relating to gathering information across the protected characteristics covered by the Equality Act 2010. These resources can be found at Equality Challenge Unit. If you have any further queries regarding equality monitoring, please email ECU at [email protected].

Quality rules
Quality rules to follow
Reason required

To monitor equal opportunities issues in higher education.

Part of
Field length2
Minimum occurrences0
Maximum occurrences1
Schema components
Element: RELBLF
OwnerEquality Challenge Unit (ECU)
Date modified2017-02-23
Change management notesAdditional guidance added to the Notes section, specifying the available valid entries for each of the devolved administrations. New valid entries 04, 05 and 09 added to the field for providers in Scotland.

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