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Alternative provider student 2016/17 - Family name

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Alternative provider student 2016/17

Fields required from institutions in England

Family name

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Short nameSURNAME

This field is the student's family name.

Applicable toEngland Scotland

All students.


The full surname of the student, as, for example, it is displayed on the student's official ID should be returned.

In cases where the student does not split their name between family and forenames, the whole name should be entered in Student.SURNAME.

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

The field length has been set to 100 characters to align this field with the ISB Aligned Data Definitions.

Valid characters

The question of valid characters is significant in this field since many names include characters with accents and other diacritics that are not supported by the standard ASCII characterset. The valid characterset available for this field follows the Data Standards in the HESA AP student record.

  • The general policy is to support all Latin-based characters for names, addresses and general text fields, but not non-Latin characters.
  • All Unicode code charts for Latin characters are supported. These are Basic Latin (excluding the C0 control characters), Latin-1 (excluding the C1 control characters), Latin Extended A, Latin Extended B and Latin Extended Additional. This set corresponds to Unicode code points U+0020 to U+007E, U+00A0 to U+024F and U+1E00 to U+1EFF.
  • Schemas are built in such a way that an individual project can further restrict the set if required.

The character set chosen will support Welsh and Gaelic languages as well as all European and most other languages using a Latin-based character set.

The Unicode charts that list each of the characters in this range can be found on the Unicode web site. The specific sets that are defined here are shown in the following PDF documents:

Files must be encoded with UTF-8 and schema validation will be in place to ensure this. Providers must specify the encoding used in their XML files in the first line of the file (i.e. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>) and to ensure that their files are actually saved with that encoding. If XML files are edited with some text editors and the encoding is not specified or does not match the actual file encoding, there may be problems when submitting these files for validation.

Quality rules
Quality rules to follow
Reason required

To facilitate HESA checking data with HE Providers and for linking student records for statistical purposes.

Part of
Field length100
Minimum occurrences1
Maximum occurrences1
Schema components
Element: SURNAME
Data type: NameType
Related fields
OwnerInformation Standards Board - Aligned Data Definitions
Date modified2017-08-10
Change management notesGuidance added to clarify the name as is displayed on the student's official ID should be returned.

Contact Liaison by email or on 01242 211144.