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Alternative provider student record 2016/17 - Understanding student instance continuity and the UHN link

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Alternative provider student record 2016/17 - Understanding student instance continuity and the UHN link

Version 1.1 Produced 2017-02-23

What is the UHN?

The UHN is a combination of three fields, the Provider.UKPRN, the Student.HUSID, and Instance.NUMHUS, which uniquely identify an instance of study. The Provider.UKPRN identifies the provider at which the student is registered, the Student.HUSID identifies the student and the Instance.NUMHUS identifies particular studies leading to a course aim.

UHN = UKPRN (U) + HUSID (H) + NUMHUS (N)

For example, the UHN 1000000098100012345621 represents the registration of Peter Smith on a BSc Mathematics course at The University of Poppleton.

Provider.UKPRN Student.HUSID Instance.NUMHUS
10000000 9810001234562 1
image

UHN = 1000000098100012345621

image Within a given collection the same UHN cannot be used more than once. A student can have more than one instance but each instance must be identified by a unique UHN. Records with the same UHN will fail validation.

The instance entity

The instance entity is defined as a coherent engagement with the provider aiming towards the award of qualification(s) or credit. The Instance.NUMHUS uniquely identifies studies leading to a course aim. A student registered at an provider undertakes one or several courses; a course being a combination of subject and qualification that together define what the student is aiming for e.g. BSc Mathematics. Where a student has a single engagement they will have a single instance in a collection. Only where a student is undertaking two entirely independent courses will they have two instances in a collection.

Peter Smith is studying two courses at The University of Poppleton

Student.FNAMES Student.SURNAME Provider.UKPRN Student.HUSID Instance.NUMHUS Course.COURSEAIM Course.CTITLE
Peter Smith 10000000 9810001234562 1 H00 BSc Mathematics
Peter Smith 10000000 9810001234562 2 H90 Further French

How the UHN link works

The UHN is a year-on-year linking mechanism which is used to track the progression of the student on the instance from one year to the next, and thus from commencement of the instance through to completion. A UHN of 1000000098100012345621 represents the registration of Peter Smith on the BSc Mathematics course at The University of Poppleton. Whenever an instance that details Peter Smith's progress on this BSc Mathematics course is returned to HESA by the provider, the instance must have the UHN of 1000000098100012345621.

Once an instance has been returned for one HESA reporting year, an instance with the same UHN will be required for subsequent years, until an explicit end statement has been received indicating that the student has:

Students not in active study

HESA will not assume that a student is inactive on an instance (on which they were active in the previous reporting year) if details of the instance have not been included in the current year's return. Providers must account for all instances on which a student was active in the previous year (and who did not complete or suspend study on that programme). This is the case even where the student has been inactive throughout the current reporting year; when it is necessary to submit the instance with the InstancePeriod.NOTACT field set to 1. This will satisfy the requirements of the 'Continuity report C: Expected instances not returned' checks.

Where suspended instances are re-opened, an instance with the same UHN will continue to be required until a new explicit end statement is received. If the student withdraws from the course having suspended studies in a previous instance period a record should be submitted in order to provide a permanent end statement; this is done by completing Instance.RSNEND, Instance.ENDDATE and where relevant, QualificationAwarded.QUAL.

Expected population for the next year

In order to assist organisations with making their returns to HESA, a list of students for whom a record is required is provided. This population file will be produced by the data collection system and will be applicable to the following year's return. The report lists all continuing students for whom a UHN record is expected to be returned in the following year.

Breaking the UHN link

The UHN link is broken when a provider incorrectly changes the Student.HUSID and/or the Instance.NUMHUS assigned to a student instance. Breaks in the UHN link will cause UHN validation errors when the data is returned.

Breaking the UHN that links the records by incorrectly changing Instance.NUMHUS

Changing the data returned in Instance.NUMHUS between years could result in the incorrect conclusion that the instance relates to Peter Smith's progress onto another instance. This can be caused by a program error mistakenly updating Instance.NUMHUS on an annual basis.

YEAR Student.FNAMES Student.SURNAME Provider.UKPRN Student.HUSID Instance.NUMHUS Course.COURSEAIM Course.CTITLE
1 Peter Smith 10000000 9810001234562 1 H00 BSc Mathematics
2 Peter Smith 10000000 9810001234562 2 H00 BSc Mathematics

Breaking the UHN that links the records by incorrectly changing Student.HUSID

Incorrectly assigning more than one Student.HUSID to a single student may occur if there is more than one student record system in use, e.g. a main student record system and a departmental record system. Once a Student.HUSID has been assigned to a student, it should be used throughout their experience at the provider. The Student.HUSID assigned to a given student must never be used for another student.

YEAR Student.FNAMES Student.SURNAME Provider.UKPRN Student.HUSID Instance.NUMHUS Course.COURSEAIM Course.CTITLE
1 Zoe Brown 10000000 1111727788999 1 I60 Graduate diploma in Biological Science
2 Zoe Brown 10000000 0000571234565 1 I60 Graduate diploma in Biological Science

Assigning the Instance.NUMHUS to an instance

When should the UHN change?

A student should be allocated a new UHN (different NUMHUS) when:

  • the student transfers to a course at a different level of study*
  • the student completes a course and proceeds to take another

* Level of study is defined by broad level for the purposes of UHN between postgraduate and undergraduate course aims.

Failure to maintain the UHN link from one year to the next makes tracking the progression of the student on the instance problematic. It is acknowledged that there will be cases where it is difficult to determine when an existing Instance.NUMHUS should continue to be used and when a new one should be allocated and providers are encouraged to contact Institutional Liaison in such instances.

Maintaining the UHN Link

The following examples set out the guidelines for assigning Instance.NUMHUS and maintaining the UHN link.

a) Student continues to study on a course at the same level - do not change the Instance.NUMHUS

If a student continues to study on a course at the same level (i.e. undergraduate or postgraduate) at the same provider, then this is treated as the same student instance and the Instance.NUMHUS should not be changed from one year to the next.

YEAR
Provider.UKPRN Student.HUSID Instance.NUMHUS Course.COURSEAIM Course.CTITLE
1
10000000 9810001234562 1 H00 BSc Mathematics
2 10000000 9810001234562 1
H00 BA English

There are some cases when it is not expected that Instance.NUMHUS will be retained. These include:

  • Cases where the previous instance has been successfully completed
  • Cases where the student withdraws or suspends studies on the instance, and then returns to study a separate programme at a different level.

b) Transfers by changing subject or course aim within the same level

Where a student transfers courses by changing subject or even course aim but within the same level of study, this would not, in general, lead to a change in Instance.NUMHUS. It does not matter whether the studies already taken count towards the current course aim or not. Where a student transfers courses and the logical outcome of the first course is that the student changed to studying on the new course - this is shown explicitly by keeping the same Instance.NUMHUS.

i. Transfer by changing subject within the same level - do not change the Instance.NUMHUS

YEAR
Provider.UKPRN Student.HUSID Instance.NUMHUS Course.COURSEAIM Course.CTITLE
1
10000000 9810001234562 1 H00 BSc Mathematics
2 10000000 9810001234562 1 H00 BSc Physics

ii. Transfer by changing course aim within the same level - do not change the Instance.NUMHUS

YEAR
Provider.UKPRN Student.HUSID Instance.NUMHUS Course.COURSEAIM Course.CTITLE
1
10000000 9810001234562 1 J30 HND Mathematics
2 10000000 9810001234562 1
H00 BSc Mathematics

In both of i and ii, InstancePeriod.YEARSTU would increment in the second year whereas the value returned in InstancePeriod.YEARPRG would depend on which year of the new course the student transferred into.

c) Concurrent study - allocate a new Instance.NUMHUS to the new course

Where a student follows two distinct instances concurrently, a new Instance.NUMHUS should be assigned to the second course, in order to uniquely identify the studies leading to the second course aim.

YEAR
Provider.UKPRN Student.HUSID Instance.NUMHUS Course.COURSEAIM Course.CTITLE
1
10000000 9810001234562 1 H00 BSc Mathematics
2 10000000 9810001234562 2 H90 Reflexology

In this example the instances are distinct in that credits from one instance cannot count towards the other instance. Where the course aim is provider credit and credits from several courses can be used towards the same qualification, a single instance should be returned; in these cases multiple UHNs should not be generated.

d) Normal progression

The same student instance number should be returned where a student registers first for an MPhil and then progresses onto a PhD, if this is regarded as the normal progression route for this course aim at the provider.

YEAR
Provider.UKPRN Student.HUSID Instance.NUMHUS Course.COURSEAIM Course.CTITLE
1
10000000 9810001234562 1 L00 MPhil
2 10000000 9810001234562 1
D00 PhD

This would also be the case where a foundation degree and top-up are combined within one course of study.

YEAR
Provider.UKPRN Student.HUSID Instance.NUMHUS Course.COURSEAIM Course.CTITLE
1
10000000 9810001234562 1 J10 Foundation degree Chemistry
2 10000000 9810001234562 1
H00 BSc Chemistry (top-up)
e) Withdrawals

Where a student withdraws part way through the course, and then returns later to the same provider to study at the same level, this is treated as the same student instance. The fact that the UHN has been closed (by completing Instance.ENDDATE and Instance.RSNEND) should not preclude the provider from re-opening the record when studies commence again in a future reporting period.

i. Student withdraws and returns to study (course resumed) at the same level in a future reporting period - do not change the Instance.NUMHUS

YEAR
Provider.UKPRN Student.HUSID Instance.NUMHUS Course.COURSEAIM Course.CTITLE
1
10000000 9810001234562 1 H00 BSc Mathematics
2 10000000 9810001234562 1
H00 BSc Mathematics

ii. Student withdraws and returns to study (new course started) at the same level in a future reporting period - do not change the Instance.NUMHUS

YEAR
Provider.UKPRN Student.HUSID Instance.NUMHUS Course.COURSEAIM Course.CTITLE
1
10000000 9810001234562 1 H00 BSc Mathematics
3 10000000 9810001234562 1
H00 BEd
image It is recognised that some student record systems do not allow the Instance.NUMHUS to be retained for withdrawals. If this is the case allocating a new Instance.NUMHUS is acceptable. However, maintaining the UHN is seen as best practice.

f) Students who spend part of their time overseas

i. Where it is known at the beginning of the course that the student will spend more than 8 consecutive weeks in the UK as part of their course they should be included in the AP student record throughout, and will appear on the Expected population list until the instance is closed. Where a student commences studies in the UK but then unexpectedly moves to complete their studies abroad they will need to remain in the AP student record and will appear on the UHN target list until the instance is closed.

For the year(s) where the student spends part or all of the year abroad, InstancePeriod.LOCSDY should be coded as 'S' to indicate the student has spent more than 8 consecutive weeks in the UK. InstancePeriod.STULOAD should be reduced in these years to reflect only that part of the course undertaken in the UK.

ii. Where study in the UK is optional and it is not known at the outset whether or not the student will come to the UK they should not be returned. A full AP student record, including entry profile, will need to be returned if and when the student comes to the UK. The Instance.COMDATE returned in the AP student record should reflect the start of the instance rather than the date at which they came to the UK.

image This will create a 'Continuity report B: Continuing instances not previously returned' as the Instance.COMDATE will reference a previous HESA reporting year. In these circumstances errors are permissible and can be passed by HESA.

Contact Liaison by email or on 01242 211144.