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Higher Education - Business and Community Interaction 2017/18: Support guides

This page provides an overview of the 2017/18 Higher Education - Business and Community Interaction (HE-BCI) collection (C17032).

This should be used alongside the C17032 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.

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.


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

Release ID Release date Release summary
Issue summary Status Date raised Date resolved

Issue ID: 68388 - Variance cells allow free text

The cells in the HE-BCI template that highlight where there are variances are currently not locked, which means that users can enter text in these cells. Doing so then causes the 'original formula' quality rule to trigger. Please refrain from typing free text into these cells and they will be locked down in due course.

Open 17 December 2018  

Issue ID: 68293 - Issue with rules 32112, 32113 and 32123

Quality rules 32112, 32113 and 32123 are comparing this year's restated figures to last year's restated figures, i.e. effectively last year's figure to the previous year's figure before that. As the current year's values are not actually being checked or compared, these rules are now irrelevant and potentially misleading to providers.

If these rules trigger for your C17032 HE-BCI submission, please ignore them and they will be removed from the record in due course. All year on year checks are now implemented on the template itself.

Closed 7 December 2018 8 January 2019

Experiencing an issue not listed here? Let us know.

Preparation guide

There are no significant changes for the 2017/18 collection.

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 additional 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].

C17032 Timescales

The full timescales for data collection can be viewed at C17032 Timescales

November 2018

C17032 Data Collection opens

16 December 2018

Return Date

16 December 2018 to 25 January 2019

Data quality checking period

25 January 2019

Last submission

28 January 2019

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]