Student 2017/18 - Highest qualification on entry
Fields required from institutions in All fields
Highest qualification on entry
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This field indicates the highest qualification that a student holds on entry, not necessarily that applicable for entry to the course.
|Applicable to||England Northern Ireland Scotland Wales|
All entrants where Instance.REDUCEDI = 00, 01 or 04.
|Valid entries and labels|
For students entering through UCAS this information will be available from UCAS via the UCAS data for HESA (*J) transaction.
This field is required for all EntryProfile entities submitted. Prior to 2014/15, students could be submitted using the coding frames in either EntryProfile.QUALENT2 or EntryProfile.QUALENT3, but with the removal of the EntryProfile.QUALENT2 field, EntryProfile.QUALENT3 becomes compulsory for all records where an EntryProfile entity is submitted. Where an EntryProfile has been submitted in previous years, there is no need to resubmit this entity purely to update this information - previous EntryProfile.QUALENT2 information will be automatically remapped to the newer coding frame. Where this entity is submitted for new or continuing instances, however, EntryProfile.QUALENT3 must be completed.
EntryProfile.QUALENT3 records a student's highest qualification on entry to the instance. It should NOT be updated to reflect qualifications gained during the instance. Providers in England need to consider qualifications gained by students during the instance to establish ELQ status, but should not subsequently update EntryProfile.QUALENT3. Any potential change to fundability status as a result of ELQ should be reflected year-on-year within Instance.FUNDCODE.
For guidance on the use of academic qualification codes in EntryProfile.QUALENT3, providers should refer to the guidance for Course.COURSEAIM, as it was always intended that the two coding frames be closely linked. For guidance on the use of the vocational qualification codes, colleagues can refer to the recently revised Framework for Higher Education Qualifications QAA publication Qualifications can cross boundaries - a rough guide to comparing qualifications in the UK and Ireland.
If the provider is unsure as to how to code an overseas qualification, because it does not clearly fall into the QUALENT3 categories, they may wish to seek advice from the UK NARIC (www.naric.org.uk) about the relative level, and code the qualification accordingly. NARIC advise on the comparability of a qualification to an equivalent on the UK level system - this information can then be used to assign a generic '(x)80' code at the appropriate level.
These data are used extensively in publications including Unistats and in the PI benchmarks.
Guidance on the use of P80
P80 should only be used where no other code is appropriate. In particular students holding UK qualifications should not be allocated to P80 as another P code will normally be applicable. Students recorded as P80 will therefore typically be international students with non-UK qualifications.
Guidance on the use of P91, P92, P93, and P94
The following codes are available for the coding of students who may have multiple highest qualifications on entry at Level 3:
P93 and P94 were introduced for 2012/13 to replace the previously available code P91 'Level 3 qualifications of which some or all are subject to UCAS Tariff'. This code is still valid for continuing student instances, and it is not a requirement to recode to P93 and P94, but providers may choose to do so if they wish.
P91 'Level 3 qualifications of which some or all are subject to UCAS Tariff' is not valid for instances with a Instance.COMDATE on or after 2012-08-01.
For providers who receive the UCAS data for HESA (*J) transaction, the QUALENT3 value for applicants will be derived using P93 and P94.
No hierarchy is implied in level 3 qualifications. If a mixture of qualifications are relevant, then use code P92, P93 or P94 rather than any single qualification included, such as A/AS level. Please be aware that P92 may be used as a filter to exclude instances with no tariffable qualifications from calculations of UCAS tariff. P93 or P94 are acceptable as a general code for qualifications, or mixtures of qualifications, that are subject to tariff (the detail of qualifications should be returned in the QualificationsOnEntry entity).
Code ‘P92 Level 3 qualifications of which none are subject to UCAS Tariff’ relates to the type of qualification. This code should not be used in cases where the student holds non-tariff bearing grades for a tariff-bearing qualification. In these circumstances the appropriate P code for the level 3 qualification or P93/P94 should be used in EntryProfile.QUALENT3.
Any level 3 qualification not featured in the coding frame should be coded to P92, P93 or P94.
Please note that the Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art and Design is a qualification offered at both level 3 and level 4.
Further guidance for specific codes:
X00 'Higher education (HE) access course, Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) recognised', and X01 'Higher education (HE) access course, not Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) recognised':
A recognised Access to HE course is one validated by an Authorised Validating Agency, licensed for the purpose by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) under the terms of the QAA Recognition Scheme for Access to Higher Education in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Relevant Access courses are recorded on the Access to HE Courses Database. QAA does not licence any AVAs in Scotland.
Access courses at providers in Scotland can only be coded X01 'Higher education (HE) access course, not Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) recognised'.
J10 'Foundation degree'
Code J10 covers those programmes providers are running as foundation degrees, which are consistent with the 'Statement of Design Principles' for foundation degrees issued by UUK and GuildHE.
X02 'Mature student admitted on basis of previous experience and/or admissions test'
Code X02 should only be used where the student does not have any formal qualifications at level 3 or above. For students holding qualifications at level 3 or above who are admitted on the basis of APL or an admissions test, the relevant code for their level 3 or above qualifications should be used in preference to X02.
X06 'Not known'
Code X06 should not be used as a default. Providers are expected to seek and code the highest qualification on entry.
Full information, where available should be reported in QualificationsOnEntry.
HEPs in England
For Office for Students fundable students (Instance.FUNDCODE=1 or 4) it is expected that the highest qualification on entry will be known, as without these data it is not possible to determine whether or not the student falls under the ELQ policy. Details of the ELQ policy can be found in HESES Annex G, which can be downloaded via the Office for Students website http://www.Office for Students.ac.uk/pubs/.
Some students are exempt from the ELQ policy, for example those on foundation degrees. Whilst the requirement for highest qualification on entry data for these students is less, Office for Students would still expect providers to make reasonable endeavours to ensure that these data are as precise as possible. This is because these students may move from an exempt to a non-exempt category, at which point their highest qualification would be relevant in determining their fundability. Notwithstanding the increased granularity in this field it is still not possible, in all cases, to fully determine whether or not a student is an ELQ solely using EntryProfile.QUALENT3 and Course.COURSEAIM (e.g. where the student has gained a qualification since starting their instance this could lead to them becoming an ELQ, but would not be reflected in EntryProfile.QUALENT3).
For codes P91, P93 and P94, Office for Students expect to see entries in the QualificationsOnEntry entity.
Office for Students use qualification on entry data to inform funding. Since 2005-06 students with unknown entry qualifications have received zero weighting in the widening participation and improving retention funding streams. In particular, where students have entered via UCAS with qualifications that are made available by UCAS for inclusion on the HESA Student record which are not returned by providers Office for Students may give them a zero weight.
Quality rules relating to this field are displayed here.
Data type: QUALENT3CodeContentType
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