Alternative provider student record 2017/18  Further guidance on FTE reporting
Alternative provider student record 2017/18  Further guidance on FTE reporting
Version 1.0 Produced 20170921
The following notes give further guidance that providers may wish to follow in establishing an appropriate student FTE.
Notes
Student FTE represents the provider's best academic judgement of the fulltime equivalence of the student (for this record) during the HESA reporting year 01 August  31 July. It is recognised that this cannot be exact in all cases and a strict prorata model is not expected. The aim is to give a better approximation than the use of arbitrary conversion factors. The student FTE should not be weighted to take account of any resourcing implications of different programmes of study.
A 'fulltime, full year' HESA student should correspond to a fulltime student as understood by Office for Students. The FTE of such a student will normally be 100% (100.0). The common definition of fulltime is that years of study must involve a minimum of 24 weeks study.
The student FTE should not be weighted to take account of any resourcing implications of different courses. For example, both a fulltime, full year undergraduate student and a fulltime, full year postgraduate student will usually be returned as 100.0. A comparison of different fulltime, full year programmes of study, for example according to the number of weeks studied, or the number of credits taken, is not expected.
Parttime students should be returned as a proportion of an equivalent fulltime course. The student FTE of parttime study can be estimated on either a 'credit' or 'time' basis.
For example, providers operating a credit points system can use the number of credit points that may be obtained from the current year of the parttime course compared with the number of credit points that may be obtained from the current year of a related fulltime course. For example, if the number of points that could be obtained from the current year of the programme were 120 for fulltime students and 90 for parttime students, then the student FTE would be 100% (100.0) for the fulltime students and 75% (075.0) for the parttime students.
An alternative approach is to compare the times taken to achieve the qualification. If there is a course leading to a certain qualification which normally requires three years of study for a conventional fulltime student, and if that same qualification can be gained by parttime students in five years, the student FTE for parttime students on the course would be 60% (060.0).
The student FTE of students following courses which are not directly comparable to a 'standard' fulltime course, should be determined by credit rating if possible. For professional courses the advice of the professional awarding body can be sought. Otherwise providers are asked to make an academic judgement in relating the course to another parttime course of a similar level and similar academic subject which is comparable to a 'standard' fulltime course. It is recognised that the comparison with fulltime courses will not be exact in all cases, but the aim is to give a better approximation than the use of arbitrary conversion factors.
Instance periods that span HESA reporting years
In the case of years of programme which span two HESA reporting years (for example a student with a 01 October  30 September year) the student FTE should be split across the two HESA reporting years. This should normally be based on the proportion of study in each of the reporting years and a reasonable approximation will need to be made for the FTE contributed in each year (for example the institution might report 85% of the FTE related to the period October  July and 15% to the period August  September).
Special cases
Where it is the case that students are studying at a greater intensity than is the norm for their qualification aim, and are therefore achieving that qualification in a significantly shorter time than is usual for the fulltime route for that qualification, then providers may return a student FTE greater than 100.0. For example, if some students are studying at a rate which enables them to achieve after only two years a qualification which is usually obtained after three years fulltime study, the student FTE for these students would be 150% (150.0). Over a period of time it will be possible to crosstabulate the FTEs with the length of time taken by students to gain the qualification and compare this with the norms for the HE sector as a whole. For the purpose of some analyses, however, users of HESA data may decide to treat all fulltime students as 100.0, regardless of what is entered in InstancePeriod.STULOAD.
Where it is the case that the provider offers some courses which require more years of fulltime study than other courses leading to a qualification which is at the same level, these courses do not need to be calibrated to relate to those other courses. It is recognised that some qualifications take longer than others.
Where it is the case that some individual students have to repeat part of a course, then their individual student FTEs summed over the course as a whole will be greater then that normally assumed for the whole course. For example, a three year fulltime degree would usually be assumed to be student FTE 100.0 in Year 1, 100.0 in Year 2 and 100.0 in Year 3. An individual student repeating a year would have an additional year with student FTE of 100.0. Over the instance as a whole, that individual student therefore would have a student FTE of 400.0 and not the more usual 300.0.
Similarly, in the case of a parttime MSc student expected to complete in two years with a student FTE of 050.0 in each year. If the student takes a third year to complete their MSc then that individual student would have an additional year with student FTE of 050.0 and their student FTE over the instance as a whole would sum to 150.0 and not 100.0.
The student FTE is primarily decided on academic judgement of the comparison of a parttime course compared with a fulltime benchmark course. It should represent the normal pattern expected for most/the typical student on the course. It would be expected, therefore, that only a few students would be exceptions to this normal pattern, as in the examples shown above. If all or most of the students on the course become exceptions, then this suggests it should be regarded as the normal pattern and the student FTE assumed for the course should be changed accordingly.
Where students are writingup, providers are advised that the FTE allocated to writingup students should be 10% for both full and parttime students (010.0). The 10% applies where the student has been writingup for a full year. Where a student has only been writing up for part of the year the FTE should be adjusted accordingly. (Writingup mode is generally expected only for research students, rather than students on taught courses writing up their thesis or dissertation). For example, a student who studies fulltime for six months of the year, and is then writingup for the remaining six months, would have a STULOAD of 65.0. Further worked examples can be found under InstancePeriod.STULOAD
For thick sandwich students out on a year's placement (code 23 in Instance.MODE) a student FTE of 100.0 is expected although Office for Students will assume an FTE of 050.0 in funding calculations. For certain analyses, however, the load on the institution for these students will be taken as either 050.0 or 000.0.
The student FTE should not be reduced for either incoming or outgoing exchange students. The full FTE for exchange students should be included in the HESA record. For example, a fulltime outgoing exchange student would typically have a STULOAD of 100, as would a fulltime incoming exchange student. To avoid overstating the STULOAD the FTE for incoming exchange students will typically be discounted in analysis, however by collecting the FTE for exchange students it will be possible to identify any imbalance.
Students following two courses leading to two different qualification aims should be returned on two separate records using the same student identifier (Student.HUSID) but different student instance numbers (Instance.NUMHUS). The InstancePeriod.STULOAD across each Instance should refer only to the FTE for the course specified in that record.
Where a student transfers from one programme of study route to another within the same student instance, only one record is required for the student showing the current or latest position in most fields (i.e. the position that applied just before the person ceased to be a student). Student FTE, however, should be calculated as the average over the HESA reporting year 01 August  31 July.
Accreditation of Prior Learning
FTE reported in relation to Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) should reflect the study undertaken with the HEI, that is, FTE for APL should only be included if load is actually generated at the HEI, and in most cases this will simply mean that no load is included. The only case where FTE may be generated for APL is if some guidance and support is given in preparing a portfolio of evidence to support an APL application, in which case the FTE required to prepare the portfolio can be returned (rather than the FTE associated with the credit).
A suggested approach to calculating student FTE for the current HESA reporting year
FTE should be based on activity studied in a reporting year.
STUDENT FTE = p x [r] x s = p x t where :
p = the proportion that the course academic year represents of 1 FTE
r = a possible adjustment in cases where the course academic year overlaps two HESA reporting years
s = the amount of the course academic year that the student actually followed
The values of 'p' and 'r' give the FTE for the course academic year in the current HESA reporting year. All students following the course would initially be assumed to have the student FTE p x r. The calculation of p x r is the principal calculation for student FTE. An adjustment 's' may need to be made at individual student level if a student did not actually follow the whole course academic year, e.g. because they left half way through. This individual student adjustment need only be at a very broadbrush level.
'r' and 's' are similar calculations, although 'r' is course specific and 's' is student specific. They could be combined into a single calculation 't' where
number of time periods in course academic year that the student followed in the reporting period t = ________________________________________________________________________________________________ number of time periods in course academic year
The calculation of student FTE therefore becomes a function of proportion (that the course represents of a fulltime benchmark course) x time (amount of the course that the student followed in the reporting year).
i.e. Student FTE = p x t
p = the proportion that the course/programme year represents of 1 FTE
The proportion that the course academic year represents of 1 FTE is the institution's best academic judgement of the fulltime equivalence of nonfulltime study. The proportion 'p' is a comparison of parttime courses compared to comparable fulltime courses.
'p' may be considered as the :
parttime course 'value' __________________________________ x 100 fulltime benchmark course 'value'
Examples for establishing 'p' are:
 30/120 credit points taken in a year. In the case of a parttime student registered for 30 credit points at an institution where the norm for a fulltime student is 120 credit points in a year, 'p' = 025.0.
 3/8 modules/equivalent parts of course taken in a year. In the case of a parttime student registered for three modules at an institution where the norm for a fulltime student with the same qualification aim is eight modules in a year, 'p' = 037.5.
 5/3 years to obtain the qualification. In the case of a parttime student who is expected to gain their qualification after five years study, when a student studying fulltime for the same qualification aim would be expected to gain their qualification after three years study, 'p' = 060.0.
Where there is no direct comparator for calculating 'p', providers are asked to make an academic judgement in relating the course to another course of a similar level and similar academic subject which is comparable to a 'standard' fulltime course.
r = a possible adjustment in cases where the course/programme year overlaps two HESA reporting years
(This adjustment is not needed in cases where the course academic year is contained within the HESA reporting year 01 August  31 July.)
The proportion 'p' is a comparison of parttime courses compared to comparable fulltime courses. No account is taken of how the current year of a particular course fits the HESA reporting year.
An adjustment may be required where the course academic year overlaps two HESA reporting years because the course academic year either commenced before the HESA reporting year (i.e. before 01 August) or will finish after the end of the HESA reporting year (i.e. after 31 July).
Where the course academic year overlaps two HESA reporting years, providers should split the proportion 'p' across the reporting years (i.e. apply the factor 'r')
number of time periods in course academic year that are within HESA reporting year r = __________________________________________________________________________________ number of time periods in course academic year
For example: Postgraduate year October  September: This could be split 10/12 (months, October  July) in HESA reporting year 1 and 2/12 (months, August  September) in HESA reporting year 2. January  December academic year: This could be split 7/12 (months, January  July) in HESA reporting year 1 and 5/12 (months, August  December) in HESA reporting year 2. 
s = the amount of the course/programme year that the student actually followed
The values of 'p' and 'r' give the FTE for the course. All students following the course would initially be assumed to have the student FTE p x r in the current HESA reporting year. The calculation of p x r is the principal calculation for student FTE. An adjustment 's' may need to be made at individual student level if a student did not actually follow all of the course academic year, e.g. because they left half way through. This individual student adjustment need only be at a very broadbrush level.
number of time periods in course academic year student followed in the reporting year s = _____________________________________________________________________________________ number of time periods in course academic year which fell in the reporting year
For example:

based upon whatever information is available from the institution's administrative records about how long the student attended the course. It is appreciated that providers may know only roughly when a student left a course. Where a student transfers from one programme of study route to another within the same student instance, only one record is required for the student, showing student FTE as the average over the HESA return period 01 August  31 July.
For example: Postgraduate academic year October  September. Student leaves at Christmas. p = 100.0 January  December academic year. Student leaves at the summer break in July. p = 100.0 
t = the amount of the course that the student followed in the reporting year
'r' and 's' are similar calculations, although 'r' is course specific and 's' is student specific. They could be combined into a single calculation 't' where
number of time periods in course academic year that the student followed in the reporting year t = ______________________________________________________________________________________________ number of time periods in course academic year
The calculation of student FTE therefore becomes a function of proportion (that the course represents of a fulltime benchmark course) x time (amount of the course that the student followed in the reporting year).
i.e. Student FTE = p x t
For example: Postgraduate academic year October  September. Student leaves at Christmas. p = 100.0 January  December academic year. Student leaves at the summer break in July. p = 100.0 
Examples of calculating student FTE
A student studies fulltime for the full HESA reporting year (p = 100.0, t = 1/1). In this case the student FTE will be 100.0%. This field should thus be returned as 100.0.
A student studies fulltime for half of the full HESA reporting year (p = 100.0, t = 1/2). In this case the student FTE will be 50.0%. This field should thus be returned as 050.0.
A student studies parttime for the full HESA reporting year. The proportion of the parttime course compared with a comparable fulltime benchmark course is estimated as 20% (p = 020.0, t = 1/1). In this case the student FTE will be 20.0%. This field should thus be returned as 020.0.
A student studies parttime for half of the full HESA reporting year. The proportion of the parttime course compared with a comparable fulltime benchmark course is estimated as 20% (p = 020.0, t = 1/2). In this case the student FTE will be 10.0%. This field should thus be returned as 010.0.
A student studies fulltime for the first half of the year and then changes to studying parttime. The proportion of the parttime course compared with a comparable fulltime benchmark course is estimated as 20%. Student FTE should be calculated as the average over the return year.
100% for half a year (p = 100.0, t = 1/2) = 50%
20% for half a year (p = 020.0, t = 1/2) = 10%
Calculated student FTE = 50% + 10% = 60%, to be returned as 060.0
A student studies parttime for the first half of the year and then suspends studies. The proportion of the parttime course compared with a comparable fulltime benchmark course is estimated as 60%. Student FTE should be calculated as the average over the return year.
60% for half a year (p = 060.0, t = 1/2) = 30%
0% for half a year (p = 000.0, t = 1/2) = 0%
Calculated student FTE = 30% + 0% = 30%, to be returned as 030.0.
Examples for instance periods that span HESA reporting periods
In the case of a course running from January 2014 to December 2015, the returns to HESA might be made as follows:
2014/15 return: Year of course = 1, student FTE in 2014/15 = 67% (067.0)
2015/16 return: Year of course = 2, student FTE in 2015/16 = 100% (100.0)
2016/17 return: Year of course = 2, course completed, student FTE in 2015/16 = 33% (033.0)
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