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Higher Education - Business and Community Interaction 2018/19: Support guides

This page provides an overview of the 2018/19 Higher Education - Business and Community Interaction (HE-BCI) collection (C18032).

This should be used alongside the C18032 coding manual, which provides more detailed, technical information about the collection.

Need help? Contact us by email or on +44 (0) 1242 211 144

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





Experiencing an issue not listed here? Let us know.

Preparation guide

There are no significant changes for the 2018/19 collection. However, HESA have worked closely with Research England to clarify areas of guidance so providers are advised to read the guidance for each table before submitting their data. 

Data submission

Providers need to download a pre-populated template from the data collection system.  This template will be pre-populated with last year’s 2017/18 data for this year’s return, and similar to the Finance record, you are able to re-state these figures where necessary.  Providers need to submit this template when making a data submission.  The non-functioning template cannot be submitted to the data collection system.

Responding to Minerva queries

Data quality queries are raised through the Minerva system and providers are required to resolve all Minerva queries within the collection timeframe. As best practice providers should interact with Minerva and the HESA Data Collection System frequently throughout the collection period to gradually resolve issues either through providing explanations of genuine data or submitting revised data that corrects issues identified. Please note that this dialogue and iterative process can take a number of days. It is also good practice to check that you have resilience in place by ensuring that a few people at your Provider have the Query role in IDS (please visit the IDS support guide for a reminder of each Role and what they mean). Through adopting this approach providers are able to improve the quality of their data and expose issues in a timely manner, leading to better quality returns. 

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].

C18032 Timescales

The full timescales for data collection can be viewed at C18032 Timescales

November 2019

C18032 Data Collection opens

16 December 2019

Return Date

16 December 2019 to 24 January 2020

Data quality checking period

24 January 2020

Last submission

29 January 2020

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 Liaison team on +44 (0) 1242 211 144 or email [email protected]