Aggregate offshore 2018/19: Support guides
This page provides an overview of the 2018/19 Aggregate offshore collection (C18052).
This should be used alongside the C18052 coding manual, which provides more detailed, technical information about the collection.
Aggregate offshore overview
We collect data across a number of streams. These streams focus on different aspects of higher education.
The aggregate offshore stream collects data about students studying wholly outside the UK who are either registered with or studying for an award of a UK higher education provider. Details of which students need 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 anonymised 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.
A summary of the changes to the Aggregate offshore record for 2018/19 since 2017/18 is available from the revision history on the C18052 coding manual. Any changes made to the 2018/19 Aggregate offshore record after the first release of the manual will also be documented here.
HESA Identity System
The AOR record contact for each provider will have access to our data collection system and through IDS will be able to grant access for themselves and invite additional colleagues to also have access to the system to submit data and view reports.
The IDS User Guide provides detailed help with using our new single sign-on system.
The validation kit for the 2018/19 Aggregate offshore data is available to download. A user guide for the kit is available from the same link. The validation kit allows users access to validation processes and to test against quality rules.
We expect you to respond to all Minerva queries within the collection window. As a guide we expect that these queries should be answered within 5 working days.
Derived field specifications
Full details of the derived fields we use in analysis of the C18052 Aggregate offshore record data are available here.
Record contact changes
The record contact is the first point of communication during data collection. Access to our data collection system is also managed by the nominated record contact. If these details change please ensure you notify Liaison to prevent any delay in the granting of this access.
Data collection system: Release history and known issues
|Issue Summary||Status||Date raised||Date resolved|
|Release ID||Release date||Release Summary|
|14||06 June 2019||
The data collection system for the 2018/19 Aggregate offshore record is now open.
Stages of data submission
A. Sending data
Send data by clicking on the 'send data' button in the data collection system. Note that actions not currently available will be greyed out.
Browse your computer to locate the file you wish to submit, and upload the file to the data collection system.
- Files can have any name
- Files must be in XML and conform to the relevant XML Schema Definition (XSD) file
- Files can be compressed using PKZip/WinZip which will significantly reduce the upload time
- Only a single file can be held on the system.
Automated validation checks (quality rules) will now run.
Further details on the quality rules which apply to this collection can be found in the coding manual.
The Quality rules report will contain the details of any rules triggered by the submission. Make any necessary amendments to the data and resubmit the file to the system. To pass validation, the file must not trigger any validation errors.
You can run some of these validation checks through our validation kit before submitting data to the data collection system. The kit enables you to test your data locally against schema and business stage validation rules prior to submission. You are strongly encouraged to use the validation kit as part of your data preparations.
Remember that you need to process and pass the business-stage validation in order to meet the requirements of the return deadline.
How to obtain a switch
When errors are triggered in the Data Collection system but the data has been checked and is genuine, you need to request a switch. This is because your file will not pass the validation requirements of the collection deadlines if there are any remaining errors.
Please email your switch request to Liaison, stating which rule is causing the error to be triggered and for how many records, together with an explanation as to why the data is genuine.
This will then be forwarded to your funding council/regulator for them to review. They may agree the switch, ask for more information or state how they wish the data to be returned so that an error is no longer triggered.
This request should be sent well in advance of any deadline, to allow sufficient time for a decision to be made.
When a switch has been agreed, it will be applied to your data for the count specified and the data will be reprocessed. This will resolve the error.
If the count increases, the rule will be triggered again, and you will need to request that the count on the switch be increased. This will be forwarded to your funding council/regulator for approval.
To proceed to the next stage in the submission process, a valid file needs to have been submitted. The data will then be classed as 'committable' and the option to process a COMMIT transaction will be made available through the data collection system.
Prior to committing data, you should review all of the reports produced on the data collection system and make any necessary corrections to the data.
The COMMIT transaction sends a copy of your submission to our data quality assurance team and, where appropriate, to the relevant funding council. We analyse your return in parallel with your own analysis.
A passed commit transaction will lock the system to prevent the data from being amended. This is to allow our data quality assurance team to analyse the submission. To unlock the system you will need to request a DECOMMIT transaction.
Remember that you need to process and pass a COMMIT transaction in order to meet the requirements of the commit deadline.
Once your data has passed all the stages of validation, and any issues highlighted during credibility checking have been addressed, we will set the return to CREDIBLE. This produces the sign-off form.
When data is set to credible, a link to the sign-off form is automatically emailed to the head of the submitting organisation as well as the appropriate record contact. The form should be completed and signed by the head of the reporting organisation and returned to us by email or post. This verification offers both you and us assurances regarding onward use of the data.
Sign-off completes the data collection process.