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Unistats record 2018/19

Back to C18061

Unistats record 2018/19 - Inclusion of NSS and DLHE data

Version 1.0 Produced 2018-05-17

NSS (National Student Survey) and DLHE (Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education) data are explicitly linked at an individual level to the student records collected by HESA, The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and the Welsh Government. Providers will report which HESA course codes or ILR qualification aim references are linked to each KISCourse as part of the Unistats record. The Unistats return links to courses from the previous three student returns. So, for the 2018/19 Unistats record, courses returned to HESA or the ILR in 2014/15, 2015/16 and 2016/17 will be linked to. The HESAYEAR and ILRYEAR fields then indicate which year(s) the linked courses relate were returned.

NSS and DLHE data will then be published on the Unistats website by aggregating the students, from the HESA Student and AP Students records, registered on the HESA course codes or ILR/LLWR qualification aim references reported.

Further details on how to record collaborative and franchised provision can be found in the Collaborative provision document.


A BSc Mathematics course has two intakes each year in October and January. The provider distinguishes between these by using two different course identifiers in the HESA Student record but is producing only one Unistats record. In this case, the provider would need to return two occurrences of the HESACourse entity - one for each course code.

If, additionally, the provider updated the course identifier each year then four occurrences of the HESACourse entity would need to be included and the HESAYEAR field set appropriately. For example, if the COURSEID is changed on the Student record between reporting years the Unistats record will need to be updated with four occurrences of HESACourse entity and the HESACourse.HESAYEAR field updated accordingly:

Unistats record HESACourse COURSEID HESAYEAR
MathOCT MathOCT 2015
MathOCT2 MathOCT2 2016
MathJAN MathJAN 2015
MathJAN2 MathJAN2 2016

Similarly, if a course has been running for multiple years (with the same COURSEID) the HESACourse entity would need to be returned once for each of the last three years the course has been running. If this BSc Mathematics had been returned to HESA in 2015/16 and 2016/17 then the following links would need to be returned:

Unistats record HESACourse COURSEID HESAYEAR
MathOCT MathOCT 2015
MathOCT MathOCT 2016
MathJAN MathJAN 2015
MathJAN MathJAN 2016

In populating Unistats, if a course is identified in KISCourse.KISMODE as being 'Full-time', then only full-time NSS and DLHE will be used. If 'Part-time' is identified, then only part-time NSS and DLHE data will be used, and if 'Both' is selected, two pages on the Unistats website will be produced and will use separate full and part-time NSS and DLHE data.

Publication thresholds will apply to both the NSS and the DLHE survey based on numbers in the HESA Student or AP Student record. Currently the publication thresholds for the NSS are that 50% of the eligible students must have responded and that these must represent at least 10 students. The publication thresholds for the DLHE differ and have increased this year in line with the Performance Indicator thresholds. For full time students, 68% of eligible students must have responded and for part time, 59.5% of eligible students must have responded. This must represent at least 10 students. The same thresholds also apply to salary data.

Where NSS and DLHE data for a particular course fails to meet the publication thresholds then data will be aggregated in the following order until data that meets the thresholds is achieved:

  • Course level most recent two years
  • Unistats subject level 3 most recent year
  • Unistats subject level 3 most recent two years
  • Unistats subject level 2 most recent year
  • Unistats subject level 2 most recent two years
  • Unistats subject level 1 most recent year
  • Unistats subject level 1 most recent two years

The Unistats subject levels map to the Common Aggregation Hierarchy (CAH), rather than to HECoS, so that it simplifies the subject coding frame, and subsequently helps the understanding of users. The CAH also provides standard groupings that can be applied to both HECoS and JACS subjects. This supports consistent analysis across both coding frames, which is helpful since C18061 will be the first time providers return new courses under HECoS codes, yet historic courses will still be linked via JACS codes. These aggregations therefore provide continuity in subject analysis through the transition from JACS to the new scheme. The CAH can be downloaded here

For further education colleges the above approach will be applied. In order to allow the approach to be applied the LDCS (Learn Direct Classification System) codes included within the Unistats return and on the LARS (Learning Aims Reference Service) will be mapped to JACS codes, and then subsequently to the CAH. Full details of the mapping can be made available from the Office for Students (OfS).

Aggregation will be applied to NSS and DLHE data separately. Therefore, it is possible that NSS data and DLHE data will be displayed at different points in the hierarchy depending on the numbers responding to each survey.

For multiple subject courses that meet the threshold to have a separate Unistats record the aggregation approach outlined above will be applied to each subject separately. Thus, a multiple subject course record may include up to three sets of NSS and/or DLHE data. Where data is aggregated by subject and two or more of the subjects included in the course map to the same subject at the next level in the CAH, a single figure will be given. For example, a Physics and Astronomy course does not have sufficient NSS data to be published, neither do the CAH level 3 subjects of Physics or Astronomy, in which case a single set of data for the CAH level 2 subject Physics and Astronomy and would be produced.

HESACourse.HESACOURSEID and ILRAims.ILRAIMID should only be used to link to courses that are the embodiment, on the HESA Student or AP Student records or ILR records, of the course for which a Unistats record is being produced. It would be misleading to applicants if other courses were included, as this could lead to a belief that they were viewing course level data, when they were looking at data relating to a group of courses.

For example, where a provider is producing two Unistats records for two similar courses where one has a compulsory sandwich year (KISCourse.SANDWICH=2) and one does not have a sandwich course available (KISCourse.SANDWICH=0), then the Unistats record where the sandwich course is not available should only link to the non-sandwich course on the HESA Student or AP Student record and vice-versa.

Similarly, if a Unistats record has an optional sandwich year (KISCourse.SANDWICH=1) and the sandwich and non-sandwich versions of the course are returned separately in the HESA student or AP student return, then the Unistats record should link to both versions of the course.

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