Skip to main content

Student 2019/20: Support guides

This page provides an overview of the 2019/20 Student collection (C19051).

This should be used alongside the C19051 coding manual, which provides more detailed, technical information about the collection.

Need help? Contact us by email or on +44 (0)1242 211144

Student overview

What is the Student stream?

We collect data across a number of streams. These streams focus on different aspects of higher education.

The Student stream collects data about students studying at higher education providers in the UK. 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 fundng 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

What is a coding manual?

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.

How do I submit data to HESA?

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, track the progress of your submission, view data quality issues and download reports. An overview of the submission and validation process is given below. Further details are provided in the Coding manual under the 'Submission process and quality assurance' section heading.

Submit data

Where can I find...?

The coding manual homepage includes all the technical information you require, including:

  • The data specification
  • File format specifications
  • A detailed collection schedule
  • Our XML data entry tool (available for some streams)
  • Quality rules.

This Support guides page collects together the following resources:

  • User guide
  • Data collection system: Known issues and release history.

In the Support area of our site, you can find:

Our Data innovation section includes information about:

  • Open and recently completed record reviews, including information about changes we are implementing
  • Our Data Futures programme which will transform the higher education information landscape.

In the About section, you can find:

Where can I find further help with the Student record? Who are Liaison?

Our expert analysts have a thorough understanding of our records and processes. We are here to support you throughout the data submission process.

Contact Liaison by email or on +44 (0)1242 211144 

Find out more about Liaison

Collection information

Data collection schedule: Anticipated dates for deadlines 

Please see below the deadlines for the C19051, C20051 and C21051 Student collections. Please note that the deadline dates for the Student return will remain the same across years unless advised otherwise.  


Student (C19051) 


15 September 


21 September 

Final Commit 

31 October 


06 November 


Student (C20051) 


15 September 


21 September 

Final Commit 

31 October 


06 November 


Student (C21051) 


15 September 


21 September 

Final Commit 

31 October 


06 November 


Student record JISCMail list

Our JISCMail groups allow you to discuss specific streams with colleagues from across the sector. We also use the lists to circulate news regarding data requirements and coding manual and validation kit releases.

Join the HESA-Student JISCMail list

If you encounter any problems, contact Liaison

Preparation guide

Data collection system: Release history and known issues

Known issues (C19051)
Issue Summary Status Date raised Date resolved

QR.C19051.Instance.INITIATIVES.11 is incorrectly triggering where the Instance.INITIATIVES field has not been returned.

Open 2020-03-31  


Release history (C19051)
Release ID Release date Release summary
35 26 Mar 2020

This release includes a number of updates to the Quality Rules:

  • Amendments to FEEREGIME, EntryProfile, SPLENGTH, MSFUND, FEEREGIME, SPECFEE, UNITLGTH, FEQAIM coverage rules due to the removal of Further Education components from field coverage
  • Amendments to MSFUND, CSTAT, EntryProfile coverage rules due to the removal of the Individual Learner Record components from field coverage
  • Amendments to various COMDATE, COURSAIM, DHFUND, GROSSFEE, INITIATIVESMODE, QUAL, SBJCA business rules for the change from JACS to HECoS
  • Other specific rule changes:
  • BR.Instance.FUNDLEV.12 amended to include COURSEAIMs H78, H81, H88 and I81 following a review from the OfS
  • BR.Instance.INITIATIVES.33 amended to include Instance.ENTRYRTE 02 (School Direct tuition fee)
  • BR.Instance.INITIATIVES.10 amended to allow up to three occurrences of INITIATIVES for ‘Accelerated provision’
  • BR.Instance.INITIATIVES.11 amended to include new valid entries 13, 14, 15, or 16, applicable ot providers in England
  • BR.Instance.TREFNO.2 updated to exclude Scotland from the return of this field.
34 12 Mar 2020

The Data Collection System for the C19051 Student collection is now open, to enable the submission of data. The Quality rules and Quality rules compare reports are available. Further functionality will follow.

The Validation kit has been updated in line with the C19051 coding manual version 1.2 schema update. Please note that all rules referencing the JACs coding frame have not yet been updated to HECoS valid entries. These will follow in subsequent releases.

The data entry tool is live. This is the program which will produce XML data in the format required for submission to HESA. The link will be added to the next release of the coding manual, but can be downloaded here:

This update includes the following business rule updates:

  • The remaining business rules that included the validation of the Individualised Learner Record (ILR) have been amended to remove reference to the ILR fields, in response to the ILR file generation process no longer being included in the collection
  • The large number of business rules that validated the return of Further Education (FE) data have been removed or amended, following the removal of the FE fields in Coding manual release 1.2
  • Various EntryProfile, QualificationsAwarded and Instance rules have been amended to ensure the checking of country is consistent across the board.
33 26 Feb 2020

The *J data for UCAS file has been loaded into the system for 2019/20. This is used in various quality rules.

The following Quality Rules have been amended in this release:

  • QR.Student.TTPCODE.12 - Amended to no longer trigger only when an Entry Profile submission of postcode is submitted in the current reporting year
  • QR.Instance.MSTUFEE.22 - New rule to validate postgraduate students starting after 31st July 2018
  • QR.Instance.MSTUFEE.22 - Amended to validate only undergraduate students starting after 31st July 2017
  • QR.Instance.FUNDCODE.39 - New rule to validate postgraduate students starting after 31st July 2018
  • QR.Instance.FUNDCODE.36 - Amended to validate only undergraduate students starting after 31st July 2017
  • QR.Instance.GROSSFEE.32 - Amended to remove the SSN clause to align with the field's coverage
  • QR.Instance.FUNDLEV.4 - Plain English amended to bring into line with the valid entry update ' 'Not a countable year in the HESES population' in the Coding Manual 
  • The remaining Business Rules for validating the return of the Individualised Learner Record (ILR) have been deleted, as the ILR file generation process is no longer included in the collection.
32 13 Feb 2020

The following Quality Rules have been amended in this release:

  • QR.Instance.INITIATIVES.46/47/48 - amended to include/exclude Course.COURSEAIM L00 (Masters level research degree, which is funded by a Masters Loan) 
  • QR.Instance.ENDDATE.11 - amend to refer to Graduate Outcomes
  • A number of rules validating the return of the Individualised Learner Record (ILR) have been deleted as the ILR file generation process is no longer included in the collection.
31 29 Jan 2020 This release includes:

  • The roll-on of the quality rules (business rules). Please note that the 2019/20 changes have not been made at this stage, and the rules are based on the final position of 2018/19
  •  The downloadable validation kit including a roll-on of the 2018/19 business rules.

Please note that access to the data collection system is governed by the Identity system. Users will need to ensure that they have the relevant permissions attached to their Identity system account in order to access the data collection system.

The following quality rules have been deleted (due to the removal of the fields for 2019/20):

  • QR.Instance.HEAPESPOP.2
  • QR.Instance.HEAPESPOP.16
  • QR.Instance.Instance.DHREGREF.1
30 16 Jan 2020

The HUSID Lookup Service is now available.

Stages of data submission

Stage 1: Submitting and validating data

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.

Data collection system - Process flow

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.

B. Validation

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.

Stage 2: Committing and decommitting data

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.

Request a decommit by email or on +44 (0)1242 211144

Remember that you need to process and pass a COMMIT transaction in order to meet the requirements of the commit deadline.

Stage 3: Credibility checks

Once we have analysed your committed return, data quality queries will be posted onto the Minerva DQ database. Relevant users will be notified by email when these queries are available to view. The Minerva user guide provides help on using Minerva.

Access the Minerva Data Quality database

Stage 4: Sign off

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.