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Student Alternative 2019/20 - Instance period start date

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Student Alternative 2019/20

Fields required from institutions in All fields

Instance period start date

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This field records the start date of the instance period with the provider.

Applicable toEngland Scotland

All instances.


This field records the actual date of commencement of the instance period for the student as opposed to the expected date. Instance.COMDATE records the date of commencement of the instance as a whole.

All date fields in the Student Alternative record must be completed using the ISO8601 format of YYYY-MM-DD. The specification of this field falls within the scope of the Aligned Data Definitions and follows the Data Standards in the HESA Student Alternative record.

Instance periods are usually synonymous with the concept of an academic year within providers. It is recognised that not all providers use the same time frames for this concept. Providers should return the dates that align with their internal concept of an academic year.

It is possible for more than one instance period to be present within a HESA reporting period - the presence of InstancePeriod.PERIODSTART and InstancePeriod.PERIODEND permit the analysis of progression in these cases.

Where instance periods cross reporting periods, they should be reported in both, with appropriate InstancePeriod.STULOAD values to indicate intensity of study. In such cases the start date for the instance period should be consistent in both years in which it is returned.

Quality rules
Quality rules relating to this entity are displayed here.
Reason required Used to identify the date on which a discrete period of the instance commenced, which allows for the recording of non-standard academic years.
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Field length10
Minimum occurrences1
Maximum occurrences1
Schema components
Related fields
Date modified2020-02-06
Change management notesDescription updated to clarify that this field records the start date of the instance period with the provider.

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