Skip to main content

Unistats record 2020/21

Back to C20061

Unistats record 2020/21 - Data collection schedule

Version 1.7 Produced 2020-10-28

The document below is designed to guide providers through the stages of data submission for the Unistats record.

At a glance

From August 2019 Data capture and collation
March 2020 Validate data locally using validation kit
29 May 2020 C20061 Data Collection system opens
21 July 2020 Graduate Outcomes and NSS data added
28 July 2020 (12pm) Valid data submission required
28 July 2020 (12pm) Nil return confirmation
18 August 2020 (12pm) Sign-off
28 October 2020 Official Statistics publication of 2020 Unistats dataset on the HESA website
W/C 2 November 2020 Update Discover Uni website with 2020 dataset
November 2020 Deadline for up to date widgets on providers' websites

Providers who have recently joined the OfS register

For the attention of English providers that registered with the Office for Students on or after 18 June 2020:

The deadline to have submitted and signed off a valid Unistats return is midday two months after your date of registration, or the next working day if that is a weekend. You do not have to work to the timetable highlighted above. For example, if you registered with the OfS on 10 July 2020, you must submit and sign off your Unistats return by midday on 10 September 2020. For more information please contact [email protected]

Missed deadlines

HESA is required to report any providers who miss any of the deadlines detailed in the schedule to the relevant statutory customer. These are the valid data submission required, nil-return confirmation and sign-off deadlines.

Providers in England are required to complete a late form for all missed deadlines. Please note that the Accountable Officer is required to sign the late form for the sign off deadline, however, they should be kept informed of any missed deadlines. For all administrations the reason for late submission will be shared with your primary regulator or funder.

Providers are reminded to make use of the HESA Liaison team and to make them aware of any issues that could impact on your providers’ ability to meet these deadlines.

Detailed requirements

From August 2019: Data capture and collation

Providers should read the C20061 Unistats record coding manual and associated documentation for details of the requirements for the return.

During these months providers will need to load and maintain local record systems.

If you have any queries with the requirements for C20061 please contact Liaison at [email protected].

March 2020 onwards: Validate data locally using validation kit

HESA's data quality assurance processes are outlined in the Validation overview.

The C20061 validation kit is made available to download from: Validation kits.

The validation kit contains the schema and business rules for C20061. Further details of the validation can be found in the Quality Rules section of the coding manual.

The validation kit enables providers to test their data locally ahead of the Data Collection system opening in May 2020. Providers are strongly encouraged to use the validation kit as part of their data preparations.

A guide to using the validation kit can be found at Help with validation kits. Alternatively, please contact Liaison.

29 May 2020: C20061 Data Collection system opens

The C20061 collection is available on HESA Data Collection system, giving providers the opportunity to test files against the validation ahead of the first deadline.

A user guide for the submission of C20061 Unistats data to the Data Collection system can be found in the Support guides.

Access for this system is granted by the KIS record contact through the HESA Identity System. An email will be sent to inform relevant colleagues when the Data Collection system becomes available.

It is a provider’s responsibility to ensure that they are progressing reasonably towards the deadlines; if any issues become apparent or you require assistance with the submission process then please contact Liaison. HESA does monitor provider interactions to feed into their own risk assessments and this information may be shared with the primary regulator or funder of a provider.

21 July 2020: Graduate Outcomes and NSS data added

In July, Graduate Outcomes and NSS data will be provided for providers. The Unistats file and other reports which reference this data will then become available for providers to download and review. From this point onwards it will be possible for providers to sign-off the Unistats data provided all errors have been resolved.

28 July 2020 (12pm): Valid data submission required

Providers are required to send a file which has no errors triggering and contains the majority of their courses to HESA by 12pm on 28 July 2020.

This schedule allows for providers to review their reports, perform quality checks and make any amendments required before sign-off.

Where errors are triggering for genuine data, a switch will need to be requested. This request should be sent to Liaison by email detailing the rule and an explanation for why this data is genuine, in good time prior to the deadline. More information on requesting a switch can be found in the Support guides.

28 July 2020 (12pm): Nil return confirmation

Providers are required to submit a Nil return form to indicate that their provider has no courses which meet the eligibility criteria for the Unistats record as specified in the coverage of the record. The completed form needs to be emailed to Liaison before 12pm on 28 July to guarantee this will be actioned by the deadline. The form is available from the coding manual and needs to be signed by the provider’s Accountable Officer (England and Wales) or Head of Provider (Scotland and Northern Ireland).

18 August 2020 (12pm): Sign-off deadline

Providers are required to have their data marked as signed off on the Data Collection system by 12pm on 18 August 2020. The sign off form needs to be emailed to Liaison before 12pm on 18 August to guarantee sign-off on the deadline.

Once a provider's data has been approved on the Data Collection system, the ‘sign off’ button can be selected, which the sign-off form can be downloaded from. The sign-off form must be completed by the provider’s Accountable Officer (England and Wales) or the Head of Provider (Scotland and Northern Ireland). Once completed, the form should be emailed to [email protected]. Please note that the transaction number on the sign-off form must correspond to that of the data being signed-off.

Sign-off completes the data collection process. Timely sign-off ensures that your data is included in any data deliveries to statutory customers, as well as onward uses of the data.

28 October 2020: Official Statistics publication of 2020 Unistats dataset on the HESA website

Data that was signed-off in the week previous to publication will be published as Official Statistics on the Unistats dataset page of the HESA website on 28 October 2020 for prospective students to view. Thereafter, updates will be published on a weekly cycle.

W/C 2 November 2020: Update Discover Uni website with 2020 dataset

Data that is signed-off in the week previous to publication is scheduled to be published on the Discover Uni website on the w/c 2 November 2020 for prospective students to view. Thereafter, updates will be published on a weekly cycle. To clarify, the Discover Uni website will continue to display the C19061 Unistats dataset until that time.

November 2020: Deadline for up to date widgets on providers' websites

In November, providers must have up to date widgets embedded on their course pages for each course within the Unistats return. Further guidance on embedding widgets can be found in the Discover Uni widget user guide available on the coding manual.


Need help?

Contact Liaison by email or on +44 (0)1242 388 531.