Student record 2021/22 - Coverage of the record
Version 1.0 Produced 2021-07-28
- General definition
- Students studying wholly outside the UK
- Link between coverage of the Student record and the Aggregate offshore record
- Distance learners outside the UK
- ITT courses
- Courses that involve collaborative or franchising arrangements
- Apprenticeship Standards students
- Students who leave shortly after registering
- Incoming/Outgoing visiting and exchange students
- Dormant students
- Post-doctorate students and Higher Doctorates
- Doctorates awarded by publication
- In-house courses
- University of London external students
The Student record is collected in line with statutory requirements from all HE providers in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. In line with statutory requirements, all HE providers in England are under required to submit to either the HESA Student record, HESA Student Alternative record or the ESFA Individualised Learner Record. The HESA Student record is required of all approved (fee cap) providers, with the exception of those providers who are Approved (fee cap) who have previously submitted to the Alternative Provider Student record in England. These requirements are as detailed at https://www.hesa.ac.uk/support/provider-info/subscription.
The Student record is collected in respect of all students registered at the reporting provider who follow courses that lead to the award of a Higher Education level qualification or provider credit. For providers in Scotland, all students studying Access to Higher Education courses and all incoming exchange students must also be returned. The specification of the record uses the term 'instance' to describe a student's engagement with the provider aiming towards the award of a qualification(s) or credit. Award of the provider would include all students that receive a qualification of some sort following an assessment of performance, whether that be from the provider themselves or another awarding body.
Reporting providers include all UK publicly funded higher education providers (HEPs). For the avoidance of confusion, the term 'providers' is used as a shorthand for these HEPs throughout this manual.
'Registered' for the purpose of HESA's data collection is to be interpreted as being identical to the definition of registered adopted by the Office for Students or by the HE funding bodies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
'Higher Education level' for the purpose of HESA's data collection is to be interpreted as being identical to the definition of Higher Education adopted by each provider's Funding Council. Broadly this will be those instances for which the level of instruction is above that of courses leading to GCE A levels, SCE Highers and Certificate of Sixth Year Studies, ONC or OND.
'Further Education level' for the purpose of HESA's data collection is to be interpreted as student instances which are below higher education level.
'Provider credit' is to be interpreted as a credit which can be carried forward and ultimately count towards the award of a qualification, for example, credit points which can be accumulated towards the award of a degree.
The emphasis of the coverage of the Student record is those students who are (or were) actively following a course at some time during the HESA reporting period, and it is from these students that the HESA standard registration population is taken.
The reporting period is from 1 August in year 1 to 31 July in year 2.
However, some providers will be in the position of having made awards in one year to students who were not actively following a course in that year. In order to be able to record details of all awards made in the year, these awards from dormant status need to be included. Providers with awards made in one year to students not active in that year should include a record for these students in that year's data collection. This may either be via a full record (all fields will be validated) or through a reduced record for dormant students.
From 2016/17, FECs in Wales with HE provision directly funded by HEFCW must submit that data in the HESA Student record. In the first year of returning the Student record to HESA, records are required for all students identified as continuing into 2016/17. This includes those who were dormant in 2015/16, but intend to be active, or will receive an award, on the same instance in future. This means that those who were dormant in 2015/16 who will still be dormant in 2016/17 should be returned as dormant students on the 2016/17 student record. Students dormant in 2015/16 are those that were enrolled on a learning programme in 2015/16 but did not have any associated learning activities. If such students will not continue beyond 31 July 2016, their record should be closed off on the Lifelong Learning (Wales) Record (LLWR) with no data returned for them on HESA Student record for 2016/17. The commencement date for instances returned as dormant on the 2016/17 record, as for active instances, should be the original commencement date for the instance. For more information on dormant students in the HESA Student record, please see the section later in this document.
Providers must not return individualised records for students studying for the whole of their course outside of the UK, or those not funded for study by distance learning overseas.
If it is known at the beginning of the course that a student will spend a block of eight weeks or more in the UK as part of their programme then they should be included on the Student record throughout. For reporting years in which they spend no time in the UK they should be coded as 'S - Studying abroad and included in the Student record as student has spent or will spend more than 8 weeks in the UK' in Instance.LOCSDY.
If a period of time of eight weeks or more is an optional part of the programme then the student should be included in the Student record only if they come to the UK, and for the reporting year in which they come to the UK onwards. The Instance.COMDATE should reflect the start date of the instance abroad.
If a student is expected to spend less then eight consecutive course weeks in the UK during their entire programme they should be included on the Aggregate offshore record throughout.
Where students on distance learning programmes move between UK and overseas locations as a consequence of changes in personal circumstances they will need to remain on the Student record.
In addition, there may in any year be a small number of UK-domiciled (probably research) students who, due to the nature of their research, spend their entire studies overseas. These students will need to be included in the HESA Student record. Such students should be coded T 'Abroad for the whole year'. in Instance.LOCSDY, for each year of their instance, with the appropriate full-time or part-time codes used for Instance.MODE. Given the likely small numbers of such students it is probable that this combination of coding will be accepted by means of a validation switch.
There are a small number of distance learning students studying outside the UK who are funded - e.g. Crown servants overseas and the Services. For these students a full record is needed. Such students should be coded 9 'Distance Learning - Non-UK based student (funded only)' in Instance.LOCSDY.
No other distance learning students studying outside the UK should be included in the Student record.
Providers are not in general expected to return data for students on employment-based routes (e.g. GTP, OTT and RTP) with the exception of students on the School Direct Training Programme. The DfE collects data on other employment based routes via the Employment Based Teacher Training System (EBTTS)
For students whose study is on a collaborative or franchised course see the specific guidance for each country below.
In general students should be reported by the same provider for the whole of one programme of study, exceptions to this will be rare and will only occur where provision formally transfers from one provider to another, in particular cases where there is a formal collaborative arrangement to provide doctoral research training for a student or students. This could include anything from a large Doctoral Training Partnership or Centre for Doctoral Training, to a student on a Knowledge Transfer Partnership, or a co-tutelle du thèse or other joint supervision agreement for a single student.
In the majority of cases where there is concurrent supervision, at more than one provider, there will be a concept of a 'lead provider', and this provider alone should be responsible for returning the student to HESA. Where no such concept exists, a single provider should be nominated from amongst the consortia for this purpose, to prevent double counting.
Where there is sequential collaboration a provider may transfer reporting responsibilities on to another provider after their own involvement ceases. See this page for further guidance.
Providers in England and Northern Ireland
All students who are included on the HESES return to Office for Students, whether fundable or not, should be returned to HESA, even if this is not normally compulsory under the coverage of the record. This will include all students funded through franchised, associate and regional college arrangements. Where students are funded through an Office for Students recognised funding consortium, students registered at another provider, although included in the HESES return of the lead provider, should not be included within the lead provider's HESA return. Such students should be included within either the HESA or Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) individualised student returns for the registering provider. The HESES and HESA returns should therefore be consistent.
Providers in Scotland
Scottish higher education providers should exclude from their returns to HESA students who are taking:
- 'articulated' courses at further education colleges, or
- 'franchised' courses at FE colleges, or
- other courses at other HE providers, or at FE colleges,
for those years of such courses for which the provider:
- does not provide any of the teaching input, or
- does not receive any funding, or
- does not receive any tuition fee payment from, e.g. the Student Awards Agency for Scotland.
This applies, for example, if the HE provider validates the course and awards the qualification to which it leads, if this is the extent of its involvement with the course.
In the case of those years of a course for which two or more HE providers are involved in providing the teaching input and/or receiving funding or tuition fees, only one of the HE providers should include the students in its returns to HESA. It is up to the providers concerned to agree between themselves who should be responsible for making the returns to HESA and for which years of the course (or for which students on a particular year of the course), as seems most appropriate given their administrative arrangements.
Providers wishing further advice on these matters should contact the Statistics Branch at SFC (Telephone: 0131 313 6500).
Providers in Wales
All students (with the possible exception of any students studying wholly outside the UK and not funded by the funding council) who are included on the HESES return to HEFCW, whether fundable or not, should be returned to HESA, regardless of where the student is registered. This will include all students funded through franchise arrangements where the provision is franchised out from the provider. Students who are franchised in to the provider should be excluded.
The term 'franchise', also referred to as 'outreach', in HE in Wales, refers to an HE course taught at a provider (the franchisee) which is not directly in receipt of funding from HEFCW for that course, for which quality assurance is provided by another Welsh provider (the franchisor) and for which funding is passed to the franchisee by the franchisor in order to provide the taught course. Students taught at providers may be registered at the franchisee or franchisor provider.
Apprenticeship Standards students studying towards a Higher Education component must be included in the HESA Student record.
A record is required to be returned for all students that have applied for a loan with the SLC where the attendance has been confirmed to SLC (on the basis of the submission of the Attendance Confirmation Report (ACR)) on any SLC attendance confirmation date (defined by the SLC as the first day of term for the course), even if the student started and left the course within the first two weeks. A reduced record is acceptable for these students.
For other students, providers need not return records for students who start a course and leave within the first two weeks without completing. Students who start a course and do not leave within the first two weeks will need a record returned. It should be noted that any records returned for students who start a course and leave within the first two weeks without completing will be excluded from any progression analyses by Statutory Customers or HESA. There are no current plans to create Performance Indicators (PI) based on early leavers but there is a policy interest in the extent to which students leave early in the course.
Those incoming visiting and exchange students who are registered at the reporting provider must be included in the HESA Student record and flagged as incoming students in the field Instance.EXCHANGE. A reduced record is acceptable for incoming students.
Outgoing students must be included in the Student record throughout their programme of study and a Mobility would be returned for them in the year in which they spend part or all of the year abroad.
Any students with a mode of study 'Dormant' will be excluded from the HESA standard registration population used for analysis purposes. Once a record has been temporarily closed, continuing records for dormant students are not required except in the case where awards have been made to students from dormant status and/or the instance is being closed.
Where a student becomes dormant either part way through or for the entire reporting period (as indicated through Instance.MODE), with the exception of the following fields the data should remain as when the student was last active: Instance.STULOAD (to reflect the period of dormancy), Instance.NOTACT and Instance.LOCSDY. Therefore it is not required to send the Instance.Mobility entity.
Where an award is made to a student during a period of dormancy (i.e. a temporary suspension of studies), providers should include a record for these students, coding Instance.MODE to 63 or 64. A reduced record is acceptable for these students.
For providers in England, Northern Ireland and Wales:
Where an award is being made to a student that completed in the previous reporting period, the mode of study (Instance.MODE) should reflect the status of the student at the end of the reporting year in which they completed their activity. Please see Instance.MODE for further information.
For providers in Scotland:
Where an award is being made to a student that completed in the previous reporting period, the mode of study (Instance.MODE) should be dormant.
Post Doctorate students and those awarded Higher Doctorates should not be included in the return.
Students registered for research qualifications awarded primarily on the basis of published works must be excluded from the Student record, unless they are undertaking a significant amount of research at the reporting provider.
In-house courses run by providers for their own employees can be included in the Student record provided that the attendee staff member is registered as a student at the reporting provider. If a course is credit-bearing the students must be included on the individualised Student record.
University of London external students registered for an examination only and based in the UK must be included in the Student record.
Contact Liaison by email or on +44 (0)1242 388 531.