Highest qualification on entry (HIGHESTQOE)
|Name||Highest qualification on entry|
|Part of||Entry Profile (EntryProfile)|
|Description||This field records the highest qualification held by the student prior to the Engagement, this is not necessarily the qualification applicable to entry to the course.|
|Applicable to||England Northern Ireland Scotland Wales|
|Coverage||All EntryProfile entities where Engagement.INCOMINGEXCHANGE does not exist.|
For students entering through UCAS this information will be available from UCAS via the UCAS data for HESA (*J) transaction.
This field records a student's highest qualification on entry to the Engagement and so should reflect the position when the first StudentCourseSession associated with the Engagement begins. Honorary qualifications should not be taken into account.
This field must NOT be updated to reflect qualifications gained during the Engagement. Providers in England need to consider qualifications gained by students during their Engagement to establish ELQ status but must not subsequently update EntryProfile.HIGHESTQOE to reflect any new qualifications gained.
If the student has not yet received a formal award, but the provider has seen the transcript given by the awarding body of the qualification that contains all the necessary information, this can be reflected in highest qualification on entry
Overall framework and alignment with existing frameworks
The first character of the valid entries in the coding frame indicate the level of the qualification. The table below shows how these levels map to the following qualifications frameworks:
If the provider is unsure as to how to code an overseas qualification, because it does not clearly fall into the EntryProfile.HIGHESTQOE categories, they may wish to seek advice from the UK NARIC (www.naric.org.uk ) about the relative level, and code the qualification accordingly. NARIC advise on the comparability of a qualification to an equivalent on the UK level system https://www.naric.org.uk/europass/documents/ds_chart.pdf - this information can then be used to assign a generic code at the appropriate level e.g. P0013 Other qualification at level 3.
Further guidance for specific codes:
Guidance on the use of P0013 Other qualification at level 3
P0013 Other qualification at level 3 should only be used where no other code is appropriate. In particular, students holding UK qualifications should not generally be allocated to this code as another code will normally be applicable. Students recorded as P0013 Other qualification at level 3 will therefore typically be international students with non-UK qualifications.
Multiple qualifications at level 3: P0014, P0015 and P0016
There is no hierarchy assumed in the level 3 qualifications listed and so these valid entries should be used where the highest qualification the student holds is at level 3 and they hold multiple level 3 qualification types.
Whether the qualification is subject to UCAS tariff should be based upon the type of qualification, rather than whether the student's grade attracts tariff points.
X0000 Higher education (HE) access course, Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) recognised and X0001 Higher education (HE) access course, not Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) recognised.
A recognised Access to HE course (code X0000) is one validated by an Authorised Validating Agency, licensed for the purpose by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) under the terms of the QAA Recognition Scheme for Access to Higher Education in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Relevant Access courses are recorded on the Access to HE Courses Database. QAA does not licence any AVAs in Scotland.
Access courses at providers in Scotland can only be coded X0001 'Higher education (HE) access course, not Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) recognised'.
J0000 Foundation Degree
J0000 covers those programmes providers are running as foundation degrees, which are consistent with the 'Statement of Design Principles' for foundation degrees issued by UUK and GuildHE.
X0002 'Mature student admitted on basis of previous experience and/or admissions test'
Code X0002 should only be used where the student does not have any formal qualifications at level 3 or above. For students holding qualifications at level 3 or above who are admitted on the basis of APL or an admissions test or audition, the relevant code for their level 3 or above qualification(s) should be used in preference to X0002.
Code 99999 Not available
Code 99999 may be used where the provider does not know the highest qualification on entry but must not be used as a default. Providers are expected to seek and code the highest qualification on entry.
For Office for Students (OfS) fundable students (FundingBody.FUNDINGBODY=5016 OfS) it is expected that the highest qualification on entry will be known, as without this information it is not possible to determine whether or not the student falls under the ELQ policy. Details of the ELQ policy can be found in HESES Annex G, which can be downloaded via the OfS website https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/publications
Some students are exempt from the ELQ policy, for example those on foundation degrees. Whilst the requirement for highest qualification on entry data for these students is less, OfS would still expect providers to make reasonable endeavours to ensure that this field is completed as precisely as possible. This is because these students may move from an exempt to a non-exempt category, at which point their highest qualification would be relevant in determining their fundability. It is not possible, in all cases, to fully determine whether or not a student is an ELQ solely using EntryProfile.HIGHESTQOE and Qualification.QUALCAT (e.g. where the student has gained a qualification since starting their Engagement this could lead to them becoming an ELQ, but would not be reflected in EntryProfile.HIGHESTQOE).
For codes P0015 and P0016 OfS expect to see entries in the EntryQualificationAward entity.
OfS use qualification on entry data to inform funding. Since 2005-06 students with unknown entry qualifications have received zero weighting in the widening participation and improving retention funding streams. In particular, where students have entered via UCAS with qualifications that are made available by UCAS for inclusion on the HESA Student record which are not returned by providers OfS may give them a zero weight.
|Quality Rules||Quality rules to follow|
|Reason required||To provide information about a student's qualification(s) on entry, to identify students with tariff bearing qualifications and non-traditional qualifications for analysis, used to support funding allocations and to calculate the National Statistic - Higher Education Initial Participation Rate.|
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