At the beginning of 2013 HESA announced plans for the publication of contextual data for the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014. Within the article we stated that HESA will, during December 2014, publish the count of full-time equivalents (FTE) of staff identified as eligible to be submitted to the REF 2014, according to a closest approximation to REF definitions of FTE, disaggregated by each REF ‘Unit of Assessment' within each UK HE institution.

In response to subsequent questions seeking more clarity on the likely date of publication, we have undertaken further detailed planning and we can now announce that the REF 2014 contextual data described above will be published on the HESA website at 10:00 am on Thursday 18 December 2014.

This date represents the earliest point at which HESA will be capable of publishing the data, given availability of the relevant source data and Official Statistics requirements to publish a Statistical First Release on staff information prior to the REF contextual data.

As previously announced, the data will be presented as an Excel tabulation with accompanying definitions and will be freely available to the general public via the HESA website. provides more detail on the nature of the contextual data to be published. Any further questions on this should be directed to HESA's Information Services Team (