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Introduction to data on HE providers

Who is HESA?

HESA (Higher Education Statistics Agency) is the expert organisation in UK higher education data and analysis. We have been collecting, processing and publishing data about higher education (HE) in the UK since the 1994/95 academic year.

As the trusted source of HE data and analysis, we play a key role in supporting and enhancing the competitive strength of the sector.

What data do we collect on universities and colleges?

We collect data from UK universities, colleges, and other HE providers about:

How do we collect data on HE providers?

HE providers currently submit data to us on an annual basis about their activities during HESA’s reporting period (which runs from 1 August to 31 July each year). This data is submitted retrospectively after the end of the reporting period.

We have developed detailed specifications for the data we expect providers to return to us. The data on our HE Provider Data pages is taken from the following records:

What data do we publish and in what formats?

As part of our Open Data Strategy, we publish the entire HE-BCI survey results and extracts from the Estates return as machine-readable csv downloads and interactive web-based tables. HE-BCI is published in April, with Estates data following in May.

Finance data is currently available in two paid for publications: Finance Plus (which is the complete finance record) and Finances of Higher Education Providers (which focuses on income and expenditure figures). From March 2019, finance data will be published as open data in machine-readable format and interactive tables.

From which HE providers do we collect data?

We collect detailed finance, estates and business & community interaction data from all publicly funded HE institutions in the UK, as well as the privately funded University of Buckingham.

What historical data on HE providers is available?

The following historical publications are available from our website:

What further guidance is available for interpreting our data?

We offer further guidance to understanding the data we publish, including:

What further data is available?

We also publish a substantial amount of data about HE students, staff and graduates.

If you cannot find the information you want in our published tables, contact our Custom data enquiry service, which can provide you with data extracts to suit your needs, on +44 (0) 1242 211133, or via the email button below:

Contact the Custom data enquiry service

Custom data timescales, costs, and FAQs

Submit a custom data request