Definitions - Higher Education Statistics 2007/08
Due to the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Human Rights Act 1998, HESA implements a strategy in published and released tabulations designed to prevent the disclosure of personal information about any individual. These tabulations are derived from the HESA non-statutory populations1 and may differ slightly from those published by related statutory bodies. This strategy involves rounding all numbers to the nearest multiple of 5. A summary of this strategy is as follows:
- 0, 1, 2 are rounded to 0
- All other numbers are rounded to the nearest multiple of 5.
So for example 3 is represented as 5, 22 is represented as 20, 3286 is represented as 3285 while 0, 20, 55 and 3510 remain unchanged.
This rounding strategy is also applied to total figures, the consequence of which is that the sum of numbers in each row or column will rarely match the total shown precisely. Note that subject level data calculated by apportionment will also be rounded in accordance with this strategy.
Average values, proportions and FTE values prepared by HESA will not be affected by the above strategy, and will be calculated on precise raw numbers. However, percentages calculated on populations which contain 52 or fewer individuals will be suppressed and represented as '..' as will averages based on populations of 7 or fewer.
Subject of study and JACS codes
Specification of JACS
All JACS subject codes consist of a letter followed by three digits, the first of them non-zero (except the generic codes described below). The initial letter identifies the subject group, for example F for Physical Sciences. The initial letter and immediately following digit identify the principal subject, for example F5 Astronomy. F500 is a valid JACS code used where there is no need for a higher level of precision, but subjects can be identified more precisely using a second non-zero digit, for example F520 Space and planetary sciences, and, with even more precision, F521 Space science and F522 Planetary science. Often it is necessary to consider together all the codes, or all the student numbers, falling within a principal subject. This is done by referring to it using just the first two characters, so F5 refers to all of Astronomy and to total numbers in it, by no means all of which will have code F500. Similarly, F52 refers to the whole of Space and planetary sciences.
The first review of a selection of subject areas resulted in the implementation of a revision of the JACS subject codes for 2007/08. The full listing of JACS2 can be found here.
Student courses often involve combinations of subjects, and so cannot be described by a single JACS code. Within the HESA student data collection, there are two mechanisms for dealing with this. First, JACS has been slightly extended to allow codes to be assigned to highly integrated courses which cut across principal subjects. Where such a broadly-based course falls within a single subject group, it can be coded as the group letter followed by three zeroes, for example F000 would code such a course in Physical sciences. This is known as a generic code, and is an extension of JACS for the purpose of coding complete student courses; generic codes may not be used in any other way, for example for coding modules. Courses which cut across subject groups are given the generic code Y000, which is equivalent to continuing to recognise the need for a Combined subject group. The second mechanism is designed to describe less integrated courses of the kind often known as Joint Honours. The HESA Student record allows the reporting of up to three subject descriptors for each course and a proportion of time allocated for each subject studied on a course.
Additionally, a procedure of apportionment is used. Under apportionment, each student instance is, where necessary, divided in a way that in broad-brush terms reflects the pattern of a split course. This is analogous to the use of FTE calculations (with a variation for initial teacher training (ITT) students).
From 2007/08, for split courses not involving an ITT component, institutions assign their own percentages based on a broad assessment of the relative contribution of subjects to a course, rather than detailed analysis of the contributions of subjects to individual students' courses of study. It is therefore expected that most institutions will apply the same percentages to all courses and only vary this where there is a substantially different subject split. For institutions in England, Northern Ireland and Wales the listed standard percentages are recommended, and in Scotland obligatory:
- Balanced 50% for each of the two subjects
- Major - Minor 67% and 33%
- Triple 34%, 33% and 33%.
The sum of the proportion allocated to each subject studied on a course must equal 100.
ITT students at undergraduate level who also have specialism subjects recorded (typically, secondary ITT students) are apportioned 50% to the Education subject area and the remaining 50% is further assigned according to the percentages recommended above. Where no subject other than education is recorded, or where the student is on a PGCE course, apportionment is 100% to the Education subject area.
HESA has defined nineteen subject areas in terms of JACS codes for reporting information broken down by subject to present a useful broad-brush picture. The subject areas do not overlap, and cover the entire range of JACS Principal Subjects. Apart from the need to separate the Mathematical science and Computer science elements of Principal Subject G0 and G9, they are expressed entirely in terms of JACS Principal Subjects, and correspond closely to JACS Subject Groups.
In response to requests from users of HESA data, the printed tables also show information for four supplementary subjects, three of which fall within single subject areas, and one, Geography, cuts across the two areas of Physical sciences and Social studies.
|Subject areas||JACS code|
|Medicine & dentistry||A|
|Subjects allied to medicine||B|
|Agriculture & related subjects||D0/3/4/5/6/7/9|
|Engineering & technology||H, J|
|Architecture, building & planning||K|
|Business & administrative studies||N|
|Mass communications & documentation||P|
|Languages||Q, R, T|
|Historical & philosophical studies||V|
|Creative arts & design||W|
|Economics & politics||L1/2|
A. HESA student data
In general, the HESA Student Record is collected in respect of all students registered at a reporting institution who follow courses that lead to the award of a qualification(s) or institutional credit, excluding those registered as studying wholly overseas. The data specification of the record uses the term 'instance' to describe a student's engagement with the institution, which, because a student can have more than one instance of engagement, will exceed the number of students. Unless stated otherwise, Student data is based on an instance of engagement. Postdoctoral students are not included in the HESA Student Record.
The reporting period for the 2007/08 HESA Student Record is 1 August 2007 to 31 July 2008.
Higher education (HE) students for the purpose of HESA's data collection are those students on courses for which the level of instruction is above that of level 3 of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) National Qualifications Framework (NQF) (e.g. courses at the level of Certificate of HE and above).
Further education (FE) students are those students on programmes of study for which the level of instruction is equal to or below that of level 3 of the NQF.
The HESA session population (Table 1 FTE) has been derived from the HESA Student Record. It includes all higher education and further education student instances active at a reporting institution at any point in the reporting period 1 August to 31 July except:
- Dormant students (those who have ceased studying but have not formally de-registered)
- Incoming visiting and exchange students
- Students where the whole of the programme of study is outside of the UK
and from 2007/08:
- Students on sabbatical.
Incoming visiting and exchange students are excluded from the session population in order to avoid an element of double-counting with both outgoing and incoming students being included.
The HESA session population forms the basis for counts of full-time equivalent (FTE) student instances.
The HESA standard registration population (Tables 0a, 1 to 4, 6, 7 and 18) has been derived from the HESA Student Record, from all higher education and further education student instances active at a reporting institution in the reporting period 1 August to 31 July, and ensures that similar activity is counted in a similar way irrespective of when it occurs.
The population splits the student experience into 'years of study'; the first year of which is deemed to start on the commencement date of the student instance with second, and subsequent years, starting on, or near, the anniversary of that date. Student instances are counted once for each ‘year of study’. Short course registrations are counted in the standard registration population regardless of whether they are active on 1 December of the reporting period. However students who leave within two weeks of their instance start date, or anniversary of their start date, and are on a course of more than two weeks duration, are not included in the standard registration population.
Also excluded from this population are:
- dormant students (those who have ceased studying but have not formally de-registered)
- incoming visiting and exchange students
- students where the whole of the programme of study is outside of the UK
and from 2007/08:
- students on sabbatical, and
- writing-up students.
The HESA standard registration population forms the basis for most counts of first year and continuing student instances.
The HESA qualifications obtained population (Tables 5 and 8) is a count of student instances associated with the award of an HE qualification (excluding HE institutional credits) during the HESA reporting period 1 August 2007 to 31 July 2008, which were returned to HESA by 31 October 2008. This includes qualifications awarded from dormant, writing-up and sabbatical status.
Incoming visiting and exchange students are excluded from this population.
Full-time equivalent (FTE) data represents the institution's assessment of the full-time equivalence of the student instance during the reporting year 1 August 2007 to 31 July 2008.
FTE data is based on the HESA session population, and includes writing-up students.
Mode of study
(Applicable to HESA populations except the qualifications obtained population)
Full-time and sandwich students are those normally required to attend an institution for periods amounting to at least 24 weeks within the year of study, on thick or thin sandwich courses, and those on a study-related year out of their institution. During that time students are normally expected to undertake periods of study, tuition or work experience which amount to an average of at least 21 hours per week.
Where full-time and sandwich are shown separately they are defined as follows:
Full-time students are those normally required to attend an institution for periods amounting to at least 24 weeks within the year of study.
Sandwich students are those on a minimum of 24 weeks study/placement, on thick sandwich courses (continuous absence from full-time study of at least one academic year), thin sandwich courses (an average of more than 21 hours study a week for a minimum of 24 weeks study/placement) or other sandwich courses/programmes where the expected length of study is over 24 weeks.
Part-time students are those recorded as studying part-time, or studying full-time on courses lasting less than 24 weeks, on block release, or studying during the evenings only.
Level of study/Qualification obtained
The level of study is taken from the course aim of the student.
HESA classifies courses according to a framework which aligns with the framework for HE qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (FHEQ), the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) (of which the framework for qualifications of HE institutions in Scotland is a constituent part) and the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) and Bologna frameworks. Details are available our website. It includes level M for taught masters degrees, and level H for honours degrees.
Qualification obtained is taken from the qualification awarded to the student during the reporting year, usually at the end of an instance. The qualification awarded may be different to the student's qualification aim level of study, and the student may be awarded more than one qualification during the reporting year.
Higher education (HE) courses are those programmes of study for which the level of instruction is above that of level 3 of the National Qualifications Framework, e.g. courses leading to GCE A levels, VCE A levels or SQA Advanced Highers/Highers.
Further education (FE) courses are those programmes of study for which the level of instruction is equal to or below that of courses leading to HE level as described above.
Postgraduate courses are those leading to higher degrees, diplomas and certificates (including Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE at level M) and professional qualifications) which usually require a first degree as an entry qualification (i.e. already qualified at level H).
Higher degrees includes doctorate and masters degrees obtained primarily through research and not obtained primarily through research, and postgraduate bachelors degrees at level M.
In analyses where higher degrees level of study is disaggregated into Doctorate and Other higher degrees, the following groupings are used:
Doctorate includes doctorate degrees obtained primarily through research and not obtained primarily through research written up as a thesis/dissertation.
Other higher degrees includes masters degrees obtained primarily through research and not obtained primarily through research and postgraduate bachelors degrees at level M.
Other postgraduate includes: postgraduate diplomas; certificates and professional qualifications; Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE at level M); institutional postgraduate credits; no formal postgraduate qualifications.
In analyses where other postgraduate level of study is disaggregated into Postgraduate Certificate in Education and Other postgraduate qualifications, the following groupings are used:
Postgraduate Certificate in Education are those PGCE qualifications which are pitched at level M.
Other postgraduate qualifications includes: postgraduate diplomas; certificates and professional qualifications; institutional postgraduate credits; no formal postgraduate qualifications.
First degree includes: first degrees (including eligibility to register to practice with a health or social care or veterinary statutory regulatory body); first degrees with qualified teacher status (QTS)/registration with the General Teaching Council (GTC); enhanced first degrees; first degrees obtained concurrently with a diploma; intercalated first degrees.
Other undergraduate includes qualification aims equivalent to and below first degree level, including, but not limited to: Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE at level H); foundation degrees; diplomas in HE (including those with eligibility to register to practice with a health or social care regulatory body); Higher National Diploma (HND); Higher National Certificate (HNC); Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE); Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE); foundation courses at higher education (HE) level; National Vocational Qualification (NVQ)/Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) levels 4 and 5; post-degree diplomas and certificates at undergraduate level; professional qualifications at undergraduate level; other undergraduate diplomas and certificates including post-registration health and social care courses; other formal HE qualifications of less than degree standard; institutional undergraduate credit; no formal undergraduate qualifications.
In analyses where other undergraduate level of study is disaggregated into Professional Graduate Certificate in Education, Foundation degree and Other undergraduate qualifications, the following groupings are used:
Professional Graduate Certificate in Education are those PGCE qualifications which are pitched at level H.
Foundation degree (e.g. FdA, FdSc) were introduced to provide vocational HE qualifications at level I.
Other undergraduate qualifications includes: foundation degrees; diplomas in HE (including those with eligibility to register to practice with a health or social care regulatory body); Higher National Diploma (HND); Higher National Certificate (HNC); Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE); Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE); foundation courses at higher education (HE) level; National Vocational Qualification (NVQ)/Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) levels 4 and 5; post-degree diplomas and certificates at undergraduate level; professional qualifications at undergraduate level; other undergraduate diplomas and certificates including post-registration health and social care courses; other formal HE qualifications of less than degree standard; institutional undergraduate credit; no formal undergraduate qualifications.
Further education programmes of study includes: diplomas; certificates and National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ)/Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQ) at level 3 and below; A/AS levels; Advanced Highers/Highers (Scotland); GCSEs; Intermediates (Scotland); higher education (HE) access courses; Welsh for Adults; other qualifications below HE level.
Classification of first degrees
The classification of first degrees indicates the qualification class obtained. Certain qualifications obtained at first degree level are not subject to classification of award, notably medical and general degrees. These, together with ordinary degrees and aegrotat qualifications have been included within Unclassified. Third class honours, fourth class honours and pass have been aggregated as Third class/pass. Lower second and undivided second class honours have been aggregated as Lower second class.
Initial teacher training (ITT)
ITT data is presented on a count of instance basis and not directly comparable with the apportioned figures in the Education subject area. It is therefore tabulated separately to reduce the risk of misinterpretation.
ITT students are based on the Standard registration population and includes instances on initial or pre-service teacher training courses leading to Qualified Teacher Status or to registration as a school teacher with the General Teaching Council for Scotland, or a Teacher Development Agency (TDA) funded flexible provision (ITT) course.
ITT qualifiers includes qualifications obtained from the categories of ITT instances listed above, and as it is based on the 'Qualifications obtained population' includes qualifications awarded from dormant, writing-up and sabbatical status.
PGCE qualifications awarded includes both Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE at level M) and Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE at level H).
Bachelor of Education and other first degree ITT qualifications awarded includes: first degrees (including eligibility to register to practice with a health or social care or veterinary statutory regulatory body H16); first degrees with qualified teacher status (QTS)/registration with the General Teaching Council (GTC); enhanced first degrees at level M and level H; postgraduate bachelors degrees at level H; first degrees obtained concurrently with a diploma; intercalated first degrees.
First year students
First year students are based on the HESA standard registration population who commenced their programme of study in the reporting period relevant to the data collection year.
Domicile data is supplied to HESA in the form of postcodes (UK domiciled students) or country codes. Postcodes are mapped to counties/unitary authorities and UK countries using the National Statistics Postcode Directory. Where no data is supplied about the student's domicile, fee eligibility is used to assign to either UK region unknown or Non-European Union unknown.
UK domiciled students are those whose normal residence is in the UK, and for the purposes of Student data in this publication include Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man. (Officially, the Crown Dependencies of Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man are not part of the UK or the EU.)
Other European Union (EU) domiciled students are those whose normal residence is in countries which were European Union (EU) members as at 1 December of the reporting period.
Non-European Union (EU) domiciled students are those whose normal residence prior to commencing their programme of study was outside the EU.
Age is as at 31 August 2007.
Highest qualification on entry
It should be noted that a student’s highest qualification on entry is not necessarily that which was required for entry to the programme of study. Categories used are:
Postgraduate (excluding PGCE) includes all higher degrees, postgraduate diplomas and certificates (excluding Postgraduate and Professional Graduate Certificates in Education (PGCE at levels M and H)) and postgraduate equivalent qualifications.
PGCE includes Postgraduate and Professional Graduate Certificates in Education (PGCE at levels M and H) with and without qualified teacher status (QTS)/General Teaching Council (GTC) registration.
First degree of UK institution plus undergraduate qualifications with qualified teacher status qualified teacher status QTS.
Other graduate and equivalent qualifications includes: graduate qualifications obtained outside the UK; General National Vocational Qualifications (GNVQ)/General Scottish Vocational Qualifications (GSVQ) level 5; National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ)/Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQ) level 5; other graduate equivalent qualifications not already specified.
HE credits includes Open University credits and credits from other UK higher education (HE) institutions.
Other HE and professional qualifications includes: certificates and diplomas of education; Higher National Certificates (HNC) or Higher National Diplomas (HND) (including BTEC and SQA equivalents); diplomas in higher education; GNVQ/GSVQ level 4; NVQ/SVQ level 4; professional qualifications; foundation courses at HE level; other HE qualifications of less than degree standard; foundation degrees.
GCE A level, SQA Highers and equivalent includes any combination of these qualifications plus GNVQ/GSVQ level 3, NVQ/SVQ level 3, BTEC and SQA National Certificate/Diploma (ONC/OND).
Access courses includes those Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) recognised, those not QAA recognised and other accredited and unaccredited access courses.
GCSE/O level qualifications, SQA O grades and standard grades includes any combination of these qualifications.
Other qualifications includes foundation courses at further education (FE) level, Baccalaureate, other non-advanced qualifications, NVQ/SVQ level 2, diplomas in Foundation Studies, Advanced Modern Apprenticeships, and other non-UK qualifications (level not known).
No formal qualification required/held includes Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning (APEL/APL), mature students admitted on basis of previous experience/institution's own entrance examination, or it is known that the student has no formal qualification.
Not known/sought - nothing is known about the student’s qualifications on entry to their programme of study.
Location of institution
The allocation of an institution to a geographical region is done by reference to the administrative centre of that institution. There may be students registered at institutions who are studying in regions other than that of the administrative centre of the institution.
Although The Open University teaches throughout the UK, its administrative centre is located in South East England, and is counted as a wholly English institution.
Major source of tuition fees
The tuition fee awarded indicates the predominant source of the tuition fees for the student where this is known. This includes fees from UK government, research councils, charities, EU and other sources.
B. HESA aggregate record for students studying wholly outside the UK
Table 0b includes a summary headcount table of the Aggregate record for students studying wholly outside the UK (Aggregate offshore record).
In parallel with introduction of the new Student record in 2007/08, a separate summary aggregate return collects data about all students registered with UK higher education institutions (HEI) but studying wholly outside the UK. Return of such students in the Student record was previously optional. Students studying wholly outside the UK (to date) are now required to be included in the Aggregate record for students studying wholly outside the UK, unless they are funded (e.g. Crown servants overseas and the Services), or considered fundable under Funding Council Early Statistics rules.
Students who commence their studies outside the UK and subsequently come to continue their studies within the UK are included in the Aggregate offshore record up until the point at which they enter the UK, when a full individualised record is required. Students who spend a sandwich, language or other year abroad as part of their overall course, which is otherwise UK based, are not included in the Aggregate offshore record.
Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man are counted as overseas within the Aggregate offshore record.
Location of provision
Within the European Union includes students whose location of study country was a European Union (EU) member state. Overseas territories of EU member states (e.g. Netherlands Antilles and French Guiana) are included in this category.
Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man, for the purposes of these tables, are counted as within the European Union. (Officially, the Crown Dependencies of Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man are not part of the UK or the EU).
Outside the European Union includes students whose location of study country was outside the EU.
Where location of study countries are shown separately, individual country figures exclude the country's overseas territories.
Level of provision
Level of provision describes the qualification that will be obtained as a result of successful completion of studies. It is based on the coding frame used for course aim in the Student record.
Postgraduate includes research doctorate and research masters degrees, taught doctorate and taught masters degrees.
First degree includes bachelors degrees with honours and ordinary bachelors degrees.
Other undergraduate includes diplomas and certificates in HE.
Further education includes qualifications at FE level.
Type of provision
Type of provision defines the arrangements under which overseas programmes are provided.
Students registered at a UK higher education institution
Overseas campus of reporting institution includes those studying at a campus set up as a branch campus of the parent institution, and as such it is seen as no different from any other campus of the institution.
Distance, flexible or distributed learning denotes educational provision leading to an award of an awarding institution delivered and/or supported and/or assessed through means which generally do not require the student to attend particular classes or events at particular times and particular locations. (There are a small number of distance learning students studying outside the UK who are funded (e.g. Crown servants overseas and the Services). These students are returned in the Student record and not included in the Aggregate overseas record.)
Other arrangement including collaborative provision denotes provision leading to an award of an awarding institution delivered and/or supported and/or assessed through an arrangement with a partner organisation. Collaborative provision, sometimes described as 'franchised' provision includes consortia and joint award arrangements.
Students studying for an award of a UK higher education institution
Students studying for an award of a UK HEI are not registered students of the reporting institution, but are studying for an award of the reporting institution, and are registered at an Overseas partner organisation or via some Other arrangement.
C. HESA Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) data
The HESA Student record is collected in respect of all students registered in the reporting institution who follow programmes of study leading to the award of a qualification or institutional credit. The Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) record supplements the Student record in so far as it is linked to it and collects information about what those completing their HE experience, and respond to the DLHE questionnaire, go on to do.
The reference dates for this DLHE return were 14 April 2008 (if the leaver obtained the qualification between 1 August 2007 and 31 December 2007) and 12 January 2009 (if the leaver obtained the qualification between 1 January 2008 and 31 July 2008).
The HESA Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) target population contains all United Kingdom (UK) and European Union (EU) domiciled students reported to HESA for the reporting period 1 August 2007 to 31 July 2008 as obtaining relevant qualifications and whose study was full-time or part-time (including sandwich students and those writing-up theses). Awards from dormant status are not included in the target population. Relevant qualifications exclude professional qualifications. Officially, the Crown Dependencies of Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man are not part of the UK or the EU. However, they are grouped with and assumed to be part of the UK in the HESA DLHE record.
The data specifications of the Student and DLHE records use the term 'instance' to describe a student's engagement with the institution, which, because a student can have more than one instance of engagement, will exceed the number of students. Unless stated otherwise, DLHE data is based on an instance of engagement.
Relevant qualifications for inclusion in the DLHE record are taken from the qualification awarded to the student instance during the reporting year, usually at the end of an instance. The qualification awarded may be different to the student's qualification aim, and each student instance may have a maximum of two qualifications awarded. Where two relevant qualifications are awarded, the highest award is selected as the relevant qualification for DLHE.
HESA classifies courses according to a framework which aligns with the framework for HE qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (FHEQ), the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) (of which the framework for qualifications of HE institutions in Scotland is a constituent part) and the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) and Bologna frameworks. Details are available on our website. It includes level M for taught masters degrees, and level H for honours degrees.
Relevant qualifications includes: doctorate and masters degrees; other postgraduate qualifications obtained primarily through supervised research as level L; qualifications leading towards obtaining eligibility to register to practice with a health or social care or veterinary statutory regulatory body (at level M, H, I and J); integrated undergraduate/postgraduate taught masters degrees on the enhanced/extended pattern; postgraduate bachelors degrees (at level M and level H); Postgraduate Certificate in /Professional Graduate Diploma in Education and Professional Graduate Certificate in Education; other taught qualifications at level M; qualifications leading towards registration with the Architects Registration Board (Parts 2 and 1) (at level M and level H); first degrees with honours/ordinary first degrees (including those leading to qualified teacher status (QTS)/registration with the General Teaching Council (GTC), but excluding those from the intercalated pattern); first degrees with honours on the enhanced/extended pattern at level H; first degrees with honours and diploma; graduate diploma/certificate at level H and level I; other qualifications at level H; foundation degrees (including those which on completion meet entry requirement for pre-registration health or social care qualification); Diplomas of Higher Education (DipHE); Higher National Diplomas (HND); Certificates of Education (CertHE); Higher National Certificates (HNC).
The population for the DLHE return does not necessarily represent the full cohort graduating during the reporting period; examples of those excluded are professional qualifications (e.g. associate membership or membership of a body such as the Institute of Bankers) and undergraduate diplomas and certificates other than foundation degrees, Diplomas of Higher education (DipHE), Higher National Diplomas (HND), Certificates of Higher Education (CertHE) and Higher National Certificates (HNC).
Level of qualification obtained
Postgraduate qualifications obtained includes: doctorate degrees; masters degrees; other postgraduate qualifications obtained primarily through advanced supervised research; Masters of Business Administration (MBA); pre-registration masters degrees and other taught qualifications at level M leading towards obtaining eligibility to register to practice with a health or social care or veterinary statutory regulatory body; postgraduate bachelors degrees at level M; Postgraduate Certificates in Education or Professional Graduate Diplomas in Education; other taught qualifications at level M including those leading towards registration with the Architects Registration Board (Part 2 qualification).
First degree qualifications obtained includes: integrated undergraduate/postgraduate taught masters degrees on the enhanced/extended pattern, and first degrees with honours on the enhanced/extended pattern at level H; first degrees with honours/ordinary first degrees (including those leading to qualified teacher status (QTS)/registration with the General Teaching Council (GTC), but excluding those from the intercalated pattern); first degrees with honours leading towards registration with the Architects Registration Board (Part 1 qualification); pre-registration first degrees with honours/ordinary first degrees leading towards obtaining eligibility to register to practice with a health or social care or veterinary statutory regulatory body; first degrees with honours and diploma; postgraduate bachelors degrees at level H.
Other undergraduate qualifications obtained includes: graduate diplomas/certificates at level H; Professional Graduate Certificates in Education; other qualifications at level H including those leading towards registration with the Architects Registration Board (Part 2 qualification); graduate diplomas/certificates at level I; foundation degrees (including those which on completion meet the entry requirement for pre-registration health or social care qualification); Diplomas of Higher Education (DipHE) (including those leading towards obtaining eligibility to register to practice with a health or social care or veterinary statutory regulatory body); Higher National Diplomas (HND); Certificates of Higher Education (CertHE); Higher National Certificates (HNC).
Mode of study
The qualification obtained mode of study used in HESA DLHE analyses re-allocates writing-up and dormant status student instance awards to their previous mode.
Full-time study instances are those where students are recorded as studying full-time (normally required to attend an institution for periods amounting to at least 24 weeks within the year of study), on thick or thin sandwich courses or on a study-related year out. During that time students are normally expected to undertake periods of study, tuition or work experience which amount to an average of at least 21 hours per week. This includes writing-up and dormant status where the mode of study was previously full-time and students changing to dormant status previously full-time.
Part-time study instances are those where students are recorded as studying part-time, or studying full-time on courses lasting less than 24 weeks, on block release or studying during the evenings only. This includes writing-up and dormant status where the mode of study was previously part-time, awards given to those on sabbatical and students changing to dormant status previously part-time.
Age is as at 31 July 2008.
Employment circumstances and Study circumstances
In the DLHE survey leavers are able to report separately what they are doing in relation to both employment and study and a matrix of possible outcomes is constructed. This matrix is used to define the key categories of outcomes such as employed and unemployed.
As leavers report separately what they are doing in relation to employment and further study, it is possible to be involved in either employment only, further study only or employment and further study. Therefore where the terms employment and further study are used, it is important to note that:
- Employment includes those in employment only, and those in both employment and further study
- Further study includes those in further study only, and those in both employment and further study.
Matrix of Employment circumstances and Study circumstances:
|Employment circumstances||Full-time study (1)||Part-time study (2)||Not in study (3)|
|Employed full-time in paid work (01)||D||D||A|
|Employed part-time in paid work (02)||D||D||B|
|Voluntary work/other unpaid work (15)||D||D||C|
|Permanently unable to work/retired (16)||G||G||G|
|Temporarily sick or unable to work/looking after the home or family (17)||E||E||G|
|Taking time out in order to travel (10)||G||G||G|
|Due to start a job within the next month (11)||E||F||F|
|Unemployed and looking for employment, further study or training (12)||E||F||F|
|Not employed but not looking for employment, further study or training (13)||E||E||O|
|Something else (14)||E||E||O|
|Question not answered (XX)||X||X||X|
The values in brackets refer to the valid entries recorded for Employment circumstances (field 5) and Study circumstances (field 6) in the DLHE record.
Study circumstances describes whether the leaver was involved in study, training or research on the census date, and if so, if it was full-time or part-time. Not in study/Not studying includes not in study, training or registered as a research student.
Activity describes the employment category of the leaver based on the values in the Matrix of Employment circumstances and Study circumstances:
|Full-time paid work only (including self-employed)||A|
|Part-time paid work only||B|
|Voluntary/unpaid work only||C|
|Work and further study||D|
|Further study only||E|
|Assumed to be unemployed||F|
|Not available for employment||G|
Of those working (including work and further study) includes those who reported that they were in full-time paid work only (including self-employed), part-time paid work only, voluntary/unpaid work only plus work and further study.
Location of employment
This describes the location of the HE leaver's place of work. Data is supplied to HESA in the form of postcodes for employment in the UK or country codes. Postcodes are mapped to counties/unitary authorities, Government Office Regions and UK countries using the National Statistics Postcode Directory.
Duration of employment
This describes the HE leaver's own assessment of the duration of their employment in the work they were doing when surveyed.
The Standard Occupational Classification
In 2003 HESA adopted the SOC2000 Standard Occupational Classification (which replaced SOC90), for comparability of sector data with other areas of the economy. A variant of the SOC2000 was created for the coding of occupational information collected in the DLHE survey. The classification is termed SOC (DLHE) and details are available from the Downloadable files section of the DLHE coding manual on the HESA website.
D. HESA staff data
The staff record provides data in respect of the characteristics of members of all academic and non-academic staff employed under a contract of employment by a higher education institution (HEI) in the UK. Academic staff are defined as academic professionals who are responsible for planning, directing and undertaking academic teaching and research within HE institutions. They also include vice-chancellors, medical practitioners, dentists, veterinarians and other health care professionals who undertake lecturing or research activities. Non-academic staff are defined as those that do not have an academic employment function such as managers, non-academic professionals, student welfare workers, secretaries, caretakers and cleaners. Staff employed under consultancy contracts, or on the basis of payment of fees for services, without a contract of employment, are not included in the record.
The record is collected in two sections; the Staff person table and the Staff contract table. The person table contains one record for every person employed by an institution during the HESA reporting period 2007/08 (1 August 2007 to 31 July 2008 inclusive) and contains attributes of the individual such as birth date, gender and ethnicity. Each person's employment with an institution will be governed by a legally-binding contract and each contract that exists is recorded on the contract table. If a person has a single contract with the institution there will be one record on the person table and one record on the contract table. If a person has three contracts with an institution there will be one record on the person table and three records on the contract table.
The range of data required about an individual and the contract(s) that they hold will depend on the nature of those contracts and also the classification of the activity for which the contract exists. For atypical staff, whose contracts are those with working arrangements that are not permanent, involve complex employment relationships and/or involve work away from the supervision of the normal work provider, only a minimum data set is required. For staff (excluding atypical) where one or more of the contracts held during the reporting period cannot be defined as atypical, and includes open-ended/permanent and fixed-term contracts, there is a requirement to return a wider range of data (which may include salary information and start and end dates of employment and contracts).
The HESA staff contract population is an indicator of those contracts that were active on 1 December within the reporting period. Atypical staff contracts are not counted in this population. Other staff with a default (or unknown) contract start date, a default (or unknown) contract end date and a contract full-time equivalent (FTE) of zero are also not counted in this population.
The HESA staff contract population is used in analyses of staff contract attributes by full-person equivalents (FPE).
The HESA staff atypical population is an indicator of those individuals who have only atypical contracts within the reporting period.
In addition to this definition from the former DTI, some HE specific guidance has been devised by HESA in consultation with institutions. Atypical contracts meet one or more of the following conditions:
- Are for less than four consecutive weeks - meaning that no statement of terms and conditions needs to be issued
- Are for one-off/short-term tasks - for example answering phones during clearing, staging an exhibition, organising a conference. There is no mutual obligation between the work provider and working person beyond the given period of work or project. In some cases individuals will be paid a fixed fee for the piece of work unrelated to hours/time spent
- Involve work away from the supervision of the normal work provider - but not as part of teaching company schemes or for teaching and research supervision associated with the provision of distance learning education
- Involve a high degree of flexibility often in a contract to work ‘as-and-when’ required - for example conference catering, student ambassadors, student demonstrators.
The HESA staff atypical population is used in analyses of atypical staff person attributes by full-person equivalents (FPE).
In Higher Education Statistics for the United Kingdom, Table 13 is based on the HESA staff contract population, Table 14 is based on the HESA staff atypical population.
Individuals can hold more than one contract with an institution and each contract may involve more than one activity. In analyses staff counts have been divided amongst the activities in proportion to the declared FTE for each activity. This results in counts of full person equivalents (FPE). Staff FPE counts are calculated on the basis of contract activities that were active on 1 December of the reporting period (using the HESA staff contract population).
Atypical full-person equivalent
Individuals can hold atypical contracts with an institution and each contract may involve more than one activity. In analyses staff counts have been divided amongst the activities in proportion to the declared FTE for each activity. This results in counts of full person equivalents (FPE). Atypical staff FPE counts are calculated on the basis of those individuals who have only atypical contracts that were active during the reporting period (using the HESA atypical staff population).
In Higher Education Statistics for the United Kingdom, Table 13 shows counts of Full-person equivalents, Table 14 shows counts of Atypical full-person equivalents.
Mode of employment
Full-time staff are those whose contracts state that their mode of employment is full-time. This includes staff who work full-time for part of a year and term-time only staff who work full-time during the term.
Part-time staff are those staff that work anything less than full-time. This includes atypical (unless shown separately) where institutions were unable to assign staff contracts to either the full-time or the part-time category.
Mode of employment is an attribute of the contract, not the person. Therefore, a person will be counted as wholly part-time, even if they hold a number of part-time contracts that sum to one FTE. The FPE allocated to the full-time category will only reflect the people that hold a full-time contract. This is consistent with the treatment of other attributes of the contract.
Source of basic salary
Source of basic salary indicates whether contract salaries are paid wholly or in part from funds other than general institution funds. Whether income can be regarded as general institution funds or not depends on the distinction between unrestricted and restricted income as defined in the 'Statement of Recommended Practice: Accounting in Higher Education Institutions' (SORP). Restricted income is that which can only be applied to a specific purpose or activity so designated by the grantor or donor.
Wholly institutionally financed staff contracts are those paid wholly from general institution funds.
Principally institutionally financed staff contracts are paid mainly from general institution funds and partly from another source. Principally financed by the institution is defined as that where the proportion financed by the institution equals, or is greater than, 50% of the basic salary.
Other sources of finance - these staff contracts are paid mainly or wholly from sources other than general institution funds. Other sources of finance describes those contract salaries where the proportion financed by other sources is greater than 50%. These sources include NHS/General Medical or General Dental practice or Department of Health, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) (formerly Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS)) Research Councils, UK based charities, UK central government bodies and local authorities, UK industry, commerce & public corporations, European Union (EU) sources, other overseas sources and other sources not listed.
Academic employment function
The academic employment function of a member of staff relates to the academic contract of employment and not the actual work undertaken.
Teaching/Teaching & research staff are those whose contracts of employment state that they are employed only to undertake teaching and staff are those whose contracts of employment state that they are employed to undertake both teaching and research.
Research only staff are those whose contracts of employment state that the primary academic employment function is research only, even though the contract may include a limited number of hours teaching.
Neither teaching nor research staff are those whose contracted academic employment function is neither teaching nor research, e.g. Vice-Chancellor.
Grade (academic staff only)
The grade structure indicates a staff member's grade for a particular contract of employment. Groups of grades have been devised with regard to the different grading scales used within different institutions. Grades have not, however, been linked to salary information.
Professors includes heads of departments, professors, researchers (former UAP scale grade IV), clinical professors, and those appointed professors on a locally determined scale.
Senior lecturers & researchers includes principal lecturers, senior lecturers (former UAP/CSCFC scales), researchers (former UAP scale grade III), clinical senior lecturers and those appointed senior or principal lecturers on a locally determined scale.
Lecturers includes lecturers, senior lecturers (former PCEF scale), clinical lecturers and those appointed lecturers on a locally determined scale.
Researchers includes all research grades (former PCEF/CSCFC/UAP scale) not listed above and those researchers appointed on a locally determined scale.
Other grades includes other grades of academic staff not listed above.
Analysis by staff grade is only meaningful where institutions have reported their staff within nationally recognised grade structures or within internal grade structures which facilitate differentiation on a similar basis.
Several institutions, including some large post-1992 universities, report their academic staff on a single grade structure, which does not have an independent category for the professor grade. Hence staff on the professor grade at institutions using the single grade scale cannot be distinguished from the senior lecturer grade, leading to the number of professors being under-counted for these institutions and for the sector as a whole. This under-counting will have a consequential effect on the proportions of professors within particular subject areas, cost centres and by gender.
No attempt has been made to collect grade information for non-academic staff as the wide range of grade structures used up to now in institutions could not straightforwardly or meaningfully be mapped to a set of national grades.
It is recognised that there have been significant changes and developments in higher education employment conditions in recent years. Central to this is the Framework Agreement on Pay Modernisation in Higher Education that was agreed in 2004. The Agreement provides a framework to modernise pay arrangements with the specific aim of promoting equality, transparency and harmonisation to ensure equal pay is delivered for work of equal value. Institutions negotiated grade structures for all staff locally against a nationally agreed pay spine. An increasing number of institutions have therefore moved away from nationally recognised grade structures. Since implementation of the Framework Agreement was completed by the sector in August 2006, the existing coding frame in the HESA Staff Record has become outmoded.
A decision has now been made that HESA will collect an additional Grade table as part of the Staff Record which will capture the detail of each institution's grade structure. The grade field in the Contract table will then be replaced with one that provides a link from the Contract table to the new Grade table. This will be implemented for 2008/09.
The Agency therefore advises caution in analysis of staff by grade.
Location of institution
The allocation of an institution to a geographical region is done by reference to the administrative centre of that institution. There may be staff employed in regions other than that of the administrative centre of the institution.
Although the Open University teaches throughout the UK, its administrative centre is located in South East England, and is counted as a wholly English institution.
SOC - Occupational coding for higher education staff
The Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) provides a national standard for categorising occupational information. SOC forms the basis of occupational classification in a variety of national surveys that collect statistical information such as the Labour Force Survey and New Earnings Survey. The utilisation of SOC for classifying occupations within the HE sector therefore both allows for the heterogeneity of occupations that exist and enables comparisons to be made with other sectors of the economy and from a variety of data sources.
However, some difficulties emerge in the direct application of SOC for occupational coding within the HE sector. At the most aggregate level, SOC distinguishes nine broad categories termed Major Groups. The titles associated with these Major Groups, which by necessity have to be general in their nature to encompass all occupations, do not provide an intuitive method of classifying the occupations within HE. Additionally, the coding manuals of the Standard Occupational Classification contain information on many occupations and job titles that are not relevant to the HE sector.
The classification of occupations within higher education has therefore necessitated the development of a variant of the national standard that is relevant for the HE sector. This enables the classification of job titles found within the HE sector to fall into one of 13 broad occupational categories:
|3A||Laboratory, engineering, building, IT & medical technicians (including nurses)|
|3B||Student welfare workers, careers advisers, vocational training instructors, personnel & planning officers|
|3C||Artistic, media, public relations, marketing & sports instruction occupations|
|4A||Library assistants, clerks & general administrative assistants|
|4B||Secretaries, typists, receptionists & telephonists|
|5||Chefs, gardeners, electrical & construction trades, mechanical fitters & printers|
|6||Caretakers, residential wardens, sports & leisure attendants, nursery nurses & care occupations|
|7||Retail & customer service occupations|
|8||Drivers, maintenance supervisors & plant operatives|
|9||Cleaners, catering assistants, security officers, porters & maintenance workers|
Academic staff are defined as academic professionals who are responsible for planning, directing and undertaking academic teaching and research within HE institutions. They also include vice-chancellors, medical practitioners, dentists, veterinarians and other health care professionals who undertake lecturing or research activities. All academic staff fall into group 2A of the SOC classification, regardless of their discipline (e.g. science, engineering, social sciences, humanities, languages).
Non-academic staff are defined as members of staff who fall into one of the remaining 12 occupational categories such as managers, non-academic professionals, student welfare workers, secretaries, caretakers and cleaners.
E. HESA Finance data
HESA finance data in Tables 15 and 16 relates to the institutions' financial year, i.e. 1 August 2007 to 31 July 2008.
The annual Finance Statistics Return (FSR) is the main source of historical financial information on the total activities of all UK higher education institutions (HEIs). The FSR provides data in respect of the consolidated income and expenditure account, balance sheet and cash flow statement. The figures recorded for the consolidated income and expenditure account, the balance sheet headings and cash flow statement should be the same as those recorded in the HEIs audited/published financial statements. The financial statements should be prepared in accordance with the Statement of Recommended Practice: Accounting for Further and Higher Education Institutions (SORP), and comply with the financial reporting requirements contained in any UK legislation relevant to their constitution, such as the Companies Act and the Charities Act.
The categories used in the FSR for the HEI income and expenditure figures are defined below. (The full specification of the data return can be found in the HESA Finance record 2007/08 coding manual.)
Sources of income
Funding body grants
Funding body grants include those from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW), the Scottish Further and Higher Education Funding Council (SFC), the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) and the Department for Employment and Learning Northern Ireland (DEL(NI)).
Grants for higher education (HE) provision includes recurrent grants and capital grants as defined below in respect of higher education (HE) provision, except in Scotland where this category also includes grants for further education (FE) provision.
Recurrent grants includes the block grant (or main and associated grants) for teaching Recurrent (teaching), research Recurrent (research) and other recurrent grants Recurrent - other (including special funding) as shown in the annual grant letter or additional grant letter from the funding councils.
Release of deferred capital grants comprises the release of deferred capital grants for buildings, which includes where capital funding has been applied to the purchase of an asset that has been capitalised and equipment, which includes the purchase of furniture or other assets that have been capitalised.
Grants for FE provision (not applicable to SFC) includes all funding council grants for the provision of FE. Grants from HE funding councils and FE funding councils are added together. This category does not apply to SFC funded institutions, as they do not receive separately identified grants for non-advanced/FE provision.
Tuition fees & education contracts
This includes all income received in respect of fees for students on all courses for which fees are charged. Where fees are waived in whole or in part, the income due though not received is included.
Following the introduction of variable student fees in the 2006/07 academic year for institutions in England, Northern Ireland and Wales, this information is now administration specific, but has been grouped in Table 15 as follows:
Full-time HE fees - undergraduate includes all fees for undergraduate full-time and sandwich degree, diploma and similar award-bearing courses for home and EU domiciled students.
Full-time HE fees - postgraduate includes all fees for postgraduate full-time and sandwich higher degree, diploma and similar award-bearing courses for home and EU domiciled students.
Other fees & support grants includes Part-time undergraduate HE fees for undergraduate part-time degree, diploma and similar award-bearing courses for home and EU domiciled students; Part-time postgraduate HE fees for postgraduate part-time higher degree, diploma and similar award-bearing courses for home and EU domiciled students; Non-EU domicile student fees for all degree, diploma and similar award-bearing courses for non-home and non-EU domiciled students; Non-credit-bearing course fees received in respect of non-credit-bearing liberal adult education, continuing education or extra-mural courses; FE course fees received for the provision of FE/non-advanced courses; Research training support grants made by research councils and other bodies in support of the training of research students.
Endowment & investment income
This includes income from specific endowment asset investments, general endowment asset investments, other investment income and other interest receivable.
Research grants & contracts
This includes all income in respect of externally sponsored research carried out by the institution or its subsidiary undertaking for which directly related expenditure has been incurred.
Other services rendered includes all income in respect of services rendered to outside bodies, including the supply of goods and consultancies.
Residences & catering operations (including conferences) includes the gross income from residences, catering and conference operations.
Other general income includes grants from local authorities, income from health and hospital authorities (excluding teaching contracts), income released from deferred capital grants, income from intellectual property rights and all other operating income not covered above.
This includes all expenditure directly incurred by or on behalf of academic departments (including departments of continuing education) and expenditure incurred in connection with special and short courses, which is not reimbursable by research councils or other bodies in respect of work carried out on their behalf.
This includes expenditure incurred on centralised academic services such as the library and learning resource centres, central computers and computer networks (including maintenance and operating costs), expenditure on centrally run museums, galleries and observatories, and any other general academic services not covered elsewhere.
Administration & central services
This includes expenditure incurred on central administration, staff and student facilities and amenities and general educational expenditure.
This includes all expenditure incurred (whether centrally or departmentally) on the management of premises (including academic buildings, central academic services, art centres, institution’s health service premises, pavilions, sports buildings, etc) and on roads and grounds, except residences and catering.
Residences & catering operations (including conferences)
This includes the gross expenditure incurred in providing the residence, catering and any conference operations, including the cost of maintenance of residential and catering premises, salaries and any other identifiable costs relating to these operations. The depreciation costs and financing costs of these operations are included in the appropriate categories of expenditure.
Research grants & contracts
This includes the total of the direct costs attributed to research grants & contracts as detailed for research grants & contracts income.
This includes the total direct costs attributed to other services rendered and all other expenditure not covered above.
Categories of expenditure
Staff costs cover all, and only, those full-time and part-time staff holding contracts of employment with the institution and includes any redundancy or restructuring payments made to these staff. It includes costs in respect of academic staff (defined as staff whose primary employment function is teaching and/or research) and all other staff, paid from within the budgets of academic departments and allocated to the appropriate cost centre.
Other costs include depreciation (depreciation costs on equipment capitalised according to where the assets being depreciated are located), other operating expenses (costs in respect of payments to non-contracted staff or individuals, all other non-staff costs except for depreciation and interest payable, equipment which has not been depreciated, expenditure on maintenance contracts and telephone costs (calls, rental and non-capitalised equipment) if not charged to departments) and interest payable (costs in respect of interest payable on premises, residences and catering operations, and other expenditure).
F. UCAS data
The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) system processes applications for full-time higher education courses, sandwich first degree, foundation degree, Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE), Higher National Diploma (HND) and Higher National Certificate (HNC) courses. These include member institutions in the United Kingdom (UK). The Nursing and Midwifery Admissions Service, through which applications for diploma-level courses were previously made, merged with UCAS for the 2008 entry cycle.
The UCAS member institutions include all UK universities (with the exception of The Open University and those colleges of the University of London (Institutes and activities) which do not offer full-time undergraduate courses), most colleges and institutes of higher education (HE) and some colleges of further education (FE).
The number of member institutions in the UCAS scheme can vary from year to year due to institutions joining (or leaving) the UCAS scheme, and institutional mergers. In the 2008 entry cycle there were 309 member institutions.
Applicants are those who sent an application form to UCAS containing at least one first degree, foundation degree, DipHE, HND, HNC, ADN (Advanced Diploma of Nursing), DNM (Diploma of Nursing & Midwifery) or GDN (Graduate Diploma of Nursing & Midwifery) course application to a UCAS member institution. Each applicant is permitted to make up to five applications on the application form (six applications in 2007 and before). Applicants are classed as home (UK) or overseas based on the area of permanent residence given by them on the application form. There is no direct correlation between the classification used in these UCAS tables and that used as a basis for fees assessment.
Applications data is the sum of applications from applicants who submitted their application at any time before 30 June but excludes direct applicants and those applicants who applied directly into Clearing. Direct applicants include those who returned a Record of Prior Acceptance (RPA) or an Overseas Partnership Form (OPF).
UCAS Extra gives applicants holding no offers the chance to make additional applications prior to Clearing, providing them with the opportunity to be accepted at an earlier stage in the application cycle.
Accepted applicants are those who were offered and subsequently accepted a place at a UCAS member institution regardless of the route taken. Accepted applicant data includes applicants who were accepted for deferred entry.
Classification of academic subjects
UCAS subject classifications now employ the Joint Academic Coding System (JACS). For more information on JACS coding please see the UCAS website. The subjects now use JACS version 2.0.
Where data on subject group is tabulated for UCAS applicants, the preferred subject group is used since an applicant may submit applications to different subject areas. An applicant’s preferred subject is classified as the subject area for which the applicant makes the majority of his or her applications. If no such majority exists, the applicant is classified as having no preferred subject.
Applicants are asked to record their ethnic origin on the UCAS application form. This information is only coded for UK domiciled applicants and provision is not obligatory.
Applicants are asked to declare any disability on the UCAS application form. Provision of this information is voluntary and applicants are advised that they may choose only to inform the institutions to which they apply directly. Disability data is only reported for UK domiciled applicants.
Region of domicile and region of institution
The region of domicile for UK applicants and the region of institutions are categorised using Government Office Regions (GOR).
UCAS Extra was introduced in the 2003 entry cycle. This gives applicants holding no offers the chance to make additional applications prior to Clearing, providing them with the opportunity to be accepted at an earlier stage in the application cycle.
G. Student loans data
The numbers of students taking out loans, and the amounts borrowed, have been obtained from the Students Loans Company.
New student support arrangements in higher education came into effect from the start of the 1998/99 academic year. New entrants to HE were, with certain specified exceptions, expected to contribute up to £1,000 a year (£1,255 in 2008/09) towards the cost of their tuition fees. The amount depended on their own and, if appropriate, their parents' or spouse's income. The remainder is met from public funds and paid directly to HE institutions.
In the transitional year of the new arrangements, academic year 1998/99, some students who were not expecting to receive a contribution to their fees from public funds did not make an application to their LA.
In 1998/99, eligible new entrants received support for living costs through both grants and loans. Grants, which were assessed against family income, on average formed about a quarter of the support available. All students were entitled to a non income-assessed loan, which comprised the remaining three quarters of support available, and which is repayable on an income contingent basis. From 1999/2000, all basic support for living costs was through loans as grants were discontinued up until the introduction of the Higher Education Grant (HEG) in 2004/05 (apart from the Assembly Learning Grant introduced for Welsh domiciled students from 2002/03 but eventually replaced partly by the HEG).
The HEG was introduced for new entrants into HE in England and Wales in academic year 2004/05 to help cover the costs of participating in HE. The grant is fully means tested and is non-repayable. The maximum amount in 2008/09 is £1,000 as in 2004/05. The HEG does not reduce the amount of Student Loan available to the student.
Expenditure on the HEG forms part of the expenditure on Maintenance reported in Table 17c.
Maintenance expenditure for England and Wales specific to the HE Grant in 2008/09 was reported in SLC SFR 05/2008 and 06/2008.
The amount available to students through loans was increased to compensate for the reduction in grants until 1999/2000 from which point onwards students received their basic support for living costs solely through loans, approximately one quarter of which are income-assessed. However, maintenance grants have since been reintroduced beginning with the HE grant in 2004/05.
Repayment of student support scheme loans is linked to income after leaving university or college so that leavers only repay as and when they can afford to. Repayments are at the rate of 9% of income above the income threshold (which was £10,000 up until the end of March 2005 and then £15,000 for all borrowers from April 2005 onwards).
A new Maintenance Grant (England) and Assembly Learning Grant (ALG) (Wales) was introduced for ‘new system’ students who started their course in September 2006. This replaces the HE Grant. The maximum amount of support available in 2008/09 is £2,835 a year, and how much a student receives depends on their income and that of their household. Students receive the full grant of £2,835 if they are 2008 entrants with a household income up to £25,000 (in England only) or a continuing 'current system' student with a household income up to £18,360 (£18,370 in Wales). Students receive a partial grant with a minimum grant of £50 if they are 2008 entrants with a household income up to £60,005 (in England only) or a continuing 'current system' student with a household income up to £39,305 (£39,300 in Wales). No grant is payable where household income is above £39,305 (£39,300 in Wales). These grants are non-repayable. The equivalent special support grant (of up to £2,835) ensures that students in the DWP vulnerable groups have their grant disregarded when entitlement to benefits is calculated.
From September 2006 New system students studying in England are subject to tuition fees (up to £3,145 in 2008/09). In Wales, variable fees were introduced a year later, in September 2007. Loans to cover the cost of fees are available which students start to repay when they have left higher education and are earning over £15,000. In Wales the non means-tested Tuition Fee Grant of up to £1,845 came into force in 2007/08 (£1,890 in 2008/09). This grant is for Welsh domiciled and EU new system students (i.e. those entering under the 2006/07 regulations and subject to variable fees) who are studying in Wales. The grant effectively limits the fee charged to this group of students to a maximum of £1,255 in 2008/09
Students can defer payment of tuition fees by taking out a Tuition Fee loan. As well as being available to new system students, this option is also available to pre-2006/07 entrants if they make a full or partial contribution to their fixed fees.
Data in tables 17a, 17b, 17c and 17d are taken from two Statistical First Release (SFR) documents published on 27 November 2008 by the Student Loans Company. These SFRs are available from SLC, 100 Bothwell Street, Glasgow, G2 7JD, or from: www.slc.co.uk/statistics/national_statistics.html.
The information in the SFR will be updated annually in November.
H. International comparisons data
The Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF)3 supplies summary statistics, on behalf of the UK, to a joint questionnaire compiled by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Statistical Office of the European Communities (EUROSTAT) and the Statistical Office of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). Table 19 has been compiled using data supplied by various countries to the international bodies and in particular, data derived from the OECD's own annual publication, 'Education at a Glance'. There are inevitably a number of problems of comparability and interpretation in using this table, and readers are advised to read the footnotes carefully. The main aspects to be borne in mind are:
- The underlying educational systems need to be understood, as far as possible, in interpreting these comparisons. As an aid to understanding the differences between the various countries, up to date information about the different educational systems in the European Union is available from, EURYDICE at NFER, The Mere, Upton Park, Slough, Berkshire, SL1 2DQ (website: www.nfer.ac.uk/Eurydice). Or see the European EURYDICE Unit website: www.eurydice.org).
- Within HE three sub-divisions of tertiary education are recognised internationally. These are known as ISCED levels 5A, 5B and 6 (the International Standard Classification of Education). Level 5A courses are largely theoretically based and designed to provide entry to advanced research programmes and professions with high skill requirements. They have a minimum of three years full-time equivalent duration. These programmes are not exclusively offered at universities; conversely, not all university programmes fulfil the criteria to be classified as tertiary-type 5A. In the UK, first and higher degree qualifications (excluding PhDs) are included at this level. Level 5B qualifications are more practically-oriented and occupationally specific than programmes at ISCED 5A. They have a minimum of two years' full-time equivalent duration and are focused on equipping students for direct entry into the labour market, although some theoretical foundations may be covered in these programmes. In the UK these comprise 'sub degree' qualifications such as the DipHE, BTEC Higher National Diploma/Certificate (HND/HNC), nursing, and other professional qualifications. Level 6 is reserved for advanced research qualifications - in the UK, the PhD is included at this level.
- Although renewed efforts have been made to standardise education classifications, through a revised ISCED (1997), the definition of HE may be interpreted slightly differently by different countries. In some countries the Masters degree is the first degree in higher education and in others, the higher education system is oriented towards vocationally-based, level 5B courses, considered to be of an equal standing to level 5A courses.
- The range of public and private provision and definition of the public/private sectors will vary from country to country.
- Participation rates can be influenced by a number of factors including varying course lengths and drop-out rates.
- Graduation rates from Tertiary-type A and Tertiary-type B programmes are calculated on a 'gross' basis i.e. by dividing an unduplicated count of graduates (taken from the UOE GRAD questionnaire) by the population at the typical age of graduation.
- In the case of Tertiary-type A (i.e. degree) courses, OECD took the average of the UK 21, 22, 23 and 24 year old population to be the population at the 'typical age of graduation'.
- Graduation rates from advanced research (i.e. PhD) programmes continued to be calculated on a 'net' basis i.e. the sum over all 'x' of PhD graduates aged 'x' divided by population aged 'x'. Both these methods give a measure of the "lifetime chance" of graduating from tertiary education, based on current patterns.
- Regarding entry rate figures, although OECD's method is based on the same principle as the Department's Initial Entry Rate (IER) (e.g. it uses HESA's 'entry code' field to distinguish between first year students entering HE for the first time and students re-entering HE), OECD's figures should not be compared to the IER, and this indicator should not be used to measure how other countries fare against the UK's '50%' HE participation target. One difference is that all HE students are included in the OECD count, whereas the IER excludes students on very short courses and overseas students. The main difference, though, is that the IER calculations use sophisticated methods to exclude double-counting of entrants, and the IER only refers to England, rather than the UK.
I. The Labour Force Survey data
This section is included to give a broad indication of the output of the United Kingdom (UK) higher education (HE) system - that which can be gained by looking at the proportion of the adult population of the UK who hold HE qualifications. Time series comparisons show the impact that the HE experience is having on the general population over time.
The two statistics show the percentage of the UK population with HE qualifications, by age and gender, over time, and the percentage of the UK population with postgraduate qualifications, by age and gender, also over time.
These statistics are based on an external data source - the Labour Force Survey, which is run by The Office for National Statistics on a quarterly basis covering the whole of the UK.
A continuously changing group of households is surveyed such that the sample is equivalent to approximately a half percent of the adult population of the UK. Each household takes part in five quarterly surveys. Thus each quarter some households leave and others join the survey. Information about all adults in the household may be given by one person answering the survey. It is therefore possible that data are less accurate than they would be if each adult answered the survey individually. For most of the UK, households are chosen from a postcode address file. All first interviews are carried out face to face and 70% of recall interviews are by telephone. However, north of the Caledonian Canal in Scotland, households are chosen from the published telephone directory and interviews are conducted by telephone primarily to reduce costs. The questions asked by telephone interviewers are the same as those which are asked face to face, and interviewers are extensively trained and monitored in order to ensure the data they record is accurate.
The survey covers people of all ages, including the employed, inactive and unemployed. Qualification information is asked of those of working age and those above working age who are in employment.
Notes on coverage
It should be noted that there is a certain discontinuity in following through those who have had the HE experience because the classification of HE qualifications and postgraduate qualifications used for the Labour Force Survey is different from that used by HESA.
It should also be remembered in looking at the impact of HE on the general population that some of the UK population will have gained their qualifications outside the UK, or indeed at private higher education institutions (HEIs), or further education colleges in the UK, and/or on a part-time basis. Others will have gained HE qualifications at publicly-funded HEIs in the UK, but then left the UK.
- Non-statutory populations omit any contribution from individuals who have notified HESA of their wish to be excluded in circumstances such as the publication of the present volume where inclusion is not defined as a requirement by the bodies whose statutory powers underpin HESA data collections.
- From 2007/08 the previous supplementary subjects category Geography & environmental science changed to Geography. This was a result of the JACS2 review, reclassifying F800 Physical and terrestrial geographical and environmental sciences to F800 Physical geographical sciences and creating the new code F750 Environmental sciences under the F700 Science of aquatic and terrestrial environments principal subject area.
- The International Evidence team within the DCSF Strategy Performance Analysis Group supplies annual returns to the named international organisations on behalf of both DCSF and Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) in England and the relevant bodies within the other UK member countries.
© Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2009