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Definitions - Higher Education Statistics for the UK 2015/16

HESA Student record

Student coverage

In general, the HESA Student record is collected in respect of all students registered at a reporting higher education (HE) provider who follow courses that lead to the award of a qualification(s) or HE provider 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 HE provider, 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.

Courses involving collaborative or franchising arrangements are administration specific:

In England and Northern Ireland all students included on the Higher Education Students Early Statistics Survey (HESES) return to the Office for Students (previously HEFCE), whether fundable or not, are returned to HESA. This includes all students funded through franchised, associate and regional college arrangements. Students funded through an Office for Students (previously HEFCE) recognised funding consortium or students registered at another HE provider, although included in the HESES return of the lead HE provider, are not included within the HESA return of that HE provider. These students are included in the HESA (or the Data Service) return of the registering provider.

In Wales students included on the HESES return to the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW), whether fundable or not, are returned to HESA regardless of where the student is registered. This includes all students funded through franchise arrangements where the provision is franchised out from the HE provider. Students who are franchised in to the HE provider are excluded. The term franchise, also referred to as outreach, in HE in Wales refers to a HE course taught at a provider (the franchisee) which is not directly in receipt of funding from HEFCW for that course, and for which quality assurance is provided by another Welsh HE provider (the franchisor). Students taught at HE provider in Wales may be registered at the franchisee or franchisor provider. However, students registered at providers outside Wales, with a Welsh He provider providing quality assurance, are not included within the definition of franchised students.

In Scotland students taking articulated or franchised courses at further education (FE) colleges, or other courses at other HE provider or FE colleges, for the years of such courses for which the HE provider does not provide any of the teaching input, does not receive any funding or does not receive any tuition fee payment (e.g. from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland) are excluded from the HE provider's return to HESA. In the case of those years of a course for which two or more HE providers are involved in providing the teaching input and/or receiving funding or tuition fees, only one of the HE providers includes the students in its returns to HESA. It is up to the providers concerned to agree between themselves who should be responsible for making the returns to HESA, and for which years of the course (or for which students on a particular year of the course), as seems most appropriate given their administrative arrangements.

If it is known at the beginning of the course that a student will spend a block of eight weeks or more in the UK as part of their programme then they are included on the Student record throughout, and not included in the Aggregate offshore record. For the reporting years in which their location of study is identified as being abroad, the student instance, whilst being collected in the year's Student return, is however excluded from the standard HESA student populations and hence from the standard publication figures.    

The reporting period for the HESA Student record is 1 August to 31 July.

Higher education 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 Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF), or the former Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) National Qualifications Framework (NQF) (e.g. courses at the level of Certificate of HE and above).

N.B. From 2012/13 the HESA constituency includes all UK publicly funded higher education institutions (HEIs) and a number of alternative providers (APs), collectively referred to as higher education providers (HEPs). The providers included within the standard populations, as in previous years, contains information regarding only the HEI element of this constituency and the University of Buckingham but now uses the term ‘higher education providers (HEPs)’.

From 2016/17, FECs in Wales with HE provision directly funded by HEFCW must submit that data in the HESA Student record. In the first year of returning the Student record to HESA, records are required for all students identified as continuing into 2016/17.

 

Rounding and suppression strategy

For data protection reasons we implement a strategy in published and released tabulations designed to prevent the disclosure of personal information about any individual. This strategy involves rounding all numbers to the nearest multiple of 5 and suppressing percentages and averages based on small populations.

HESA Services Standard Rounding Methodology:

  1. All numbers are rounded to the nearest multiple of 5
  2. Any number lower than 2.5 is rounded to 0
  3. Halves are always rounded upwards (e.g. 2.5 is rounded to 5)
  4. Percentages based on fewer than 22.5 individuals are suppressed
  5. Averages based on 7 or fewer individuals are suppressed
  6. The above requirements apply to headcounts, FPE and FTE data
  7. Financial data is not rounded

Total figures are also subject to this rounding methodology after calculation; so the sum of numbers in each row or column may not match the total shown. Suppressed values are normally represented as '..' in published tables.

For more information on the rounding methodology, including worked examples and instructions on how to apply rounding, please see Rounding and suppression to anonymise statistics.

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 & planetary sciences, and with even more precision, F521 Space science and F522 Planetary science. It is often necessary to consider together all the codes, or all the student numbers, falling within a principal subject. This is done through reference to 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 full listing of JACS coding frames can be found here:

JACS3 and JACS2

For 2012/13, a review of a selection of the existing subject areas of the JACS coding system resulted in the implementation of a revised 'JACS3' version of the coding frame. The JACS2 version it replaced had been in existence since 2007/08. The full listing of JACS3, including a mapping between JACS2 and JACS3, can be found at www.hesa.ac.uk/JACS3.

JACS3 and JACS2 are not directly comparable at any level other than subject area, although many codes have been retained in the newer coding frame.

Course codes

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.

Apportionment

Under apportionment, each student instance is, where necessary, divided in a way that 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).

For split courses not involving an ITT component, HE providers 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 HE providers will apply the same percentages to all courses and only vary this where there is a substantially different subject split. For HE providers 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.

Subject areas

HESA has defined nineteen subject areas in terms of JACS codes for reporting information broken down by subject to present a set of distinct categories that can be compared over time. The subject areas do not overlap, and cover the entire range of JACS principal subjects.

Since initial teacher training data is presented on a count of instance basis rather than an apportioned basis, the figures are not directly comparable with the apportioned figures in the 'Education' subject area, and are tabulated separately to reduce the risk of misinterpretation.

Apart from the need to separate the 'Mathematical science' and 'Computer science' elements of principal subjects G0 and G9 in JACS2, these subject areas are expressed entirely in terms of JACS principal subjects, and correspond closely to JACS subject groups.

JACS3

Subject areas JACS3 code
Medicine & dentistry A
Subjects allied to medicine B
Biological sciences C
Veterinary science D1, D2
Agriculture & related subjects D0, D3, D4, D5, D6, D7, D9
Physical sciences F
Mathematical sciences G
Computer science I
Engineering & technology H, J
Architecture, building & planning K
Social studies L
Law M
Business & administrative studies N
Mass communications & documentation P
Languages Q, R, T
Historical & philosophical studies V
Creative arts & design W
Education X
Combined Y

Total - Science subject areas has been added to certain analyses. This is the sum of the following subject areas: medicine & dentistry; subjects allied to medicine; biological sciences; veterinary science; agriculture & related subjects; physical sciences; mathematical sciences; computer science; engineering & technology plus architecture, building & planning (i.e. sum of JACS codes A to K inclusive).
 

JACS2

Apart from the need to separate the 'Mathematical science' and 'Computer science' elements of principal subjects G0 and G9 in JACS2, these subject areas are expressed entirely in terms of JACS principal subjects, and correspond closely to JACS subject groups.

Subject areas JACS2 code
Medicine & dentistry A
Subjects allied to medicine B
Biological sciences C
Veterinary science D1, D2
Agriculture & related subjects D0, D3, D4, D5, D6, D7, D9
Physical sciences F
Mathematical sciences G00, G01, G1, G2, G3, G90, G91
Computer science G02, D4, D5, D6, D7, D92
Engineering & technology H, J
Architecture, building & planning K
Social studies L
Law M
Business & administrative studies N
Mass communications & documentation P
Languages Q, R, T
Historical & philosophical studies V
Creative arts & design W
Education X
Combined Y

Apportionment at principal subject level

Although subject areas provide a framework for presenting information, a more detailed breakdown to JACS principal subjects is used in some analyses. Again, a process of apportionment is necessary, and the procedure is consistent with that used for subject areas, as follows:

For split courses not involving an initial teacher training (ITT) component, the apportionment algorithm is as reported by the HE provider.

ITT students at undergraduate level who also have a specialism subject recorded (typically, secondary ITT students) are apportioned 50% to the 'X1 Training teachers' principal subject and the remaining 50% is further apportioned according to the algorithm for non-ITT students. Where no subject other than education is recorded, or where the student is on a PGCE course, apportionment is 100% to the 'X1 Training teachers' principal subject.

JACS SET marker

The JACS SET (Science, engineering and technology) marker classifies the following subject groups as SET; 

  • (1) Medicine and dentistry
  • (2) Subjects allied to medicine 
  • (3) Biological sciences
  • (4) Veterinary science 
  • (5) Agriculture and related subjects
  • (6) Physical sciences
  • (7) Mathematical sciences
  • (8) Computer science
  • (9) Engineering and technology
  • (A) Architecture, building and planning

Please note that there is no consistent definition for SET subjects, the above grouping is used within the HESA Heidi system however other specified groupings can also be requested.

Standard registration population

The HESA standard registration population has been derived from the HESA Student record, from all registered higher education and further education student instances active at a reporting HE provider in the reporting period 1 August to 31 July, following courses that lead to the award of a qualification or HE provider credit, 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 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. 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 suspended study but have not formally de-registered)
  • incoming visiting and exchange students
  • postdoctoral student instances
  • instances where the whole of the programme of study is outside of the UK
  • instances where the student has spent, or will spend, more than 8 weeks in the UK but the study programme is primarily outside the UK
  • DfE/Teaching Regulation Agency (formerly NCTL) Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) student instances
  • students on sabbatical, and
  • writing-up students.

Please note, the following students are included as standard in HESA populations:

  • Students registered at, but not taught by the reporting HE provider- this is usually through a collaborative/franchising agreement. It may be for the whole or a proportion of the academic year.
  • Students based in the UK on distance learning programmes.
  • Student based outside of the UK on funded distance learning programmes e.g Crown servants overseas and the Services
  • On industrial placement for the whole or a proportion of the academic year.
  • On study year abroad for the whole or a proportion of the academic year.
  • Apprenticeship Standards students studying towards a Higher Education component.

The HESA standard registration population forms the basis for most counts of first year and continuing student instances.

If you require, we are able to remove any of these students from bespoke data requests. Please be aware that any alterations to standard HESA populations will mean that data will not align with HESA data published elsewhere.

Qualifications obtained population

The HESA qualifications obtained population is a count of student instances associated with the award of a higher education qualification (excluding higher education provider credits) during the HESA reporting period. This includes qualifications awarded from dormant, writing-up and sabbatical status.

Incoming visiting and exchange students are excluded from this population.

Full-time equivalent and the HESA session population

Full-time equivalent (FTE) data represents the HE provider's assessment of the full-time equivalence of the student instance during the reporting period 1 August to 31 July.

The HESA session population forms the basis for counts of full-time equivalent (FTE) student instances. It includes all registered higher education and further education student instances active at a reporting HE provider at any point in the reporting period 1 August to 31 July, following courses that lead to the award of a qualification or HE provider credit, except:

  • dormant student instances (those who have suspended study but have not formally de-registered)
  • incoming visiting and exchange student instances
  • postdoctoral student instances
  • instances where the whole of the programme of study is outside of the UK
  • instances where the student has spent, or will spend, more than 8 weeks in the UK but the study programme is primarily outside the UK
  • DfE/Teaching Regulation Agency (formerly NCTL) Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) student instances, and
  • 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.    

For the difference between full-person equivalent (FPE) and full-time equivalent (FTE) please click here.

Mode of study / qualification obtained

Mode of study 

Applicable to HESA populations except the qualifications obtained population

  • Full-time includes students recorded as studying full-time, normally required to attend a HE provider for periods amounting to at least 24 weeks within the year of study, plus those enrolled on a sandwich course (thick or thin), irrespective of whether or not they are in attendance at the HE provider or engaged in industrial training, and those on a study-related year out of their HE provider. 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 for a minimum of 24 weeks study/placement.

In certain analyses, full-time and sandwich modes of study may be shown separately, defined as follows:

  • Full-time includes students who are normally required to attend an provider for periods amounting to at least 24 weeks within the year of study.
  • Sandwich includes students enrolled on a sandwich course (thick or thin), irrespective of whether they are in attendance at the HE provider or engaged in industrial training. 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 for a minimum of 24 weeks study/placement.
  • Part-time includes students 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.

Where analysis includes FE level students, part-time includes 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, plus those students on FE continuous delivery.

  • Writing-up and sabbatical includes students who are normally expected to submit a thesis to the HE provider for examination, have completed the work of their course and are not making significant demands on HE providers resources, plus those on sabbatical.

Writing-up students and students on sabbatical are excluded from the HESA standard registration population.

Applicable to HESA qualifications obtained population

  • Full-time includes students whose study was recorded as full-time (as described as above), and also includes awards from dormant and writing-up status where the student's mode of study was previously full-time.
  • Part-time students are those whose study was recorded as part-time (as described above), and also includes awards from dormant and writing-up status where the student's mode of study was previously part-time, and awards given to those on sabbatical.
Level of study / qualification obtained

Level of study

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 providers in Scotland is a constituent part) and the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) and Bologna frameworks. Details are available within the field specification. It includes level M for taught masters degrees, and level H for honours degrees.

For a full mapping of course aim codes to our level of study fields, please download the following spreadsheet:Courseaim_level_mapping_.xlsx This can be changed on a bespoke basis to best suit your needs.

Note: Many students who study for a doctorate qualification will initially be enrolled on a masters course and will transfer to a doctorate course after a year or two. For this reason, numbers of doctorate students may be under-counted and numbers of masters students may be over-counted where these groupings are used.

  • Postgraduate courses are those leading to higher degrees, diplomas and certificates (including Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE at level M) (unless shown separately) and professional qualifications) which usually require a first degree as an entry qualification (i.e. already qualified at level H).
  • Higher degree (research) includes doctorate (incorporating New Route PhD) and masters degrees studied primarily through research.
  • Higher degree (taught) includes doctorate and masters degrees not studied primarily through research, and postgraduate bachelors degrees at level M. Masters in Teaching and Learning are included in this category.
  • Other postgraduate includes postgraduate diplomas, certificates and professional qualifications, Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE at level M), level 7 Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector, HE provideer postgraduate credits and non-formal postgraduate qualifications.

In analyses where postgraduate level of study is disaggregated into postgraduate (research) and postgraduate (taught), the following groupings are used:

  • Postgraduate (research) includes doctorate (incorporating New Route PhD), masters degrees and postgraduate diplomas or certificates (not Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) at level M) studied primarily through research.
  • Postgraduate (taught) includes doctorate, and masters degrees, postgraduate bachelors degrees at level M and postgraduate diplomas or certificates not studied primarily through research, including Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) at level M (unless shown separately), Masters in Teaching and Learning, level M Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector, and professional qualifications.
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Education are those PGCE qualifications which are pitched at level M.
  • Undergraduate courses are programmes of study at level H, I, J and C including, but not limited to, 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 a General Teaching Council (GTC), postgraduate bachelors degrees at level H, enhanced first degrees (including those leading towards obtaining eligibility to register to practice with a health or social care or veterinary statutory regulatory body), first degrees obtained concurrently with a diploma and intercalated first degrees, Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE at level H), foundation degrees, diplomas in higher education (including those leading towards obtaining eligibility to register to practice with a health or social care or veterinary statutory 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 level, National Qualifications Framework (NQF) levels 4 and 5, post-degree diplomas and certificates at undergraduate level (including those in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector), professional qualifications at undergraduate level and other undergraduate diplomas and certificates including pre- and post-registration health and social care and veterinary courses. Entrants to these programmes of study do not usually require a higher education qualification.
  • 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 a General Teaching Council (GTC), postgraduate bachelors degree at level H, enhanced first degrees (including those leading towards obtaining eligibility to register to practice with a health or social care or veterinary statutory regulatory body), first degrees obtained concurrently with a diploma and 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 (unless shown separately), foundation degrees (unless shown separately), diplomas in higher education (including those with eligibility to register to practice with a health or social care or veterinary statutory 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 level, National Vocational Qualification (NVQ)/Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) at NQF levels 4 and 5, post-degree diplomas and certificates at undergraduate level (including those in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector), professional qualifications at undergraduate level, other undergraduate diplomas and certificates including pre- and post-registration health and social care and veterinary courses, other formal higher education qualifications of less than degree standard, provider undergraduate credit and non-formal undergraduate qualifications.
  • Professional Graduate Certificate in Education are those PGCE qualifications which are pitched at level H.
  • Foundation degrees (e.g. FdA, FdSc) were introduced to provide vocational higher education qualifications at level I.
  • Further education programmes of study includes Diplomas, Certificates and National Vocational Qualification (NVQ)/Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) at level 3 and below, A/AS levels, Advanced Highers/Highers (Scotland), GCSEs, Intermediates (Scotland), HE Access courses, Welsh for Adults and other qualifications below higher education level.

Qualification obtained

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, and the student may be awarded more than one qualification during the reporting period.

Qualification obtained is based on the HESA qualifications obtained population and therefore also includes qualifications awarded from dormant, writing-up and sabbatical status.

The groupings are as Level of study, except in certain analyses where the following groupings may be used:

  • Doctorate includes doctorate degrees obtained/not obtained primarily through research and New Route PhD.
  • Other higher degree includes masters degrees obtained/not obtained primarily through research, Masters in Teaching and Learning, pre-registration masters degrees leading towards obtaining eligibility to register to practice with a health or social care or veterinary statutory regulatory body and postgraduate bachelors degrees at level M.
  • Other postgraduate qualifications includes supervised research at level D, E and L for provider credits, National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ) at level M and E, other postgraduate qualifications obtained primarily through research, fellowships, diplomas and certificates at level M, Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) 5, professional taught qualifications at level M other than masters degrees, Level M Diplomas in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector, and other taught qualifications at level M.
  • HND/DipHE includes 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) and Higher National Diplomas (HND).
Class of first degree

The classification of a first degree 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/pass. Lower second and undivided second class honours have been aggregated as Lower second.

Initial teacher training (ITT)

Information about ITT students is presented as a count of instances.

ITT students are based on the 'Standard registration population' and includes instances that are: initial or pre-service teacher training courses leading to Qualified Teacher Status or registration as a school teacher with the General Teaching Council for Scotland; other initial teacher training courses not leading to Qualified Teacher Status nor to registration as a school teacher with the General Teaching Council for Scotland; National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) funded flexible provision (ITT) [not funded from 2016/17], the School Direct initiative [included but not identifiable in the ITT marker from 2016/17], school-led HEP provision, and those studying towards Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS).

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.

Year of study/ first year marker

First years includes those students who commenced their programme instance within the reporting period and is based on the HESA standard registration population. In some cases the student's first year of study may be the second or subsequent year of a programme.

All years includes all student instances regardless of their commencement date and is based on the HESA standard registration population.

Domicile

Domicile data is supplied to HESA in the form of postcodes (UK, Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man domiciled students) or country codes. Postcodes are mapped to counties, unitary authorities and UK nations using the Office for National Statistics Postcode Directory (ONSPD). Countries are mapped to geographical regions, informed by the National Statistics Country Classification grouping of countries, further details can be found here.

  • United Kingdom domiciled students are those whose normal residence prior to commencing their programme of study was in the UK, and for the purposes of analysis 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. Guernsey and Jersey in this context refer to the Bailiwicks of Guernsey and Jersey, which includes their smaller islands.
  • Northern Ireland In 2015 the existing local government districts for Northern Ireland were replaced with a smaller number. The eleven local government districts which resulted from this reform are not directly comparable to those which previously existed.
  • Other European Union domiciled students are those whose normal residence prior to commencing their programme of study was in countries which were European Union (EU) members as at 1 December of the reporting period. EU countries are those which were EU members as at 1 December 2007. This includes Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden. Croatia is additionally included in this category from 2013/14 onwards, having acceded to the EU on 1 July 2013.
  • Where European Union countries are shown separately, individual country figures exclude those domiciled in the Åland Islands, the Canary Islands, and the French overseas departments of French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Réunion. These figures are included in European Union not otherwise specified.
  • Other EEA countries includes the European Economic Area countries of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
  • Other Europe includes Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus (Non-European-Union), Faroe Islands, Georgia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Svalbard and Jan Mayen, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, Vatican City and Europe not otherwise specified. Croatia was included in this category prior to 2013/14, from which point it was included as ‘Other European Union’ following accession to the EU.
  • Non-European-Union students are those whose normal residence prior to commencing their programme of study was outside the EU. Where Non-EU countries are shown separately, individual country figures exclude the country's overseas territories. These individual country figures are listed within the geographic region in which they lie.
  • Not known  Prior to 2014/15, domicile could be inferred using fee eligibility as a proxy where no further information was available. From 2014/15 this proxy can no longer be used, as non-UK domiciled students may be eligible to pay 'home fees'. Where no domicile information is known, students will now derive to 'not known'.

The table below illustrates the position regarding student enrolments in HE using HESA standard definitions. The brackets indicate the figures for the EU accession countries (Croatia) prior to their inclusion in the European Union in the HESA return from 1 January 2014.

  2011/12 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16
European Union countries excluding UK 132,745 125,510 125,300 124,575 127,400
... of which          
European Union countries prior to 1 January 2014 132,545 125,330 125,045 124,225 126,900
Croatia (205) (180) 255 355 540

 

Country/Region of higher education provider

The allocation of a HE provider to a geographical region is done by reference to the administrative centre of that HE provider. Regions in this context are the nine England Regions (formerly Government Office Regions) and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. There may be students registered at HE providers who are studying in regions other than that of the administrative centre of the HE provider.

HESA allocates HE providers to Regions as follows:

North East (NEAS), North West (NWES), Yorkshire and The Humber (YORH), East Midlands (EMID), West Midlands (WMID), East of England (EAST), London (LOND), South East (SEAS), South West (SWES), Scotland (SCOT), Wales (WALE) and Northern Ireland (NIRE).

Please note that in an all published student data outputs for 2013/14 onwards, students enrolled at the Open University have been split into its four country campuses in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. In older years of data, students have been returned at its administrative centre which is located in the South East of England and is counted as a wholly English provider. For bespoke data enquiries, we can supply it as the client wishes including retrospective data extractions. 

Age of student

Student age is as at 31 August in the reporting period.

For the qualifications obtained population age is at 31 July in the reporting period (the end of the academic year).

Age on entry is as at the date of a student's initial commencement of studies for this student instance.

Young / mature marker

This marker distinguishes between those who are classed as young or mature students based upon their age on entry and level of study. The criteria for this marker is as follows:

  • Undergraduates are classed as young if they are under 21 years of age on entry, and mature if they are 21 or over.
  • Postgraduates are classed as young if they are under 25 years of age on entry, and mature if they are 25 or over.
Sex

This field records the legal sex of the staff member, as opposed to the gender with which they identify.

Due to the requirement to return this information to HM Revenue & Customs, legal sex information will be known for all staff with the exception those holding solely non-academic atypical contracts, for whom sex may legitimately not be known.

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 (UK and non-UK doctorate and masters degrees and other qualifications at level D), postgraduate diplomas and certificates (excluding Postgraduate and Professional Graduate Certificates in Education (PGCE at levels M and H)) and postgraduate equivalent qualifications (other taught qualifications and taught work for provider credits at level M).
  • PGCE includes Postgraduate and Professional Graduate Certificates in Education (PGCE at levels M and H), with and without Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)/registration with a General Teaching Council (GTC).
  • First degree includes UK and non-UK first degrees, with or without honours, first degrees with honours and undergraduate qualifications with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)/registration with a General Teaching Council (GTC) and integrated undergraduate/postgraduate taught masters degree on the enhanced/extended pattern.
  • Other undergraduate qualification includes other graduate qualifications of non-UK providers, General National Vocational Qualification (GNVQ)/General Scottish Vocational Qualification (GSVQ) level 4 and 5, National Vocational Qualification (NVQ)/Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) level 4 and 5, Certificates of Higher Education (CertHE), Diplomas of Higher Education (DipHE), Certificates in Education (CertEd) or Diplomas in Education (DipEd) (i.e. non-graduate initial teacher training qualification), Higher National Diplomas (HND) or Higher National Certificates (HNC) (including BTEC and SQA equivalents), foundation degrees, foundation courses at level J, graduate equivalent qualifications not elsewhere specified, other qualifications at levels H and J (i.e. other HE qualification of less than degree standard), Higher Apprenticeships level 4, other qualification at level C and undergraduate credits.
  • Other qualification includes Open University credits, other credits from a UK providers, professional qualifications, Advanced Modern Apprenticeships and other UK and non-UK qualifications (level not known).
  • Level 3 qualification (including A levels and Highers) includes any combinations of GCE A/AS levels, SQA Higher/SQA Advanced Higher, General National Vocational Qualification (GNVQ)/General Scottish Vocational Qualification (GSVQ) level 3, National Vocational Qualification (NVQ)/Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) level 3, Ordinary National Certificate (ONC), Ordinary National Diploma (OND) (BTEC and SQA equivalents), A level equivalent qualifications not elsewhere specified, foundation courses at FE level, HE access courses (Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) recognised/not QAA recognised), Baccalaureates (AQA, Scottish, Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma level 3 and International Baccalaureates (IB) diplomas/certificates), Diplomas in Foundation Studies (Art and Design), 14-19 Advanced Diplomas level 3, Diplomas, Certificates and Awards at level 3, Cambridge Pre-U Diplomas and Certificates and other level 3 qualifications.
  • Qualifications at level 2 and below includes GCSE/O level qualifications/SQA O grades and Standard grades, other non-advanced qualifications, National Vocational Qualification (NVQ)/Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) level 2, 14-19 Higher Diplomas level 2 and level 1, Welsh Baccalaureate Intermediate Diplomas level 2, other qualifications at level 2, Welsh Baccalaureate Foundation Diplomas level 1 and other qualifications at level 1.
  • No formal qualification includes Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning (APEL/APL), mature students admitted on basis of previous experience and or provider's own admissions test, or it is known that the student has no formal qualification. 
  • Not known is reserved for instances where nothing is known about the student's qualifications on entry to their programme of study.
Major source of tuition fees

This indicates the major source of tuition fees for the student where this is known. This includes fees from UK government, research councils, EU sources and other sources. The predominant source is selected where there is more than one source of award or financial backing. The field relates to the current year of study.

Standard grouping:

  • No award or financial backing
  • UK LEA mandatory/discretionary award
  • Provider waiver/award
  • Research Councils & British Academy
  • Charities & international agencies
  • UK central government bodies and local authorities
  • European Commission
  • Other overseas sources
  • UK industry/commerce & student's employer
  • Absent/no fees
  • Other/not known

HESA Alternative provider record

Alternative provider

Alternative providers are Higher Education providers who do not receive recurrent funding from Office for Students (previously HEFCE) or other public body and who are not further education colleges.

Alternative provider coverage

The Alternative provider (AP) student record is collected by HESA on behalf of the Department for Education (DfE). Alternative providers with courses designated by DfE are required to submit the AP student record to HESA.

The AP student record is collected for all students registered at the reporting provider who are studying on full-time and part-time undergraduate courses, taught Masters (from 2016/17, where the provider holds degree awarding powers) and postgraduate initial teacher training (ITT) courses. There are a number of exclusions and these are listed below. All students who are included on the Higher Education in Alternative Providers Early Statistics (HEAPES) survey returned to Office for Students (previously HEFCE) are returned to HESA, even if the teaching is undertaken by a franchise partner in whole or in part. During data collection the AP student record is reconciled against the HEAPES data reported to Office for Students (previously HEFCE), and also against records held by the SLC.

From 2015/16, it was compulsory for all students registered at these providers and studying on non-designated postgraduate ITT courses and undergraduate courses to be included in the return with a few exclusions to the coverage found below. With the exception for Taught Masters in 2016/17.

Exclusions to the coverage above:

  • Students studying wholly outside of the UK for the duration of their programme.
  • Students expected to spend less than eight consecutive course weeks in the UK during their entire programme. Note that students on non-designated courses are only required to be returned where the majority of time (50% or more) of their study will be in the UK.
  • All postgraduate courses, including those designated for DSA only and graduate entry programmes (including stand-alone Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) part 2), with the exception of:
    1. Taught Masters courses (COURSEAIMs M00, M01, M02, M10, M11, and M16) from 2016/17 onward.
    2. Integrated postgraduate/undergraduate provision (COURSEAIMs M22, M26, M28 and M71) which includes the Postgraduate Certificate in Education and the Professional Graduate Diploma in Education, which are initial teacher training qualifications within the remit of the AP student collection.
  • Students who leave a course within two weeks of the commencement date, unless the student has applied for a loan with the SLC and the attendance has been confirmed.
  • Non-designated courses that are not open to any suitably qualified candidate and will typically be courses offered only to employees of particular organisations (closed courses).
  • Non-designated courses that are not open to any suitably qualified candidate and will typically be courses offered only to employees of particular organisations (closed courses).
  • Non-designated intercalated degrees.
  • Students on non-designated courses that are run in the UK but only for international and/or EU students.
  • Students on non-designated courses where the total FTE of the course is less than one year when studied full-time (i.e. 120 credits or less for its entirety).

The data specification of the record uses the term 'instance' to describe a student's engagement with the AP, 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.

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 Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF), or the former Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) National Qualifications Framework (NQF) (e.g. courses at the level of Certificate of HE and above).

N.B. The University of Buckingham is an AP but submits data through the HESA Student record instead.

Course designation

The key requirements for a designated course can be found in the Alternative Provider Specific Course Designation: Guidance for Providers document published by DfE.

The designation status of a course can change throughout the reporting period. In analysis, a course is considered to be designated if it holds designation at the end of the reporting period.

Standard registration population (Alternative provider)

The HESA standard registration population closely follows that which has been derived for the HESA Student record; from all active HE student instances at a reporting AP in the reporting period 1 August to 31 July, following courses that lead to the award of a qualification in the coverage, and ensures that similar activity is counted in a similar way irrespective of when it occurs. Where courses span different HESA reporting periods, HE student instances following these courses will only be counted once for each year of their course. The student definition can be found here.

Mode of study (Alternative providers)

Applicable to HESA populations except the qualifications obtained population

Full-time includes students recorded as studying full-time, normally required to attend a HE provider for periods amounting to at least 24 weeks within the year of study, plus those enrolled on a sandwich course (thick or thin), irrespective of whether or not they are in attendance at the HE provider or engaged in industrial training, and those on a study-related year out of their HE provider. 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 for a minimum of 24 weeks study/placement.

Part-time includes students recorded as studying part-time, or studying full-time on courses lasting less than 24 weeks.

Writing-up is only applicable to taught masters students, it includes students who are normally expected to submit a thesis to the HE provider for examination, have completed the work of their course and are not making significant demands on HE providers resources. Writing-up students are excluded from the HESA standard registration population.

Applicable to HESA qualifications obtained population

Full-time includes students whose study was recorded as full-time (as described as above), and also includes awards from suspended study where the student's mode of study was previously full-time and writing-up status where the student's mode of study was previously full-time.

Part-time students are those whose study was recorded as part-time (as described above), and also includes awards from suspended study where the student's mode of study was previously part-time and writing-up status where the student's mode of study was previously part-time.

 

Please note students who are full-time distance learners will be classified as full-time students in analysis.

Level of study/ qualification obtained (Alternative provider)

Level of study

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 providers in Scotland is a constituent part) and the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) and Bologna frameworks. Details are available within the field specification. It includes level M for taught masters degrees, and level H for honours degrees.

For a full mapping of course aim codes to our level of study fields, please download the following spreadsheet:Courseaim_level_mapping_.xlsxThis can be changed on a bespoke basis to best suit your needs.

  • Postgraduate courses are those leading to Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE at level M) which usually require a first degree as an entry qualification (i.e. already qualified at level H) and taught Masters (where the provider holds degree awarding powers) .
  • Undergraduate courses are programmes of study at level H, I, J and C including, but not limited to, 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 a General Teaching Council (GTC), postgraduate bachelors degrees at level H, enhanced first degrees (including those leading towards obtaining eligibility to register to practice with a health or social care or veterinary statutory regulatory body), first degrees obtained concurrently with a diploma and intercalated first degrees, Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE at level H), foundation degrees, diplomas in higher education (including those leading towards obtaining eligibility to register to practice with a health or social care or veterinary statutory 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 level, National Qualifications Framework (NQF) levels 4 and 5, post-degree diplomas and certificates at undergraduate level (including those in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector), professional qualifications at undergraduate level and other undergraduate diplomas and certificates including pre- and post-registration health and social care and veterinary courses. Entrants to these programmes of study do not usually require a higher education qualification.
  • 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 a General Teaching Council (GTC), postgraduate bachelors degree at level H, enhanced first degrees (including those leading towards obtaining eligibility to register to practice with a health or social care or veterinary statutory regulatory body), first degrees obtained concurrently with a diploma and 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 (unless shown separately), foundation degrees (unless shown separately), diplomas in higher education (including those with eligibility to register to practice with a health or social care or veterinary statutory 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 level, National Vocational Qualification (NVQ)/Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) at NQF levels 4 and 5, post-degree diplomas and certificates at undergraduate level (including those in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector), professional qualifications at undergraduate level, other undergraduate diplomas and certificates including pre- and post-registration health and social care and veterinary courses, other formal higher education qualifications of less than degree standard, provider undergraduate credit and non-formal undergraduate qualifications.
  • Professional Graduate Certificate in Education are those PGCE qualifications which are pitched at level H.
  • Foundation degrees (e.g. FdA, FdSc) were introduced to provide vocational higher education qualifications at level I.

Qualification obtained

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, and the student may be awarded more than one qualification during the reporting period.

Qualification obtained is based on the HESA qualifications obtained population and therefore also includes qualifications awarded from suspended study.

The groupings are as Level of study.

HESA Aggregate offshore record

Aggregate offshore coverage

The Aggregate offshore record for students studying wholly outside the UK (Aggregate offshore record), collects data about all students studying (to date) wholly outside the UK, who either registered with a reporting UK higher education provider (HEP) or who are studying for an award of the reporting HEP. This includes all students active at any point in the reporting period, including students who became dormant part way through the year, and those withdrawing from courses.

The small number of distance learning students studying outside the UK who are funded (e.g. Crown servants overseas and the Services), or considered fundable under Funding Council Early Statistics rules, are not included in the Aggregate offshore record, but included in the in the individualised Student record.

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 studying under articulation arrangements but who do not meet the criteria of being either registered with the reporting HEI or studying for an award of the reporting HEI are not included in the record, nor are students who spend a sandwich, language or other year abroad as part of their overall course, which is otherwise UK based.

Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man are counted as being outside the UK, but within the European Union, within the Aggregate offshore record.

N.B. From 2012/13 the HESA constituency includes all UK publicly funded higher education institutions (HEIs) and a number of alternative providers (APs), collectively referred to as higher education providers (HEPs). This SFR, as in previous years, contains information regarding only the HEI element of this constituency and the University of Buckingham and therefore uses the term ‘higher education providers (HEPs)’.

Location of provision

Country of overseas provision data is supplied to HESA in the form of country codes. Countries are mapped to geographical regions, informed by the National Statistics Country Classification 2006 grouping of countries. Further details can be found here.

Within the European Union includes students whose location of study country was a European Union (EU) member state. This includes Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Irish Republic, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden. Figures from location of study in the Åland Islands, the Canary Islands, and the French overseas departments of French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Réunion are included in this category. Croatia is additionally included in this category from 2013/14 onwards, having acceded to EU on July 1st 2013.

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.

Level of study (offshore)

Level of study is taken from the level of provision and 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.

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 providers in Scotland is a constituent part) and the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) and Bologna frameworks. Details are available within the student courseaim field specification. It includes level M for taught masters degrees, and level H for honours degrees.

  • Postgraduate (research) includes doctorate and masters degrees studied primarily through research (levels D and L).
  • Postgraduate (taught) includes doctorate and masters degrees not studied primarily through research (levels E and M).
  • First degree includes bachelors degrees with honours and ordinary bachelors degrees (levels H and I).
  • Other undergraduate includes qualification aims equivalent to and below first degree level (levels J and C).
  • Further education includes qualifications at FE level (level P and below).
Type of activity

Type of activity defines the arrangements under which overseas programmes are provided.

Students registered at a UK higher education provider

Overseas campus of reporting provider includes those studying at a campus set up as a branch campus of the parent provider, and as such it is seen as no different from any other campus of the provider.

Distance, flexible or distributed learning denotes educational provision leading to an award of an awarding provider 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 offshore record.

Other arrangement including collaborative provision denotes provision leading to an award of an awarding provider 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 provider

Students studying for an award of a UK HEI are not registered students of the reporting provider but are studying for an award of the reporting provider, and are registered at an Overseas partner organisation or via some Other arrangement.

HESA Destinations of leavers from higher education (DLHE) survey

Survey reference dates

The DLHE survey asks leavers what they are doing on a particular reference (census) date. The exact dates vary each year but are intended to be roughly six months after graduation. If the leaver obtained their qualification between 1 August and 31 December the reference date will be mid-April of the following year. If the leaver obtained their qualification between 1 January and 31 July the reference date will be mid-January of the next year. Most first degree leavers have the latter January reference date.

  • The reference dates for 2011/12 DLHE were 16 April 2012 (if the leaver obtained the qualification between 1 August 2011 and 31 December 2011) and 14 January 2013 (if the leaver obtained the qualification between 1 January 2012 and 31 July 2012).
  • The reference dates for 2012/13 DLHE were 15 April 2013 (if the leaver obtained the qualification between 1 August 2012 and 31 December 2012) and 13 January 2014 (if the leaver obtained the qualification between 1 January 2013 and 31 July 2013).
  • The reference dates for 2013/14 DLHE were 15 April 2014 (if the leaver obtained the qualification between 1 August 2013 and 31 December 2013) and 12 January 2015 (if the leaver obtained the qualification between 1 January 2014 and 31 July 2014)
  • The reference dates for 2014/15 DLHE were 15 April 2015 (if the leaver obtained the qualification between 1 August 2014 and 31 December 2014) and 12 January 2016 (if the leaver obtained the qualification between 1 January 2015 and 31 July 2015)
  • The reference dates for 2015/16 DLHE were 14 April 2016 (if the leaver obtained the qualification between 1 August 2015 and 31 December 2015) and 12 January 2017 (if the leaver obtained the qualification between 1 January 2016 and 31 July 2016)
  • The reference dates for 2016/17 DLHE were 12 April 2017 (if the leaver obtained the qualification between 1 August 2016 and 31 December 2016) and 10 January 2018 (if the leaver obtained the qualification between 1 January 2017 and 31 July 2017)
Destinations coverage

The DLHE target population contains all students reported to HESA for the reporting period 01 August to 31 July as obtaining relevant higher education qualifications and whose study was full-time or part-time (including sandwich students and those writing-up theses). Awards from dormant status are only included in the target population for postgraduate research students.

Excluded from the target population are those leavers with further education level qualifications, leavers who studied mainly overseas, incoming exchange students, students who are on an intercalated course during this period, and deceased students.

From 2011/12 the DLHE target population includes students from all domiciles, and is no longer restricted to UK and European Union domiciled leavers. 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.

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. Relevant higher education qualifications exclude awards to visiting students, students on post-registration health and social care courses, professional qualifications for serving school teachers, and awards of institutional credit.

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 the Course.COURSEAIM field notes in the HESA Student record coding manual. It includes level M for taught masters degrees, and level H for honours degrees.

Following the review of the DLHE survey and consultation with government departments, the HE sector and users of the data, the DLHE survey was re-designed for the 2011/12 survey to collect richer information from leavers, particularly regarding their activities on the survey data. Leavers report all the activities that they are undertaking on the census date and indicate which one they consider to be most important to them. From these responses, destination categories are derived taking into account the most important activity and, in some instances, other activities the leaver is involved in.

Destinations target and response

Eligible DLHE population includes those instances identified in the HESA Student record that met criteria within the DLHE target population based on location of study, mode of study, end date of instance and qualification awarded.

Known destination includes leavers within the eligible DLHE population who replied to the DLHE questionnaire providing destination information.

Explicit refusal includes leavers within the eligible DLHE population who replied to the DLHE questionnaire explicitly refusing to provide information.

Response includes leavers who replied to the DLHE questionnaire (i.e. known destination plus explicit refusals).

Response rate is the number of responses expressed as a percentage of the eligible DLHE population.

Rounding and suppression strategy

For data protection reasons we implement a strategy in published and released tabulations designed to prevent the disclosure of personal information about any individual. This strategy involves rounding all numbers to the nearest multiple of 5 and suppressing percentages and averages based on small populations.

HESA Services Standard Rounding Methodology:

  1. All numbers are rounded to the nearest multiple of 5
  2. Any number lower than 2.5 is rounded to 0
  3. Halves are always rounded upwards (e.g. 2.5 is rounded to 5)
  4. Percentages based on fewer than 22.5 individuals are suppressed
  5. Averages based on 7 or fewer individuals are suppressed
  6. The above requirements apply to headcounts, FPE and FTE data
  7. Financial data is not rounded

Total figures are also subject to this rounding methodology after calculation; so the sum of numbers in each row or column may not match the total shown. Suppressed values are normally represented as '..' in published tables.

For more information on the rounding methodology, including worked examples and instructions on how to apply rounding, please see Rounding and suppression to anonymise statistics.

Level of study / qualification obtained

Level of study

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 providers in Scotland is a constituent part) and the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) and Bologna frameworks. Details are available within the field specification. It includes level M for taught masters degrees, and level H for honours degrees.

For a full mapping of course aim codes to our level of study fields, please download the following spreadsheet:Courseaim_level_mapping_.xlsx This can be changed on a bespoke basis to best suit your needs.

Note: Many students who study for a doctorate qualification will initially be enrolled on a masters course and will transfer to a doctorate course after a year or two. For this reason, numbers of doctorate students may be under-counted and numbers of masters students may be over-counted where these groupings are used.

  • Postgraduate courses are those leading to higher degrees, diplomas and certificates (including Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE at level M) (unless shown separately) and professional qualifications) which usually require a first degree as an entry qualification (i.e. already qualified at level H).
  • Higher degree (research) includes doctorate (incorporating New Route PhD) and masters degrees studied primarily through research.
  • Higher degree (taught) includes doctorate and masters degrees not studied primarily through research, and postgraduate bachelors degrees at level M. Masters in Teaching and Learning are included in this category.
  • Other postgraduate includes postgraduate diplomas, certificates and professional qualifications, Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE at level M), level 7 Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector, HE provideer postgraduate credits and non-formal postgraduate qualifications.

In analyses where postgraduate level of study is disaggregated into postgraduate (research) and postgraduate (taught), the following groupings are used:

  • Postgraduate (research) includes doctorate (incorporating New Route PhD), masters degrees and postgraduate diplomas or certificates (not Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) at level M) studied primarily through research.
  • Postgraduate (taught) includes doctorate, and masters degrees, postgraduate bachelors degrees at level M and postgraduate diplomas or certificates not studied primarily through research, including Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) at level M (unless shown separately), Masters in Teaching and Learning, level M Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector, and professional qualifications.
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Education are those PGCE qualifications which are pitched at level M.
  • Undergraduate courses are programmes of study at level H, I, J and C including, but not limited to, 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 a General Teaching Council (GTC), postgraduate bachelors degrees at level H, enhanced first degrees (including those leading towards obtaining eligibility to register to practice with a health or social care or veterinary statutory regulatory body), first degrees obtained concurrently with a diploma and intercalated first degrees, Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE at level H), foundation degrees, diplomas in higher education (including those leading towards obtaining eligibility to register to practice with a health or social care or veterinary statutory 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 level, National Qualifications Framework (NQF) levels 4 and 5, post-degree diplomas and certificates at undergraduate level (including those in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector), professional qualifications at undergraduate level and other undergraduate diplomas and certificates including pre- and post-registration health and social care and veterinary courses. Entrants to these programmes of study do not usually require a higher education qualification.
  • 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 a General Teaching Council (GTC), postgraduate bachelors degree at level H, enhanced first degrees (including those leading towards obtaining eligibility to register to practice with a health or social care or veterinary statutory regulatory body), first degrees obtained concurrently with a diploma and 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 (unless shown separately), foundation degrees (unless shown separately), diplomas in higher education (including those with eligibility to register to practice with a health or social care or veterinary statutory 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 level, National Vocational Qualification (NVQ)/Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) at NQF levels 4 and 5, post-degree diplomas and certificates at undergraduate level (including those in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector), professional qualifications at undergraduate level, other undergraduate diplomas and certificates including pre- and post-registration health and social care and veterinary courses, other formal higher education qualifications of less than degree standard, provider undergraduate credit and non-formal undergraduate qualifications.
  • Professional Graduate Certificate in Education are those PGCE qualifications which are pitched at level H.
  • Foundation degrees (e.g. FdA, FdSc) were introduced to provide vocational higher education qualifications at level I.
  • Further education programmes of study includes Diplomas, Certificates and National Vocational Qualification (NVQ)/Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) at level 3 and below, A/AS levels, Advanced Highers/Highers (Scotland), GCSEs, Intermediates (Scotland), HE Access courses, Welsh for Adults and other qualifications below higher education level.

Qualification obtained

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, and the student may be awarded more than one qualification during the reporting period.

Qualification obtained is based on the HESA qualifications obtained population and therefore also includes qualifications awarded from dormant, writing-up and sabbatical status.

The groupings are as Level of study, except in certain analyses where the following groupings may be used:

  • Doctorate includes doctorate degrees obtained/not obtained primarily through research and New Route PhD.
  • Other higher degree includes masters degrees obtained/not obtained primarily through research, Masters in Teaching and Learning, pre-registration masters degrees leading towards obtaining eligibility to register to practice with a health or social care or veterinary statutory regulatory body and postgraduate bachelors degrees at level M.
  • Other postgraduate qualifications includes supervised research at level D, E and L for provider credits, National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ) at level M and E, other postgraduate qualifications obtained primarily through research, fellowships, diplomas and certificates at level M, Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) 5, professional taught qualifications at level M other than masters degrees, Level M Diplomas in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector, and other taught qualifications at level M.
  • HND/DipHE includes 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) and Higher National Diplomas (HND).
Mode of study

The qualification obtained mode of study used in HESA destinations of leavers analyses re-allocates writing-up status student instance awards to their previous mode. See Definitions for students & qualifiers for the standard Mode of study definitions.

  • In leavers statistics, full-time study includes writing-up status where the mode of study was previously full-time and students changing to dormant status previously full-time.
  • In leavers statistics, part-time study includes writing-up 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 of leaver

Age is as at 31 July of the reporting period. That is, the end of the academic year in which the leaver gained their relevant qualification.

Sex / Gender

This field records the sex of the student, as opposed to the gender with which they identify.

Other is included for students whose sex aligns with terms such as intersex, androgyne, intergender, ambigender, gender fluid, polygender and gender queer.

Prior to 2012/13, the concept of biological sex was collected under the description of ‘gender’, which is a term more closely associated with identity. For this reason, HESA moved to using the term sex for this concept, and commenced collecting gender identity as a different field.

The concept of ‘Other’ in the predecessor field was collected as ‘Indeterminate’.

Indeterminate means unable to be classified as either male or female, and is intended to identify students who are intersex, and not trans-gender nor as a proxy for not known.

The specification of this field is based on the Recommendations on monitoring from ECU (Equality Challenge Unit). HESA does not, however, include a 'prefer not to say' option.

Activity, most important activity

In the DLHE survey leavers are able to report what they are doing in relation to both employment and study. They are able to report up to eight individual activities, of which one must be indicated to be the 'most important'. The categories for reporting these activities, and the most important activity, are as follows:

  • Working full-time (including self-employed/freelance, voluntary or other unpaid work, developing a professional portfolio/creative practice or on an internship/placement)
  • Working part-time (including self-employed/freelance, voluntary or other unpaid work, developing a professional portfolio/creative practice or on an internship/placement)
  • Due to start a job in the next month
  • Engaged in full-time further study, training or research
  • Engaged in part-time further study, training or research
  • Taking time out in order to travel
  • Doing something else (e.g retired, looking after home or family)
  • Unemployed
Employment basis

This describes the HE leaver's own assessment of the basis of their employment in the work they were doing on the census date. The information captured relates to the employment activity the HE leaver considers to be their main job.

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, Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man) or country codes. Postcodes are mapped to counties, unitary authorities, Regions and UK countries using the Office for National Statistics Postcode Directory (ONSPD). Countries are mapped to geographical regions, informed by the National Statistics Country Classification 2006 grouping of countries (http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/guide-method/classifications/current-standard-classifications/national-statistics-country-classification/index.html).

Other European Union (EU) includes Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden. Croatia is additionally included in this category from 2013/14 onwards, having acceded to the EU on 1 July 2013.

Other EEA countries includes the European Economic Area countries of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

Other Europe includes Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus (Non-European-Union), Faroe Islands, Georgia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Svalbard and Jan Mayen, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, Vatican City and Europe not otherwise specified. Croatia is included in this category prior to 2013/14, from which point it was included as 'Other European Union (EU)' following accession to the EU.

Please note: this is a survey and respondents may only return partial postcodes, therefore we cannot provide any more detailed location mappings other than those listed above as these would be unreliable due to the lack of full postcodes.

Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) and Professional marker

For a list of SOC codes and their standard grouping see Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) groups.

In 2011 HESA adopted the SOC2010 Standard Occupational Classification (which replaced SOC2000), for comparability of sector data with other areas of the economy. A variant of the SOC2010 was created for the coding of occupational information collected in the DLHE survey. The classification is termed SOC2010 (DLHE) and details are available from the Downloadable files section of the HESA DLHE coding manual on the HESA website (Standard Occupational Classification (2010) for the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Institutions: SOC 2010 (DLHE))(pdf).

Professional/non-professional marker (consistent with UNISTATS methodology)

Standard Occupational Classification major groupings may be further grouped into professional and non-professional categories as follows:

Professional

  • Managers, directors and senior officials
  • Professional occupations
  • Associate professional and technical occupations.

Non-professional

  • Administrative and secretarial occupations
  • Skilled trades occupations
  • Caring, leisure and other service occupations
  • Sales and customer service occupations
  • Process, plant and machine operatives
  • Elementary occupations.

HESA Staff record

Staff coverage

The HESA Staff record provides data in respect of the characteristics of staff employed under a contract of employment at a reporting higher education provider (HEP) in the UK.

The reporting period for the HESA Staff record is 1 August to 31 July.

Inclusion of an individual in the Staff record depends upon the existence of one or more contracts of employment between the HEI and the individual and/or the liability of the HEI to pay Class 1 National Insurance contributions for that individual (see the HM Revenue and Customs website for further guidance). An individual's employment with a higher education provider (HEP) will be governed by one or more legally binding contracts. The Staff record collects attributes of the HE provider, person, contract of employment, and activities within each contract. Each person will have one or more contracts; each contract will have one or more activities. A member of staff may be employed under a single contract of employment or a number of separate contracts: this will depend on the HEI's employment practices.

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.

Data is required for all academic staff, and for non-academic staff if the contract is not atypical. For 2007/08 - 2014/15, non-academic atypical staff were returned on an optional basis. For 2015/16 onwards, non-academic atypical staff are excluded from the coverage of the record. Data also need not be returned for:

  • agency staff,
  • self-employed staff,
  • honorary contracts where the contract is not deemed to be a contract of employment,
  • staff employed not by the HEP, but by a company consolidated into the HEP's accounts.

If the organisation consolidated into the HEP's accounts is considered to be a campus of the HEP where the primary purpose of the organisation is the delivery of HE or FE, the campus previously existed in its own right, and the organisation is now part of the HEP as a result of a merger or takeover, then if the contract of employment is with the organisation and/or the organisation has liability to pay Class 1 National Insurance contributions, the staff of that organisation should be included in the Staff record as if they are employed by the HEP and are therefore outside the list of exclusions.

Atypical staff are those members of staff whose contracts involve working arrangements that are not permanent, involve complex employment relationships and/or involve work away from the supervision of the normal work provider. For atypical staff only a minimum data set is required. Further information is given under the definition for Terms of employment.

Staff (excluding atypical) are those members of staff 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. For these staff 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).

Academic staff are defined as staff at least one of whose contracts of employment was for an academic function and whose contract activity can be categorised as 'Managers, directors and senior officials', 'Professional occupations' or 'Associate professional and technical occupations' as defined by the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) major groups 1, 2 or 3. This may therefore include vice-chancellors and other senior academic managers, medical practitioners, dentists, veterinarians and other health care professionals whose contract of employment includes an academic function.

The academic employment function may be teaching, research, teaching and research or neither teaching nor research (where an academic professional that has taken up a senior administrative responsibility but there is no change to the academic function in their contract of employment).

Prior to 2012/13 Academic staff are defined as academic professionals who are responsible for planning, directing and undertaking academic teaching and research within higher education provider (HEPs). 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. They include managers, non-academic professionals, student welfare workers, secretaries, caretakers and cleaners.

Populations

The HESA staff atypical population is an indicator of those individuals who have only atypical contracts within the reporting period.

The HESA staff atypical population is used in analyses of atypical staff person attributes by full-person equivalents (FPE).

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 contract session population is an indicator of those contracts that were active during the reporting period. Atypical staff contracts are counted in this population.

The HESA staff contract session population is only used in analyses of staff cost centre activity, or when summing full-time equivalents (FTE) from the contract table, during the reporting period.

N.B. From 2012/13 the HESA constituency includes all UK publicly funded higher education institutions (HEIs) and a number of alternative providers (APs), collectively referred to as higher education providers (HEPs). This SFR, as in previous years, contains information regarding only the HEI element of this constituency and the University of Buckingham and therefore uses the term ‘higher education providers (HEPs)’.

Staff full-person equivalent

Individuals can hold more than one contract with a provider 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 a provider 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).

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 whose contracts state that their mode of employment is part-time.

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.

Terms of employment

Terms of employment describe the type of contract(s) a member of staff has with the higher education provider (HEP) at the date the data is returned to HESA, or date of leaving if earlier.

Open-ended/permanent staff are those who are employed on a contract of employment that states the member of staff as permanent or on an open-ended contract. This includes term-time only staff who are employed on an open-ended contract.

Fixed-term contract staff are those employed for a fixed period of time or with an end date on their contract of employment. This includes staff on rolling fixed-term contracts.

Atypical staff are those whose working arrangements are not permanent, involve complex employment relationships and/or involve work away from the supervision of the normal work provider. These may be characterised by a high degree of flexibility for both the work provider and the working person, and may involve a triangular relationship that includes an agent. Source: Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Discussion Document on Employment Status, July 2003, paragraph 23.

In addition to this definition from the DTI, some HE specific guidance has been devised by HESA in consultation with HEIs. 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.
Source of basic salary

Source of basic salary indicates whether contract salaries are paid wholly or in part from funds other than general HE provider (HEP) funds. Whether income can be regarded as general HEP funds or not depends on the distinction between general and specific income as defined in the Statement of recommended practice: accounting for further and higher education (SORP), published by Universities UK (www.universitiesuk.ac.uk/Publications/Documents/SORP_2007.pdf). Specific income is that which can only be applied to a specific purpose or activity so designated by the grantor or donor.

Wholly general financed by the higher education provider staff contracts are those paid wholly from general (unrestricted) HE provider funds.

Partly financed by the higher education provider contracts are those that include some measure of higher education provider funding.

Multiple sources of salary includes staff returned with multiple sources of basic salary, where these sources do not include either Wholly general financed by the higher education provider or Partly financed by the higher education provider.

All other sources of basic salary listed are the sole source of salary for that contract.

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 only staff are those whose contracts of employment state that they are employed only to undertake teaching.
  • Teaching and research 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 (up to 6 hours per week or pro-rata for part-time staff).
  • Neither teaching nor research staff are those whose contracted academic employment function is neither teaching nor research, e.g. Vice-Chancellor.
Country/ region of higher education provider (staff)

The allocation of a HE provider (HEP) to a geographical region is done by reference to the administrative centre of that provider. There may be staff employed in regions other than that of the administrative centre of the HE provider.

HESA allocates HEPs to regions as follows:

North East (NEAS), North West (NWES), Yorkshire and The Humber (YORH), East Midlands (EMID), West Midlands (WMID), East of England (EAST), London (LOND), South East (SEAS), South West (SWES), Scotland (SCOT), Wales (WALE) and Northern Ireland (NIRE).

Although the Open University teaches throughout the UK, its administrative centre is located in South East England, and it is counted as a wholly English provider.

Academic employment marker

In certain analyses the staff activities may also be split by academic contract and non-academic contract:

Academic contract staff are defined as professionals holding a contract for planning, directing and undertaking academic teaching and research within HE providers. Examples of such contracts include those for vice-chancellors, medical practitioners, dentists, veterinarians and other health care professionals who undertake lecturing or research activities.

Non-academic contract staff are defined as members of staff who are not holders of an academic contract, including managers, non-academic professionals, student welfare workers, secretaries, caretakers and cleaners.

Salary (staff)

Salary is based on the contract salary for members of staff at each HE provider where applicable, at 31 July in the reporting period, or the end date of the contract if earlier.

Salary range

For analysis purposes the contract salaries are grouped into six salary ranges, the upper and lower of each range aligned with salary spine points used in the JNCHES Pay Spine (previously referred to as the Final Salary Spine), as detailed in the HESA document Single_pay_spine.xlsx (Salary from 1 August 2016 column).

Contract salary not applicable includes members of staff for whom the concept of a per annum contractual salary does not apply e.g. hourly paid staff, staff with zero hour contracts etc.

Contract salaries reported to HESA based on the reporting of the JNCHES Pay Spine, the JNCHES Clinical Spine, plus salaries not set against a nationally negotiated pay spine are included in this analysis. Where HESA is provided with both a salary point (within the JNCHES Pay Spine or JNCHES Clinical Spine) and an enhanced salary figure (e.g. London weighting), the actual enhanced salary is used.

Staff with atypical contracts are not included in the salary range analysis.

Note: Staff salary relates to the entire contract and not the individual activities that may be associated with that contract. Therefore, whilst a staff contract may be assigned to more than one activity group, the salary displayed will reflect the entire contract.

Average salary

Average salary data excludes those members of staff whose salary is zero or unknown.

For calculations of average salary, salaries are apportioned to contract activities according to the proportion of each contract associated with each activity.

In accordance with the rounding strategy, averages based on 7 or fewer staff are suppressed.

Sex

This field records the legal sex of the staff member, as opposed to the gender with which they identify.

Due to the requirement to return this information to HM Revenue & Customs, legal sex information will be known for all staff with the exception those holding solely non-academic atypical contracts, for whom sex may legitimately not be known.

HESA Finance record

Finance coverage

The annual HESA Finance record is the main source of historical financial information on the total activities of all UK higher education providers (HEPs). The record provides data in respect of the consolidated income and expenditure account, consolidated statement of total recognised gains and losses, consolidated balance sheet and consolidated cash flow statement. The figures recorded for the consolidated income and expenditure account, balance sheet headings, statement of recognised gains and losses and cash flow statement should be the same as those recorded in the HEP's audited/published financial statements. The financial statements are prepared in accordance with the 'Financial Reporting Standard 102' (FRS102) and the 'Statement of Recommended Practice: Accounting for Further and Higher Education' (SORP), published by Universities UK (SORP (2015).pdf), 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 Finance record uses the principles in the SORP to analyse the financial statements in greater detail than is required for published financial statements.

A copy of the  c16031 template.xlsx, used by HE providers to return their data to HESA, can be downloaded from the HESA website. The complete coding manual can be viewed here. This coding manual contains guidance to HE providers for the return of their finance data, and includes all supporting documentation.

All values in the record are returned in units of £1,000 and where necessary rounded to the nearest £1,000.

Financial data relates to the HE provider's financial year 1 August to 31 July.

Income

Total income identifies the gross income position, i.e. it includes income attributable to a share in joint venture(s).

Less: share of income in joint venture(s) is used to deduct the share of income in joint venture(s) from the total income.

Net income is total income less the share of income in joint venture(s).

Joint venture is an entity in which the reporting HE provider holds an interest on a long-term basis, and is jointly controlled by the HE provider and one or more ventures under a contractual arrangement. The HE provider's share of income (and expenditure) should be recognised in the HE provider's income (and expenditure) account.

Surplus/(deficit) for the year is calculated as net income minus total expenditure.

Surplus/(deficit) after other gains/(losses), share of surplus/(deficit) in joint ventures and associates, and tax as a % of total income
*as shown in Tables B and C of Finances of Higher Education 2016/17

Sources of income

Income is analysed by six main sources:

  1. Tuition fees and education contracts
  2. Funding body grants
  3. Research grants and contracts
  4. Other income
  5. Investment income
  6. Donations and endowments

The total of each of these headings should be the same as the HE provider's financial statement, showing the gross position for the HE provider.

Expenditure activities

Categories of expenditure are further analysed by costs incurred from the activities associated with Academic departmentsAcademic servicesAdministration and central servicesPremisesResidences and catering operations (including conferences)Research grants and contracts and Other expenditure.

Academic departments

This includes all expenditure 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.

HESA cost centres from 2012/13

HESA cost centres 2007/08-2011/12

Academic services

This includes expenditure incurred by 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 and central services

This includes expenditure incurred by Central administration and services, General education expenditure, and Staff and student facilities.

  • Central administration and services includes expenditure in respect of central administrative staff and such payments to Heads of HE providers, Professors, Deans, Tutors, Faculty Officers and the like as are made in respect of central (as distinct from departmental) administrative work. This category also includes expenditure associated with the running costs of an administrative computer system and the following other costs if not charged to their relevant academic cost centre: public relations, advertising, recruitment, removal expenses of all staff, publications (excluding educational publications), rating or council tax advisors, security of wages, bank charges (excluding interest), central postage, superannuation management, expenses of head of HE provider, legal and audit fees, general insurance costs not included elsewhere and telephone costs where centrally charged.
  • General education expenditure includes expenditure incurred on examinations, fellowships, scholarships, prizes and other expenditure of a general educational nature. It includes the direct costs of examinations for example of external examiners, salaries, printing, etc. Also included are fee remission and provisions for bad debts in respect of unpaid fees and the following items that cannot be appropriately charged elsewhere: educational publications, public lectures, concerts and exhibitions, subscriptions and contributions to learned societies and similar bodies, contributions to representative bodies and agencies, works of art, contributions to the HE provider's press, research projects not returned under other heads, representation at conferences, explorations and expeditions, administration of non-departmental arts centres, widening participation activity and student recruitment costs from home and overseas.
  • Staff and student facilities includes expenditure incurred on the provision of facilities and amenities for the use of students and/or staff, e.g. Careers Advisory Service, all grants to student societies, emoluments to wardens of halls of residence, accommodation office, athletic and sporting facilities (excluding maintenance), transport, OTC (including Air and Naval squadrons), chaplaincy, student counselling, crèches and the HE provider's health service.

Premises

This includes all expenditure incurred (whether centrally or departmentally) on the management of premises (including academic buildings, central academic services, art centres, HE provider’s health service premises, pavilions, sports buildings, etc.) and on roads and grounds, except residences and catering.

Repairs and maintenance expenditure includes the maintenance of premises including the pay of staff involved (including estates administrative staff) and maintenance provision charges.

Other expenditure includes rates (the uniform business rate charged by local authorities), payments made for the rental of premises, recurrent costs of energy, water and sewerage, depreciation of all buildings except residential, catering and conference buildings, costs of insuring all premises and their contents, cost of cleaning (i.e. salaries, wages and materials, and payments in respect of contract cleaning) and the cost of portering and security services.

Where the heading Premises appears this includes Repairs and maintenance plus Other expenditure as defined above.

Residences and 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 and contracts

This includes the total of the direct costs attributed to research grants and contracts as detailed for Research grants and contracts income.

Other expenditure

Pension cost adjustment includes any adjustment made to staff pension costs in the income and expenditure account (i.e. the difference between actual contributions made and current service cost figure).

Other includes the total direct costs attributed to other services rendered and all other expenditure not covered above.

Expenditure (categories of)

Expenditure is analysed by five main categories:

  1. Staff costs
  2. Fundamental restructuring costs
  3. Other operating expenses
  4. Depreciation
  5. Interest and other finance costs

1. Staff costs

This covers the costs of all staff for whom the HE provider is liable to pay Class 1 National Insurance contributions and/or who have a contract of employment with the HE provider, and includes any redundancy or restructuring payments (that are not treated as exceptional items or fundamental restructuring costs) made to these staff.

Academic staff costs includes costs in respect of academic professionals (Defined in the HESA Staff record as academic employment function 1, 2, 3 or 9 for 2012/13 onwards and Standard Occupational Classification Group 2A prior to 2012/13), whose primary function is planning, directing and undertaking academic teaching and/or research, paid from within the budgets of academic departments and allocated to the appropriate cost centre. All academic staff are classified to this group regardless of their discipline, and this group includes medical practitioners, dentists, veterinarians and other health care professionals who undertake lecturing or research activities within the HE provider.

Other staff costs includes costs in respect of all other staff paid from within the budgets of academic departments and allocated to the appropriate cost centre.

Where the heading Staff costs appears, this includes Academic staff costs plus Other staff costs as defined above.

2. Fundamental restructuring costs

Fundamental restructuring costs are grouped with no breakdown by expenditure activity.

3. Other operating expenses

Other operating expenses includes costs in respect of payments to non-contracted staff or individuals, all other non-staff costs incurred, except for depreciation and interest payable. Equipment that has not been capitalised, expenditure on maintenance contracts and telephone costs (calls, rental and non-capitalised equipment) if not charged to departments are also included in this category.

4. Depreciation

This includes depreciation costs on capitalised equipment according to where the assets being depreciated are located (i.e. academic departments, academic services, administration and central services, premises, research grants and contracts or other expenditure).

5. Interest and other finance costs

This includes costs in respect of interest payable on premises, residences and catering operations (including conferences) and other expenditure.

Where the heading Other costs appears this includes Other operating expensesDepreciation plus Interest and other finance costs.

Student loans data

Introduction (Student loans)

Data in tables 18a-18i are compiled from the Student Loans Company (SLC) 'Student support awards (loans and grants)' statistics data tables:

  • Student Support for Higher Education in England: Academic Year 2014/15 payments, 2015/16 awards, published 2 December 2015
  • Student Support for Higher Education in Wales: Academic year 2014/15 payments, 2015/16 awards, published 2 December 2015, and
  • Student Support for Higher Education in Northern Ireland: Academic year 2014/15 (Final), published 2 December 2015.

These are available from http://www.slc.co.uk/official-statistics/financial-support-awarded.aspx, or SLC, 100 Bothwell Street, Glasgow, G2 7JD.

England (Student loans)

Table 18a is compiled from 'Student Support for Higher Education in England: Academic Year 2014/15 payments, 2015/16 awards' SLC Table 2, 18b from SLC Table 4a(i) and 18c from SLC Table 4a(ii).

All applications for Higher Education (HE) student finance under full time regulations from Applicants domiciled in England are assessed by Student Finance England (i.e. the Student Loans Company or English Local Authorities). If the applicant is found to be eligible they will be awarded student finance, which will start to be paid once attendance has been confirmed by the HE provider and the term start date has been reached. Many awards do not lead to payment because the applicant does not secure a place or chooses not to attend. The products awarded to each applicant will depend on several factors: the year that they entered HE; the loans (Maintenance loan and/or Tuition Fee Loan) they choose to take, if any; whether they submit financial details to be assessed for a means tested grant; whether they are entitled to a Special Grant or allowance such as the Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA).

All applicants eligible to a Maintenance Loan can receive the non-means tested portion of the loan. Some choose not to take one even though they might have received other support, such as a Maintenance Grant. Some do not apply for any support at all. Table 18c 'Maintenance Loan Take Up by the estimated eligible population domiciled in England' shows the relationship between those who took out a Maintenance Loan and those who could have taken one, using estimates of the eligible student population from BIS. The applicant can choose to take all or part of the basic non means tested element of the Maintenance Loan. They can receive a higher amount if they submit financial evidence that shows their household residual income is within the range for additional Maintenance Loan entitlement.

The estimated eligible loan populations for all academic years presented have been revised upwards following an improvement in methodology. The methodological improvement affects apportionment of students at Further Education Colleges between full-time and part-time study, and was necessary after BIS identified that a new data variable has increasingly provided a more accurate representation of student’s modes of study in the Individualised Learner Record in recent years. The revision has resulted in an increase in the full-time eligible population estimates ranging from around 12,000 in the earlier years to about 20,000 students in the latest years. The loan take-up rate, consequently, has been revised downwards by between 1.2 and 1.6 percentage points for both maintenance and tuition fee loans.

Wales (Student loans)

Table 18d is compiled from 'Student Support for Higher Education in Wales: Academic Year 2014/15 payments, 2015/15 awards' SLC Table 2, 18e from SLC Table 4a(ii) and 18f from SLC Table 4a(iii).

All applications for Higher Education (HE) student finance under full time regulations from Welsh domiciled applicants are assessed by Local Authorities in Wales. EU domiciled applicants studying in Wales are assessed by the Student Loans Company. If the applicant is found to be eligible they will be awarded student finance, which will start to be paid once attendance has been confirmed by the HE provider and the term start date has been reached. Many awards do not lead to payment because the applicant does not secure a place or chooses not to attend. The products awarded to each applicant will depend on several factors: the year that they entered HE; the loans (Maintenance Loan and/or Tuition Fee Loan) they choose to take, if any; whether they submit financial details to be assessed for a means tested grant; whether they are entitled to a Special Grant or allowance such as the Disabled Students' Allowance.

DSA figures shown are still provisional although shown alongside Final figures: Invoices continue to be received well after the end of the academic year which is why the figures are kept as provisional for one year longer than for the other products.

All applicants who are eligible for student finance can receive a Maintenance loan. Some choose not to take one even though they might have received other support, such as an Assembly Learning Grant. Some do not apply for any support at all. Table 18f 'Maintenance Loan take up by the estimated eligible population domiciled in Wales' shows the relationship between those who took out a Maintenance loan and those who could have taken one, using estimates of the eligible student population from the Welsh Government. The applicant can choose to take all or part of the basic non means tested element of the Maintenance loan. They can receive a higher amount if they submit financial evidence that shows their household residual income is within the range for additional Maintenance Loan entitlement. From 2006/07 onwards the average Maintenance Loan decreased because of the introduction of the Assembly Learning Grant. The amount of Maintenance loan awarded is partly reduced in proportion to the amount of Assembly Learning Grant awarded.

Students who took out a Maintenance Loan in academic year 2010/11, 2011/12 or 2012/13 may be entitled to a partial cancellation of Maintenance Loan of up to £1,500. The reduction is applied to the balance of student loan by the SLC after the first repayment has been made. Students are only entitled to receive the partial cancellation once.

Northern Ireland (Student loans)

Table 18g is compiled from 'Student Support for Higher Education in Northern Ireland: Academic Year 2014/15 (Final)' SLC Table 2, 18h from SLC Table 4a(i) and 18i from SLC Table 4a(ii).

All applications for Higher Education (HE) student finance under full time regulations from Northern Ireland domiciled applicants are assessed by Education Library Boards in Northern Ireland. If the applicant is found to be eligible they will be awarded student finance, which will start to be paid once attendance has been confirmed by the HE provider and the term start date has been reached. Many awards do not lead to payment because the applicant does not secure a place or chooses not to attend. The products awarded to each applicant will depend on several factors: the year that they entered HE; the loans (Maintenance Loan and/or Tuition Fee Loan) they choose to take, if any; whether they submit financial details to be assessed for a means tested grant; whether they are entitled to a Special Grant or allowance such as the Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA).

All Northern Ireland domiciled applicants who are eligible for student finance can receive a Maintenance Loan. Some choose not to take one even though they might have received other support, such as a Maintenance Grant. Some do not apply for any support at all. Table 18i 'Maintenance Loan take up by the estimated eligible population domiciled in Northern Ireland' shows the relationship between those who took out a Maintenance loan and those who could have taken one, using estimates of the eligible student population from DEL. The applicant can choose to take all or part of the basic non means tested element of the Maintenance Loan. They can receive a higher amount if they submit financial evidence that shows their household residual income is within the range for additional Maintenance Loan entitlement.

Alternative provider (Student loans)

An alternative provider is any provider of higher education courses which is not in direct receipt of recurrent funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) or from equivalent bodies in the Devolved Administrations; or does not receive direct recurrent public funding (for example, from a local authority, or from the Secretary of State for Education); and is not a further education college. Only providers with courses designated for student support are included in the statistics.

Applicant

This is a person applying for financial support. Not all applicants take up a place at a Higher Education Provider (HEP). Applicants become students once they take up place and the SLC receives a confirmation of their attendance.

Award (Student loans)

The number of and amount of money awarded to applicants for student finance who have passed the eligibility criteria as stipulated within the student finance regulations, and have been assessed for the respective support package accordingly. Awards will be paid on condition that the applicant subsequently attends the higher education provider (HEP) at which point they will be considered a student, and payments will be released according to the payment schedule for the support types awarded.

Country of Study (Student loans)

The country in which the higher education institute is located to which the applicant intends to study, or is studying, at.

Domicile (Student loans)

The country in which the applicant normally lives. Student Finance England covers those students domiciled in England and European Union Students studying in England. Student Finance Wales covers those students domiciled in Wales and European Union Students studying in Wales. Student Finance Northern Ireland covers those students domiciled in Northern Ireland and European Union Students studying in Northern Ireland.

Estimated eligible population

The numbers of students that are eligible to apply for student finance including those who do not apply.

For England, figures for the estimated eligible population are supplied by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS). BIS use data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency and other sources with the closest approximation of eligibility criteria available from those sources. Estimates are produced with a consistent method each year.

For Wales figures for the estimated eligible population are supplied by the Welsh Government (WG). WG use data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency and other sources with the closest approximation of eligibility criteria available from those sources. Estimates are produced with a consistent method each year.

For Northern Ireland figures for the estimated eligible population are supplied by the Department for Employment and Learning (Northern Ireland) (DEL(NI)).

Entry cohort

Grouping of applicants according to the student finance regulations against which the applicant was assessed for support. Student finance applicants are covered by transitional protection, which means they continue to be assessed against the regulations in place for their first year of study. Students changing courses, or starting a new period of study no longer receive transitional protection and will be assessed under the arrangements in place for their latest year of study.

Final figures

The final position refers to statistics being in a steady state. Final figures are not expected to change significantly and should represent the final outcome.

Full year maintenance loan

The amount of maintenance loan available to students varies between those studying in their final year and those studying in an earlier year of their course. Students in their final year will be entitled to a reduced amount to reflect the reduced length of time in attendance at their university over which maintenance support is required.

Level of support

Identifies if the applicant was awarded the full level of means tested grant, partial level or no grant.

Maintenance loan rate

Applicants are entitled to a different amount of maintenance loans depending on their term-time residence. Rates differ for applicants living at home, in London or elsewhere (excluding London).

Public provider

A public provider is any provider of higher education courses which is in direct receipt of recurrent funding from HEFCE or from equivalent bodies in the Devolved Administrations; or in receipt of direct recurrent public funding (for example, from a local authority, or from the Secretary of State for Education); or is a further education college. Only providers with courses designated for student support are included in the statistics.

Residual income

For England and Wales this is the income associated with the household where the applicant normally resides. It comprises of the taxable earned and unearned incomes of the applicant or those of the applicants minus any allowable deductions. For Northern Ireland this defined as the income from the household from which the applicant normally resides. This income determines how much means tested support the applicant is entitled to. Residual income comprises of the taxable earned and unearned income of the applicant and/or the taxable earned and unearned income of the applicants sponsors minus any allowable deductions.

Student (Student loans)

For England an applicant for financial support becomes a student once the Student Loans Company has received confirmation that the person is attending a course in a Higher Education Provider (HEP). Not all applicants take up a place at a HEP. For Wales and Northern Ireland this is defined as those student finance applicants for whom an attendance confirmation has been received from the university which indicates that the applicant is or has taken a place at university. This is an important distinction as not all those making student finance applicants go on to take a place at university.

Student support arrangement

This is the arrangement available at the time of the application for support. It includes the range of support available, the eligibility rules and the income thresholds (which are in place for a given academic year).

Take up rate

The rate of which the eligible population chooses to apply for a maintenance loan.

Level of support

Identifies if the applicant was awarded the full level of means tested grant, partial level or no grant.

International comparisons data

International comparisons data

The Department for Education (DfE)  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-UIS). Table 19 in this product 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 four sub-divisions of tertiary education are recognised internationally. These are known as ISCED levels 5, 6, 7 and 8.

    ISCED 5 Short Cycle Tertiary

    Programmes at ISCED level 5, or short-cycle tertiary education, are often designed to provide participants with professional knowledge, skills and competencies. Typically, they are practically-based, occupationally-specific and prepare students to enter the labour market. However, these programmes may also provide a pathway to other tertiary education programmes.

    ISCED 6 Bachelor’s or equivalent

    Programmes at ISCED level 6, or Bachelor’s or equivalent level, are often designed to provide participants with intermediate academic and/or professional knowledge, skills and competencies, leading to a first degree or equivalent qualification. Programmes at this level are typically theoretically-based but may include practical components and are informed by state of the art research and/or best professional practice. They are traditionally offered by universities and equivalent tertiary educational institutions.

    ISCED 7 Master’s or equivalent

    Programmes at ISCED level 7, or Master’s or equivalent level, are often designed to provide participants with advanced academic and/or professional knowledge, skills and competencies, leading to a second degree or equivalent qualification. Programmes at this level may have a substantial research component but do not yet lead to the award of a doctoral qualification. Typically, programmes at this level are theoretically-based but may include practical components and are informed by state of the art research and/or best professional practice. They are traditionally offered by universities and other tertiary educational institutions.

    ISCED 8 Doctoral or equivalent

    Programmes at ISCED level 8, or doctoral or equivalent level, are designed primarily to lead to an advanced research qualification. Programmes at this ISCED level are devoted to advanced study and original research and are typically offered only by research-oriented tertiary educational institutions such as universities. Doctoral programmes exist in both academic and professional fields.

  • Participation rates can be influenced by a number of factors including varying course lengths and drop-out rates.
  • Graduation rates are calculated as net graduation rates (i.e. as the sum of age-specific graduation rates). Net tertiary graduation rates represent the expected probability of graduating from tertiary education over a lifetime if current patterns are maintained. The current cohort of graduates by ages (cross-section data) is used in the calculation.
  • Net entry rates are calculated by adding the rates for each year of age. The result represents an estimate of the probability that a young person will enter tertiary education in his/her lifetime if current age-specific entry rates continue.

The Labour Force Survey and Annual Population Survey data

The Labour Force Survey and Annual Population Survey

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 external data sources - the Labour Force Survey, the Local Area Database, the Annual Local Area Labour Force Survey and, from 2004, the Annual Population Survey. These are run by The Office for National Statistics and cover the whole of the UK.

The sample is equivalent to approximately a half percent of the adult population of the UK. The sampling strategy is such that the surveys have a rotating panel of respondents. Households are asked to remain in the survey for 4 or 5 interviews or 'waves'. Thus each dataset contains respondents being interviewed for the first time along with others being interviewed for the second, third, and fourth or final time. A respondent can provide information for other household members who may not be present to be interviewed; these are called 'proxy interviews'. Around one third of data is collected through proxy interviews. It is 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. The majority of first interviews are carried out face to face and 70% of recall interviews are by telephone. However, due to the sparse population 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. Students living in halls of residence are included in the household survey of the parental address.

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 noted that in looking at the impact of HE on the general population, some of the UK population will have gained their qualifications outside the UK, or at private higher education providers (HEPs), 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.

There have also been significant changes in how HE data has been collected by ONS over the time period displayed. Households within the Main Labour Force Survey (LFS) are asked to take part for five interviews or 'waves', each being three months apart. Main LFS datasets are published quarterly and cover a period of three months. Thus each quarter some households leave and others join the survey. Between 1996 and 1999 the Main LFS data was used to construct an annual dataset; this data source is known as the Local Area Database (LADB). To construct this dataset wave 1 and wave 5 cases were combined for a 12 month period; this ensures that respondents only appear once in the dataset. This was developed into the Annual Local Area Labour Force Survey (ALALFS), which runs from 2000 to 2003. This again takes wave 1 and wave 5 cases of the Main LFS but now adds a 'boost' sample. Initially the 'boost' was just for England but later a 'boost' was also introduced for Wales and Scotland. An additional boost was added to England in 2004 when the dataset became known as the Annual Population Survey (APS), the additional boost was however dropped in 2006, so the APS, from 2006 to the present, has the same structure as the ALALFS. The 'boost' households are asked to take part for four interviews or 'waves', each being 12 months apart; these respondents are asked a subset of the LFS questions. Currently a quarterly Main LFS dataset contains around 95,000 individuals and an APS dataset contains around 310,000 individuals. This analysis uses the annual datasets described above; the Annual Population Survey for 2005, 2010 and 2015.