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Figure 3b - HE student enrolments (including on AP designated courses) by level and HE provider type 2014/15 to 2018/19

HE Student Data

Figure 3b - HE student enrolments at HE, FE and designated courses at alternative providers by level of study and HE provider type

Academic years 2014/15 to 2018/19



HE providers includes The University of Buckingham, which although an AP, has submitted data through the HESA Student record since 2004/05.

Figures for FE providers in England were provided by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA). Counts have been derived from the Individualised Learner Record (ILR) and include students who were enrolled in higher level study at providers regulated by both the Office for Students (OfS) and Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA). Students enrolled in community or workplace based learning (including traineeships that were not a full programme aim or apprenticeships) have been excluded from the figures. For enrolments where information on mode of study was unavailable, students with 450 or more planned learning hours have been classified as full-time, and those with under 450 planned learning hours have been classified as part-time.
A notable reduction has been observed in learners enrolled for higher education at further education providers in 2018/19. This is partly due to some providers transferring from the further education to the higher education sector and reporting their HE provision elsewhere.

Figures for FE providers in Wales were supplied by the Welsh Government for 2014/15 - 2015/16. The mode of learning for FE data in Wales in 2014/15 – 2015/16, is determined directly from the new Learning Programme Code field. From 2016/17, HE students registered at FE providers in Wales were returned to the HESA student record.

Figures for FE providers in Scotland were supplied by the Scottish Funding Council, and cover Scotland's Colleges. In Scotland there is some overlap in the reporting of student enrolments by HEIs and Colleges where both the HEI and College share responsibility for the student. SFC estimates the number of these associate students to be around 1,500.

Figures for FE providers in Northern Ireland were supplied by the Department for the Economy Northern Ireland (DfE(NI)).

From 2016/17, APs with degree awarding powers were required to return data about students on Masters taught designated courses. In 2017/18 all providers in the record were required for the first time to return postgraduates on both taught and research courses. Care should be taken when making comparisons over time. Some increases in numbers at APs are a result of increases in coverage of the data collected, rather than a true reflection of the total number of students at APs.

Type of data

Administrative data

Data source

HESA (Higher Education Statistics Agency) is part of Jisc. We are the experts in UK higher education data and analysis. We have been collecting information on higher education since the 1994/95 academic year.

Data on students at Alternative HE providers is taken from the HESA AP Student record, which universities, colleges and other higher education providers return to HESA on an annual basis. We have been collecting data on students at alternative providers since the 2014/15 academic year. The AP Student record collects a wide range of information, including data about students' personal characteristics, courses and modules of study, and qualifications achieved.

We provide data and analysis on students to a wide variety of customers, including:

  • Governments
  • Universities (via the Heidi Plus analytics tool)
  • Academic and commercial researchers
  • Students and potential students
  • Policy makers.

Our data is used to regulate the sector, inform policy making, advance understanding of social and economic trends, support student decision making, and enhance public understanding of - and confidence in - the higher education sector.

Rounding and suppression strategy

We implement a rounding and suppression 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.

Related releases

We publish annual statistical bulletins about students in higher education.

Our HE Student Data pages collect together many of the tables we publish on students in higher education.

Further information

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