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Figure 5 - HE student enrolments by personal characteristics 2017/18 to 2021/22

HE Student Data

Figure 5 - HE student enrolments by personal characteristics

Academic years 2017/18 to 2021/22



When viewing percentages in this table, please note that percentage calculations exclude unknown values.

Note that HESA collect separate information on the religious background of Northern Ireland domiciled students studying at providers in Northern Ireland. This is collected to comply with Northern Ireland statutory Equal Opportunities monitoring and published by DfE(NI) on a yearly basis. Data on religious belief (as presented in this table) and religious background should not be used interchangeably.

It has been compulsory for providers to return religious belief data to HESA since 2017/18 only. Data for 2017/18 is of poorer quality than 2018/19 onwards. For this reason, only data for 2018/19 onwards has been included.


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 higher education information since the 1994/95 academic year.

Student data is taken from both the HESA Student record and the HESA Student Alternative record. Universities, colleges and other higher education providers return data to HESA via one or other of these records on an annual basis. The records collect a wide range of information, including data about students' personal characteristics, courses and modules of study, and qualifications achieved. The Student alternative record first began in the 2014/15 academic year, with data published from the record from 2015/16 onwards. Data on students pursuing teacher training qualifications is taken from the Initial Teacher Training record, while data on students studying wholly overseas is taken from the Aggregate offshore record.

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 all of the tables we publish on students in higher education.

Further information

open-data   Open data licence: CC-BY-4.0