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Where do HE students study?

HE Student Data Where do HE students study?

On this page: Students by HE provider | Location of study | Student accommodation

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic was declared by the World Health Organisation in March 2020, just over half way through the 2019/20 academic year. An insight brief has been published that analyses the impact of the pandemic on student data and trends across years of enrolments and qualifications across various characteristics. There are two known areas in which the pandemic has had some impact:

  • There is evidence to suggest that among a few providers, administrative hold-ups related to the pandemic resulted in significant numbers of qualifications awarded in 2019/20 not being reported. The impact of this under-reporting is believed to explain some of the 3% decrease in the number of qualifications achieved in 2019/20 compared with 2018/19, and the impact is most noticeable on the number of part-time qualifications awarded. Qualifications that were not reported in the 2019/20 academic year have carried over to 2020/21 and contributed to the 9% increase in the number of qualifications awarded in 2020/21.
  • In relation to classifications of first degrees and other awards, many providers issued public statements that a 'no detriment' approach would be adopted when it came to assessment in 2019/20. This typically ensured that students would be awarded a final grade no lower than the most recent provider assessment of their attainment.

The 2019/20 and 2020/21 data was collected during the COVID-19 pandemic. Exceptional guidance was issued to HE providers regarding a number of data fields within the collections to clarify HESA's expectations about how these fields should be treated in light of the pandemic.

The tables and charts on this page display information about where UK HE students study. Some information is taken from our Higher Education Student Statistics: UK, 2020/21 student bulletin. 

All tables and charts include a link underneath allowing you to download the data. Many tables also include a link to download the complete source data as a machine-readable csv file.

Students by HE provider

HESA collects data from universities, higher education colleges and other specialist providers of higher education. Collectively, we refer to these organisations as higher education (HE) providers. Most tables of HESA data count students at providers in England registered with the OfS in the Approved (fee cap) or Approved categories plus publicly funded higher education providers in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. From 2016/17, HE level students at further education (FE) colleges in Wales are included, but not HE level students at FE colleges in England, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

The table below shows the number of students at each HE provider. Use the buttons on the right to show a breakdown by sex or domicile (UK/EU/non-EU). Use the filters to restrict to first year students only, full-time or part-time students, or a particular level of study. Due to the size of this table, some browsers may perform better than others.

Key fact: The Open University has more than double the number of first year students than any other provider.

Table 1 - HE student enrolments by HE provider

Academic years 2014/15 to 2020/21

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Table 1 - HE student enrolments by HE provider

Academic years 2014/15 to 2020/21

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Table 1 - HE student enrolments by HE provider

Academic years 2014/15 to 2020/21

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Table 1 - HE student enrolments by HE provider

Academic years 2014/15 to 2020/21

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Table 1 - HE student enrolments by HE provider

Academic years 2014/15 to 2020/21

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Table 1 - HE student enrolments by HE provider

Academic years 2014/15 to 2020/21

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Table 1 - HE student enrolments by HE provider

Academic years 2014/15 to 2020/21

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Table 1 - HE student enrolments by HE provider

Academic years 2014/15 to 2020/21

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Table 1 - HE student enrolments by HE provider

Academic years 2014/15 to 2020/21

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Table 1 - HE student enrolments by HE provider

Academic years 2014/15 to 2020/21

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Table 1 - HE student enrolments by HE provider

Academic years 2014/15 to 2020/21

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Table 1 - HE student enrolments by HE provider

Academic years 2014/15 to 2020/21

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Table 1 - HE student enrolments by HE provider

Academic years 2014/15 to 2020/21

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Table 1 - HE student enrolments by HE provider

Academic years 2014/15 to 2020/21

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Table 1 - HE student enrolments by HE provider

Academic years 2014/15 to 2020/21

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Location of study

In the table below use the Domicile marker drop-down to show the countries (EU or non-EU) or UK counties/unitary authorities that students come from. Use the button to see which regions of England students are studying in.

Table 11 - HE student enrolments by domicile and region of HE provider

Academic years 2014/15 to 2020/21

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Student accommodation

The chart below shows the types of accommodation students lived in during term-time. This data is only collected for full-time students (including sandwich students). This data is not available for the HESA Student alternative record, so the chart below is restricted to include providers from the HESA Student record only.

Key fact: 15% of full time and sandwich students live in provider-maintained property during term-time. 

Chart 4 Full-time and sandwich students by term-time accommodation

Academic years 2014/15 to 2020/21

 
 

Own residence includes a student's permanent residence, which may be owned or rented by them. Other rented accommodation refers to a more temporary arrangement, such as a yearly house share.

Not in attendance at the provider is used for full-time and sandwich students not currently in attendance at the provider for reasons such as industrial placement or language year abroad.

Table 57 - Full-time and sandwich HE student enrolments by HE provider and term-time accommodation

Academic years 2014/15 to 2020/21

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Next: What do HE students study?

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Where do HE students study?
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