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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

Important - Changes to student data for 2019/20
Changes to data coverage mean that the latest student data differs from previously published data. Expand this box for more information.

Student data published by HESA prior to 2021 related mainly to data about all publicly funded HE providers in the UK (and the University of Buckingham) and HE level provision at further education (FE) colleges in Wales. This equated to all providers submitting data to the HESA Student record. This year we are combining data from both the HESA Student record and the HESA Student alternative record to provide a more complete picture of higher education within the UK. This means that the tables and charts within this release include data about:

  • Higher education (HE) providers in England registered with the Office for Students (OfS) in the Approved (fee cap) or Approved categories;
  • Publicly funded HE providers in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland; and
  • Further education (FE) colleges in Wales.

For users wishing to undertake time-series analysis that make use of data drawn exclusively from the HESA Student record (and therefore comparable with the coverage of tables and charts previously published) this release additionally offers the option to download the source data for each table and chart based on that record alone. This can be done by clicking the link to 'Download source data 051 record only (csv)' underneath each table and chart. Please note that there have been coverage changes over time to both the Student and Student alternative record which can affect the validity of time series comparisons. Any significant changes have been explained in the definitions.

Impact of COVID-19 on student data
There are known areas in which the pandemic has had some impact on the 2019/20 Student data. Expand this box for more information.

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic was declared in March 2020 part way through the 2019/20 academic year. The pandemic did not have any notable impact on student enrolment figures for 2019/20, but did have an impact on qualifications awarded.

Administrative delays related to the pandemic at a few providers meant that significant numbers of qualifications were not reported during the data collection process. The impact can be seen in the decrease in the number of qualifications achieved in 2019/20 compared with 2018/19, particularly among part-time students. These qualifications are expected to be reported to HESA in the 2020/21 data collection.

Many providers issued public statements that a ‘no detriment’ approach to assessment would be adopted in response to the pandemic. This typically ensured that students would be awarded a final grade no lower than the most recent provider assessment of their attainment. The impact can be seen in the increase in the proportion of first class degrees awarded in 2019/20 compared with 2018/19.

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, 2019/20 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

What do we mean 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 2019/20

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Table 1 - HE student enrolments by HE provider

Academic years 2014/15 to 2019/20

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Table 1 - HE student enrolments by HE provider

Academic years 2014/15 to 2019/20

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Table 1 - HE student enrolments by HE provider

Academic years 2014/15 to 2019/20

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Table 1 - HE student enrolments by HE provider

Academic years 2014/15 to 2019/20

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Table 1 - HE student enrolments by HE provider

Academic years 2014/15 to 2019/20

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Table 1 - HE student enrolments by HE provider

Academic years 2014/15 to 2019/20

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Table 1 - HE student enrolments by HE provider

Academic years 2014/15 to 2019/20

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Table 1 - HE student enrolments by HE provider

Academic years 2014/15 to 2019/20

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Table 1 - HE student enrolments by HE provider

Academic years 2014/15 to 2019/20

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Table 1 - HE student enrolments by HE provider

Academic years 2014/15 to 2019/20

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Table 1 - HE student enrolments by HE provider

Academic years 2014/15 to 2019/20

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Table 1 - HE student enrolments by HE provider

Academic years 2014/15 to 2019/20

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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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 2019/20

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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: 20% of full time and sandwich students live with their parents/guardians during term-time.

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

Academic years 2014/15 to 2019/20

 
 
What's the difference between Own residence and Other rented accommodation?

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.

What does Not in attendance at the provider mean?

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.

Next: What do HE students study?

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Where do HE students study?
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