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Who's studying in HE?: Student numbers

HE Student Data Who's studying in HE?

On this page: Undergraduate sandwich students | Students on teacher training courses | Students by full-time equivalent (FTE)

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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 to 2021/22 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.

Undergraduate sandwich students

Students on a sandwich course are expected to take six months or more out of their course to undertake work experience or study abroad. This table shows the total numbers of students on undergraduate sandwich courses (not the number who were actually away from the HE provider during the academic year in question).

Table 48 - Undergraduate sandwich student enrolments by subject of study and sex

Academic years 2019/20 to 2021/22


Table 12 provides data on undergraduate sandwich students by subject for years 2014/15 - 2018/19. This is based on subjects coded according to the Joint Academic Coding System (JACS). Table 48 replaces Table 12 from 2019/20, following the introduction of HECoS and CAH in the same year. Refer to the contents page to see other tables containing JACS data.

Students on teacher training courses

This table shows students on courses leading to teaching qualifications.

Table 20 - ITT students by HE provider and level of study

Academic years 2014/15 to 2021/22


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Students by full-time equivalent (FTE)

Full-time equivalent (FTE) figures give a picture of the overall student load. For example a student on a part-time course that is 60% of a full-time course would be returned as 0.6 FTE.

Table 2 - HE student enrolment FTE by HE provider and level of study

Academic years 2014/15 to 2021/22


Note that cost centre information is not available for the HESA Student Alternative record, so the table below is restricted to providers who submitted to the HESA Student record only.

Table 37 - HE student enrolment FTE by HE provider and cost centre

Academic years 2014/15 to 2021/22


 This is a large table and will take a moment to load...
open-data   Open data licence: CC-BY-4.0

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