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Glossary

Welcome to our Glossary. If you can't find a term here, please contact [email protected] and we will try to help. 

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All definitions

Approval: The action of a defined role (for example a student returns officer) approving an in-Reference period data delivery to a HESA data customer, on behalf of the HE provider e.g. ITT return to DfE.

Approved: A state of data that has undergone approval and is still open to amendment during the Reference period.

Base population (Graduate Outcomes survey): All the graduates that are within the population calculated from the relevant student collection. This identifies all graduated who are eligible to complete the survey in the relevant cohort.

BBSRC: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

BERR: The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (2007-2009)

BIS: The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (2009-2016)

Brand guidelines (Graduate Outcomes survey): The guidelines underpinning all promotional activity relating to the survey.

BTEC: Business and Technician Education Council

BUFDG: British Universities Finance Directors Group.

CAH: Common Aggregation Hierarchy.

CAPD: Continuing academic and professional development.

Census week (Graduate Outcomes survey): A census week replaces a census date (as used in DLHE and LDLHE). The census week is the first week of the contact period.

CMA: Competition and Markets Authority.

Coding frame: Table of values and labels that specifies the valid entries for a particular field.

Coding manual: The suite of material that supports HE providers and stakeholders in their submission and understanding of HESA data collections.

Cogs (Graduate Outcomes survey): These are the statuses identified for each graduate in the provider portal progress bar.

Cohort (Graduate Outcomes survey): Graduates are split equally across the year into four cohorts which regulate when a graduate will be surveyed. There will be four surveys (one of each cohort) carried out per year: A (August-October), B (November-January), C (February-April), and D (May-July) - in each case these are inclusive of the months referred to. The cohort a graduate is assigned to relates to the date the graduate completes their course.

Completion period (Graduate Outcomes survey): The period when the relevant graduate completes their studies. The date of completion determines which cohort the graduate falls into.

Contact period (Graduate Outcomes survey): A period of time during which the contractor may contact a graduate. There are four contact periods in a year. The contact period assigned to a graduate is determined by which cohort they sit in. There are four contact periods in a year: A (December-February), B (March-May), C (June-August), and D (September-October) - in each case these are inclusive of the months referred to.

Core questions (Graduate Outcomes survey): The questions forming the core of the survey and which are to be asked of all graduates (depending upon routing).

CPD: Continuing professional development.

Data dictionary: A specification of fields, entities, and quality rules.

DBEIS: Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

DCSF: The Department for Children, Schools and Families (2007-2010).

DEL(NI): The Department for Employment and Learning (Northern Ireland) (1999-2016).

Derived entity: An entity created by HESA to aid either collection or analytical activities. 

Derived field: A field created by HESA to aid either collection or analytical activities.

DfES: The Department for Education and Skills (2001-2007).

DfE: Department for Education.

DfE(NI): The Department for the Economy (Northern Ireland).

DipHE: Diploma of Higher Education.

Dissemination point: The specified date, following the end of a Reference period, by which signed-off data will be extracted and supplied to HESA's data customers. Data disseminated at the Dissemination point will be used for official accounts of the higher education provider’s activity for statistical, regulatory, and public information purposes.

DLHE: Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education.

DLSG: Data Landscape Steering Group. The data landscape governance body charged with maintaining the HE sector’s data language and supporting logical model, and with promoting good practice for data collections.

EBacc: English Baccalaureate.

ECU: Equality Challenge Unit.

EFA: Education Funding Agency (2010-2016).

ELWa: Education and Training Wales (2000-2006).

EMR: Estates Management Record for Higher Education Providers.

Engagement plan (Graduate Outcomes survey): This plan gives providers an overview of activities completed per week of the fieldwork period, per cohort.

Engagement strategy (Graduate Outcomes survey): The strategy the HESA will use to secure responses to the survey.

Enrolment: The act of a student committing to undertake a course session at a provider.

EPSCR: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

ESFA: Education and Skills Funding Agency.

ESRC: Economic and Social Research Council.

Exception processing: A mechanism for handling historical amendments to provider data.

Exhausted (Graduate Outcomes survey): Where contact details have been used but are invalid (emails bounce or telephone numbers fail).

FEC: Further education college (fEC can also refer to full economic costing).

FPE: Full-person equivalent.

Fragment: A file of data submitted to HESA by an HE provider.

FTE: Full-time equivalent.

Full response (Graduate Outcomes survey): A survey response where all the questions requiring a response have been completed and are populated with a valid answer.

Graduate Outcomes steering group: A group that has been established to advise HESA through the implementation phase of the Graduate Outcomes survey, and into business as usual. It comprises of representatives from HESA and the contractor, the funding bodies, and other stakeholders for the services.

Graduate Outcomes survey: This is the name of the survey. When referring to the record, the survey or the data collected by the record, capitalise Graduate Outcomes. If you are referring to general data, use lower case. Arolwg Hynt Graddedigion is the Welsh version. We do not foresee a need to shorten Graduate Outcomes, and so we are not going to introduce a new acronym. Where a shortening is absolutely necessary, it should be sufficient to use just ‘the record’, ‘the ‘survey’, or ‘the data’. If clarity is needed, use ‘outcomes’ e.g. We return data to the Student, Staff and Graduate Outcomes streams.The outcomes data is returned four times a year.

GTC: General Teaching Council.

HE-BCI: Higher Education - Business and Community Interaction.

HECoS: Higher Education Classification of Subjects.

HECSU: Higher Education Careers Service Unit.

HEDIIP: Higher Education Data and Information Improvement Programme.

HEFCE: Higher Education Funding Council for England (1992-2018).

HEFCW: Higher Education Funding Council for Wales.

HEI: Higher education institution.

HEP: Higher education provider.

heidi: Higher Education Information Database for Institutions (replaced by Heidi Plus, which is not an acronym).

HEPISG: HE Public Information Steering Group.

HERA: Higher Education and Research Act 2017.

HESA: Higher Education Statistics Agency.

HESPA: Higher Education Strategic Planners' Association.

Historical amendment: Data submitted after the in-scope period has passed.

HNC: Higher National Certification.

HND: Higher National Diploma.

In-scope period: The duration for which each entity is relevant for sign-off by an HE provider. Data submitted prior to the in-scope period will not require sign-off until it becomes in scope. Submission after this period will be subject to exception processing.

ITT: Initial Teacher Training.

JACS: Joint Academic Coding System.

Jisc: Joint Information Systems Committee (note: while Jisc was originally an acronym, they no longer use the expanded title).

KIS: Key Information Set.

Logical model: A data model which displays the logical structure of how various elements of HE data are associated and interact in the real world.

LSC: Learning and Skills Council (2001-2010).

MBA: Master of Business Administration.

MRC: Medical Research Council.

MOOC: Massive Open Online Course.

NAW: National Assembly for Wales.

NAO: National Audit Office.

National communications plan (Graduate Outcomes survey): The plan the HESA will create to raise the profile of the survey. This includes a website, social media presence and an additional suite of materials for providers.

NCTL: National College for Teaching and Leadership.

NERC: Natural Environmental Research Council.

NHS: National Health Service.

Non-surveyable (Graduate Outcomes survey): Graduates recorded as Graduate.GRADSTATUS 01 (deceased) or 03 (serious illness).

NSS: National Student Survey.

NVQ: National Vocational Qualification.

OECD: The Organisation for Economic Co-operative and Development.

OFFA: Office for Fair Access.

OfS: Office for Students.

ONS: The Office for National Statistics.

Opt-in question banks (Graduate Outcomes survey): Paid-for banks of questions that can be opted in to by one or more providers, statutory customers or public purpose customers.

OSI: Office of Science and Innovation (2006-2007).

OST: Office of Science and Technology (1992-2006).

OU: The Open University.

Partial response (Graduate Outcomes survey): A survey response which does not have all the questions specified as requiring a valid response completed.

PGCE: Postgraduate Certificate in Education.

PI: Performance Indicators.

Processing fields: A type of derived field to allow the collection process to occur. It does not appear in dissemination output.

Progress bar (Graduate Outcomes survey): This is located across the ‘Contact details’ tab within the provider portal and informs the provider of the status of their survey collection.

Provider data: Data relating to a specific provider.

Provider portal (Graduate Outcomes survey): The provider portal has been created in-house by HESA to enable each provider to feed intelligence to us. The HESA Identity System (IDS) enables users to access the portal. Users are assigned IDS roles and each role has different access rights within the portal. The provider can also personalise aspects of their Graduate Outcomes survey using this portal. View the provider portal user guide

Provider questions (Graduate Outcomes survey): Paid-for questions which providers ask the contractor to include in the survey and which align with the provider terms and conditions. These questions appear in a separate section of the survey and cannot be included within the core or opt-in question sections.

QAA: Quality Assurance Agency.

QA peer: An individual or organisation involved in the QA process.

QCA: Qualifications and Curriculum Authority.

QTS: Qualified Teacher Status.

RCUK: Research Councils UK.

Record: The set of data that accumulates over time as each Reference period is signed-off.

REF: Research Excellence Framework.

Reference period: A fixed period of time, the end of which, aligns to when HESA’s statutory and public purpose customers require sector-wide data and information.

Reference period data: Data relating to a specific Reference period.

Registration: A student registration is a binding agreement between a student and an organisation for the delivery of educational services, within the meaning of "Stage 3: enrolment stage" in the Competition and Markets Authority's advice for HE providers on consumer protection law.

 

Sector data: The data from more than one provider.

SFA: Skills Funding Agency.

SFC: Scottish Further and Higher Education Funding Council.

SFR: Statistical First Release.

SIC: Standard Industrial Classification.

Signed off: A state of data that has undergone sign-off and may therefore be used in public purpose/statutory and analytical output.

Sign-off: The process of a defined role (for example Vice Chancellor) making a formal declaration that the in scope data submitted to HESA represents an honest, impartial, and rigorous account of the HE provider’s events up to the end of the Reference period. 

SLC: Student Loans Company.

SME: Small and Medium Economy.

SOC: Standard Occupational Classification.

SPA: Supporting Professionalism in Admissions.

SRHE: Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE).

SROC: Student Record Officers' Conference.

STFC: Science and Technology Facilities Council.

Submission: Process of supplying data to HESA.

Submitted: A state of data that has undergone submission but has not been signed-off.

Surveyable population (Graduate Outcomes survey): This is the base population minus graduates who are recorded as Graduate.GRADSTATUS 01 or 03 (where contact details are not required).

Survey platform (Graduate Outcomes survey): The online platform which houses the online survey provided by Confirmit.

Survey year (Graduate Outcomes survey): The twelve month period running from 1 December to 30 November. There are four contact periods per survey year.

TA: Teaching Agency.

TDA: Training and Development Agency for Schools (2005-2012).

TEF: Teaching Excellence Framework.

Tolerance: Represents the permissible quality threshold for a rule.

UCAS: Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (note: while UCAS was originally an acronym, they no longer use the expanded title).

UCEA: Universities & Colleges Employers Association.

UCISA: Universities & Colleges Information Systems Association.

UHR: Universities Human Resources.

UKCES: UK Commission for Employment and Skills.

UKPRN: UK Provider Reference Number.

UKRLP: UK Register of Learning Providers.

UUK: Universities UK.

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A: Approval, Approved...

Approval: The action of a defined role (for example a student returns officer) approving an in-Reference period data delivery to a HESA data customer, on behalf of the HE provider e.g. ITT return to DfE.

Approved: A state of data that has undergone approval and is still open to amendment during the Reference period.

Back to top

B: Business event...

Base population (Graduate Outcomes survey): All the graduates that are within the population calculated from the relevant student collection. This identifies all graduated who are eligible to complete the survey in the relevant cohort.

BBSRC: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

BERR: The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (2007-2009)

BIS: The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (2009-2016)

Brand guidelines (Graduate Outcomes survey): The guidelines underpinning all promotional activity relating to the survey.

BTEC: Business and Technician Education Council

BUFDG: British Universities Finance Directors Group

Back to top

C: Coding frame, Coding manual...

CAH: Common Aggregation Hierarchy.

CAPD: Continuing academic and professional development.

Census week (Graduate Outcomes survey): A census week replaces a census date (as used in DLHE and LDLHE). The census week is the first week of the contact period.

CMA: Competition and Markets Authority.

Coding frame: Table of values and labels that specifies the valid entries for a particular field.

Coding manual: The suite of material that supports HE providers and stakeholders in their submission and understanding of HESA data collections.

Cogs(Graduate Outcomes survey): These are the statuses identified for each graduate in the provider portal progress bar.

Cohort (Graduate Outcomes survey): Graduates are split equally across the year into four cohorts which regulate when a graduate will be surveyed. There will be four surveys (one of each cohort) carried out per year: A (August-October), B (November-January), C (February-April), and D (May-July) - in each case these are inclusive of the months referred to. The cohort a graduate is assigned to relates to the date the graduate completes their course.

Completion period(Graduate Outcomes survey): The period when the relevant graduate completes their studies. The date of completion determines which cohort the graduate falls into.

Contact period (Graduate Outcomes survey): A period of time during which the contractor may contact a graduate. There are four contact periods in a year. The contact period assigned to a graduate is determined by which cohort they sit in. There are four contact periods in a year: A (December-February), B (March-May), C (June-August), and D (September-October) - in each case these are inclusive of the months referred to.

Core questions (Graduate Outcomes survey): The questions forming the core of the survey and which are to be asked of all graduates (depending upon routing).

CPD: Continuing professional development.

Back to top

D: Data dictionary, Derived entry...

Data dictionary: A specification of fields, entities, and quality rules.

DBEIS: Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

DCSF: The Department for Children, Schools and Families (2007-2010).

DEL(NI): The Department for Employment and Learning (Northern Ireland) (1999-2016).

Derived entity: An entity created by HESA to aid either collection or analytical activities. 

Derived field: A field created by HESA to aid either collection or analytical activities.

DfES: The Department for Education and Skills (2001-2007).

DfE: Department for Education.

DfE(NI): The Department for the Economy (Northern Ireland).

DipHE: Diploma of Higher Education.

Dissemination point: The specified date, following the end of a Reference period, by which signed-off data will be extracted and supplied to HESA's data customers. Data disseminated at the Dissemination point will be used for official accounts of the higher education provider’s activity for statistical, regulatory, and public information purposes.

DLHE: Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education.

DLSG: Data Landscape Steering Group. The data landscape governance body charged with maintaining the HE sector’s data language and supporting logical model, and with promoting good practice for data collections.

Back to top

E: Enrolment, Exception processing...

EBacc: English Baccalaureate.

ECU: Equality Challenge Unit.

EFA: Education Funding Agency (2010-2016).

ELWa: Education and Training Wales (2000-2006).

EMR: Estates Management Record for Higher Education Providers.

Engagement plan (Graduate Outcomes survey): This plan gives providers an overview of activities completed per week of the fieldwork period, per cohort.

Engagement strategy (Graduate Outcomes survey): The strategy the HESA will use to secure responses to the survey.

Enrolment: The act of a student committing to undertake a course session at a provider.

EPSCR: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

ESFA: Education and Skills Funding Agency.

ESRC: Economic and Social Research Council.

Exception processing: A mechanism for handling historical amendments to provider data.

Exhausted (Graduate Outcomes survey): Where contact details have been used but are invalid (emails bounce or telephone numbers fail).

Back to top

F: Fragment...

FEC: Further education college (fEC can also refer to full economic costing).

FPE: Full-person equivalent.

Fragment: A file of data submitted to HESA by an HE provider.

FTE: Full-time equivalent.

Full response (Graduate Outcomes survey): A survey response where all the questions requiring a response have been completed and are populated with a valid answer.

Back to top

G: Graduate Outcomes steering group...

Graduate Outcomes steering group: A group that has been established to advise HESA through the implementation phase of the Graduate Outcomes survey, and into business as usual. It comprises of representatives from HESA and the contractor, the funding bodies, and other stakeholders for the services.

Graduate Outcomes survey: This is the name of the survey. When referring to the record, the survey or the data collected by the record, capitalise Graduate Outcomes. If you are referring to general data, use lower case. Arolwg Hynt Graddedigion is the Welsh version. We do not foresee a need to shorten Graduate Outcomes, and so we are not going to introduce a new acronym. Where a shortening is absolutely necessary, it should be sufficient to use just ‘the record’, ‘the ‘survey’, or ‘the data’. If clarity is needed, use ‘outcomes’ e.g. We return data to the Student, Staff and Graduate Outcomes streams.The outcomes data is returned four times a year.

GTC: General Teaching Council.

Back to top

H: Historical amendment...

HE-BCI: Higher Education - Business and Community Interaction.

HECoS: Higher Education Classification of Subjects.

HECSU: Higher Education Careers Service Unit.

HEDIIP: Higher Education Data and Information Improvement Programme.

HEFCE: Higher Education Funding Council for England (1992-2018).

HEFCW: Higher Education Funding Council for Wales.

HEI: Higher education institution.

HEP: Higher education provider.

heidi: Higher Education Information Database for Institutions (replaced by Heidi Plus, which is not an acronym).

HEPISG: HE Public Information Steering Group.

HERA: Higher Education and Research Act 2017.

HESA: Higher Education Statistics Agency.

HESPA: Higher Education Strategic Planners' Association.

Historical amendment: Data submitted after the in-scope period has passed.

HNC: Higher National Certification.

HND: Higher National Diploma.

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I: In-scope period...

In-scope period: The duration for which each entity is relevant for sign-off by an HE provider. Data submitted prior to the in-scope period will not require sign-off until it becomes in scope. Submission after this period will be subject to exception processing.

ITT: Initial Teacher Training

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J: JACS...

JACS: Joint Academic Coding System.

Jisc: Joint Information Systems Committee (note: while Jisc was originally an acronym, they no longer use the expanded title).

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K: KIS...

KIS: Key Information Set.

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L: Logical model...

Logical model: A data model which displays the logical structure of how various elements of HE data are associated and interact in the real world.

LSC: Learning and Skills Council (2001-2010).

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M: MBA...

MBA: Master of Business Administration.

MRC: Medical Research Council.

MOOC: Massive Open Online Course.

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N: National communications plan...

NAW: National Assembly for Wales.

NAO: National Audit Office.

National communications plan (Graduate Outcomes survey): The plan the HESA will create to raise the profile of the survey. This includes a website, social media presence and an additional suite of materials for providers.

NCTL: National College for Teaching and Leadership.

NERC: Natural Environmental Research Council.

NHS: National Health Service.

Non-surveyable (Graduate Outcomes survey): Graduates recorded as Graduate.GRADSTATUS 01 (deceased) or 03 (serious illness).

NSS: National Student Survey.

NVQ: National Vocational Qualification.

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O: Opt-in question banks...

OECD: The Organisation for Economic Co-operative and Development.

OFFA: Office for Fair Access.

OfS: Office for Students.

ONS: The Office for National Statistics.

Opt-in question banks (Graduate Outcomes survey): Paid-for banks of questions that can be opted in to by one or more providers, statutory customers or public purpose customers.

OSI: Office of Science and Innovation (2006-2007).

OST: Office of Science and Technology (1992-2006).

OU: The Open University.

Back to top

P: Processing fields, Provider data...

Partial response (Graduate Outcomes survey): A survey response which does not have all the questions specified as requiring a valid response completed.

PGCE: Postgraduate Certificate in Education.

PI: Performance Indicators.

Processing fields: A type of derived field to allow the collection process to occur. It does not appear in dissemination output.

Progress bar (Graduate Outcomes survey): This is located across the ‘Contact details’ tab within the provider portal and informs the provider of the status of their survey collection.

Provider data: Data relating to a specific provider.

Provider portal (Graduate Outcomes survey): The provider portal has been created in-house by HESA to enable each provider to feed intelligence to us. The HESA Identity System (IDS) enables users to access the portal. Users are assigned IDS roles and each role has different access rights within the portal. The provider can also personalise aspects of their Graduate Outcomes survey using this portal. View the provider portal user guide

Provider questions (Graduate Outcomes survey): Paid-for questions which providers ask the contractor to include in the survey and which align with the provider terms and conditions. These questions appear in a separate section of the survey and cannot be included within the core or opt-in question sections.

Back to top

Q: QA peer...

QAA: Quality Assurance Agency.

QA peer: An individual or organisation involved in the QA process.

QCA: Qualifications and Curriculum Authority.

QTS: Qualified Teacher Status.

Back to top

R: Record, Reference period...

RCUK: Research Councils UK.

Record: The set of data that accumulates over time as each Reference period is signed-off.

REF: Research Excellence Framework.

Reference period: A fixed period of time, the end of which, aligns to when HESA’s statutory and public purpose customers require sector-wide data and information.

Reference period data: Data relating to a specific Reference period.

Registration: A student registration is a binding agreement between a student and an organisation for the delivery of educational services, within the meaning of "Stage 3: enrolment stage" in the Competition and Markets Authority's advice for HE providers on consumer protection law.

Back to top

S: Sector data, Signed off...

Sector data: The data from more than one provider.

SFA: Skills Funding Agency.

SFC: Scottish Further and Higher Education Funding Council.

SFR: Statistical First Release.

SIC: Standard Industrial Classification.

Signed off: A state of data that has undergone sign-off and may therefore be used in public purpose/statutory and analytical output.

Sign-off: The process of a defined role (for example Vice Chancellor) making a formal declaration that the in scope data submitted to HESA represents an honest, impartial, and rigorous account of the HE provider’s events up to the end of the Reference period. 

SLC: Student Loans Company.

SME: Small and Medium Economy.

SOC: Standard Occupational Classification.

SPA: Supporting Professionalism in Admissions.

SRHE: Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE).

SROC: Student Record Officers' Conference.

STFC: Science and Technology Facilities Council.

Submission: Process of supplying data to HESA.

Submitted: A state of data that has undergone submission but has not been signed-off.

Surveyable population (Graduate Outcomes survey): This is the base population minus graduates who are recorded as Graduate.GRADSTATUS 01 or 03 (where contact details are not required).

Survey platform (Graduate Outcomes survey): The online platform which houses the online survey provided by Confirmit.

Survey year (Graduate Outcomes survey): The twelve month period running from 1 December to 30 November. There are four contact periods per survey year.

Back to top

T: Tolerance...

TA: Teaching Agency.

TDA: Training and Development Agency for Schools (2005-2012).

TEF: Teaching Excellence Framework.

Tolerance: Represents the permissible quality threshold for a rule.

Back to top

U: UCAS, UCEA...

UCAS: Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (note: while UCAS was originally an acronym, they no longer use the expanded title).

UCEA: Universities & Colleges Employers Association.

UCISA: Universities & Colleges Information Systems Association.

UHR: Universities Human Resources.

UKCES: UK Commission for Employment and Skills.

UKPRN: UK Provider Reference Number.

UKRLP: UK Register of Learning Providers.

UUK: Universities UK.

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