Online statistics are published in various formats throughout the year. Start by choosing the subject you're interested in:

On this page: Non-UK students, Qualifications obtained, Widening participation, Non-continuation, More HESA services, Publications, Unistats, External sources, FAQ

General student numbers

Data on the total number of enroled students. For new enrolments see tables of 'First year' students.
For students who finished a qualification during the year, see the Qualifications obtained section below.

Sections with a grey background relate to 2012/13 and will be updated when new data is published.

Statistical First Release 210

Overview of student data 2009/10 to 2013/14. Tables below cover the whole UK. Breakdowns for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland can be found in further tables.

Table 1 All students by level, mode, domicile and sex
Table 2 First year students by level, mode domicile and sex
Table 3 Students by HE provider, level, mode and domicile
Table 4 Students by subject area, level, mode and sex
Table 4a First year students by subject area, level, mode and sex
Table 6a Full-time students by subject, level, sex, age, disability and ethnicity
Table 6b Part-time students by subject, level, sex, age, disability and ethnicity
Table 7 UK domicile students by domicile and location of HEP
Table 7a UK domicile first years students by domicile and location of HEP
All tables in one Excel workbook
Older Statistical First Releases

Free online data tables

Student numbers for 1996/97 to 2013/14 including:

2013/14 students by HE provider
2013/14 students by Subject
2013/14 first year students by Ethnicity
2013/14 first year students by Disability
More free online data tables

Student publication

Press release 211 - degree subject trends

Sector level tables and charts

Student population
Sex
Domicile
Subject of study
Age of students
Ethnicity
Qualifications obtained
Flows between administrations
Offshore provision

Definitions

Data from Table 2 of Statistical First Release 210 and earlier years
Students by level of study 2000/01 to 2013/14
Year Undergraduate Postgraduate Total
2013/14 1759915 539440 2299355
2012/13 1803840 536440 2340275
2011/12 1928140 568505 2496645
2010/11 1912580 588720 2501295
2009/10 1914710 578705 2493415
2008/09 1859240 536810 2396050
2007/08 1804970 501135 2306105
2006/07 1801955 502745 2304700
2005/06 1788600 492640 2281235
2004/05 1753930 482335 2236265
2003/04 1722685 477495 2200175
2002/03 1676920 454190 2131110
2001/02 1615130 427455 2042580
2000/01 1541225 406905 1948135
Students in 2013/14 by mode * , level * and gender
  Undergraduate Postgraduate Total
Full-time Female 762065 162470 924530
Full-time Male 629410 141925 771340
Full-time Total 1391585 304445 1696030
Part-time Female 225830 138730 364560
Part-time Male 142480 96220 238695
Part-time Total 368335 234995 603325
Total Female 987895 301195 1289090
Total Male 771890 238145 1010035
Total 1759915 539440 2299355

Non-UK domicile students

Data on students from overseas studying in the UK at HE providers.
Data from the HESA Student Record

Statistical First Release 210

Table 8 Top EU countries of domicile.
Table 8a Top EU countries of domicile - first year students.
Table 9 Top non-EU countries of domicile.
Table 9a Top non-EU countries of domicile - first year students.
All tables in one Excel workbook

Student publication

Table B - HE students by mode, sex, region of domicile
Table C - PG students by mode, sex, region of domicile
Table D - UG students by mode, sex, region of domicile
Table 1 - UK/EU/non-EU students by HE provider

Definitions

5 years' data in Statistical First Release 210
Region of domicile of non-UK domicile students
Region of domicile * 2012/13 2013/14
Other European Union 125290 125300
Other Europe 18610 19525
Africa 34160 35095
Asia 186545 192540
Australasia 2505 2580
Middle East 26380 27520
North America 26920 27340
South America 4345 5310
Non-European Union unknown 505 285
Total non-UK domicile 425265 435495

Students studying wholly overseas

Transnational students studying wholly overseas for a UK qualification.
Data from the HESA Aggregate Offshore Record

Statistical First Release 210

Table 14 - location, type and level.

Student publication

Table O - type and level
Table P - top 20 countries

Definitions

World regions of transnational students
Click for larger images
World regions of transnational students

Qualifications obtained

Data on degrees and other HE qualifications awarded each year.

Statistical First Release 210

Overview of qualifications data 2009/10 to 2013/14. Tables below cover the whole UK. Breakdowns for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland can be found in further tables.

Table 11 - Qualifications obtained by level, mode, domicile and sex
Table 12Class of first degree by sex and mode of study.
Table 13 - Qualifications obtained by level, sex and subject

Free online data tables

2013/14 Qualifications obtained
2013/14 Qualifications by subject
More free online data tables 1996/97 to 2013/14

Student publication

Intro tables & charts - Qualifications.
Table K - mode, domicile, level
Table L - first degrees by mode, domicile, sex class
Table M - % 1st and 2i

Definitions

Data from Table 12 of Statistical First Release 210 and earlier years
Qualifications obtained by level 2000/01 to 2013/14
Year Undergraduate Postgraduate Total
2013/14 519865 257935 777800
2012/13 525885 262015 787900
2011/12 523115 264090 787205
2010/11 510385 252155 762540
2009/10 490610 226330 716940
2008/09 469855 204560 674415
2007/08 474450 202005 676460
2006/07 448830 202225 651060
2005/06 442565 198280 640850
2004/05 441220 191820 633045
2003/04 413560 182085 595640
2002/03 393440 164350 557790
2001/02 366235 155265 521500
2000/01 357560 146850 504410

UK Performance Indicators

Comparative data on the performance of HE providers in widening participation and student retention. UKPIs are specified by the HE funding bodies.

Press release 214 - headline stats for 2013/14
UKPIs Summary - 16 year time series
UK Performance Indicators homepage 

Widening participation

Widening participation of under-represented groups

Table T1a - % young entrants 2012/13 from state schools, lower socio-economic classifications (SEC) and low participation neighbourhoods by HE provider

Table SP1 - WP percentages by region of domicile
Table SP4 - % young state schools entrants by subject
Table SP5 - % young low SEC entrants by subject
Table SP6 - % young low participation neighbourhood entrants by subject

Non-continuation rates

Non-continuation rates (including projected outcomes)

Table T3a - % 2011/12 entrants not continuing into second year by HE provider

Table T5 - Projected outcomes by HE provider

Table SN1 - % non-continuation of young entrants by subject
Table SN2 - % non-continuation of mature entrants by subject
Table SN3 - % non-continuation of all entrants by subject

UKPIs definitions

The percentage of young entrants to full-time first degree courses from state schools has risen from 85.0% in 1998/99 to 89.7% in 2013/14
The percentage of young full-time first degree entrants not continuing in HE after their first year has fallen from 7.6% of 1997/98 entrants to 5.7% of 2012/13 entrants

More HESA services

Other ways to get HESA information.

Get a customised data extract

If the stats on the website couldn't answer your question, why not ask the experts directly?

The Bespoke Data Service can provide the exact statistics you require. Give them a call on +44 (0) 1242 211133 - or go straight to the data request form

Press and media enquiries

See the Press Office section for press releases and contact details

Follow HESA on Twitter: @ukhesa

Browse the HESA Blog: www.hesa.ac.uk/blog

Mobile app

iPhone app - UK HE Stats - free from the app store. Contains four years' data for all HE providers.

New Android and iPhone apps coming soon.

Subject Benchmarking Report

Subject-specific market intelligence with analysis of performance against chosen competitors. Data and graphical analysis cover the student life cycle from enrolment to graduate destinations.

For more information, and to view a sample Subject Benchmarking Report go to www.hesa.ac.uk/subjectreport

Publications

HESA publications are downloadable collections of the most useful data in Excel tables.

Students in Higher Education 2013/14 - comprehensive data on students and qualifications obtained.

See the full contents - includes links to 5 free downloadable Excel tables.

Read the introduction online - includes 16 free Excel tables to download and 11 charts summarising all aspects of the HESA Student Record and the HESA Aggregate Offshore Record.

Students
in Higher Education
Students in Higher Education Institutions

To view all HESA publications and special offers see the Publications home page or the 2015 product catalogue.

Higher Education Statistics for the UK 2012/13 - summary of HE data from HESA, UCAS, SLC, OECD, Labour Force Survey and more.

See the full contents

Read the introduction online - includes 11 free Excel tables to download and 8 charts summarising all aspects of higher education, including five year trends.

 

Higher Education
Statistics
for the UK
Higher Education Statistics for the UK

Older publications for 1994/95 to 2008/09 can be downloaded for free from the Publications Archive.

Unistats

Official data for all undergraduate courses providing key information for prospective students.

Unistats website - the official source for information on HE courses

Unistats dataset - raw data underlying the Unistats website
available for developers to download in XML and CSV format

Unistats FAQ - on the HEFCE website

Unistats - from universities and colleges in the UK

Linked data

Linked NPD-ILR-HESA data

The Department for Education (DfE) receives HESA data and links it to data from the Individual Learner Record (ILR, which covers Further Education Colleges) and to the National Pupil Database (NPD, which covers schools). Linked data is available for research purposes from DfE.

See www.hesa.ac.uk/linkeddata for more information.

To request a linked data extract please see the National Pupil Database pages at www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-pupil-database.

External sources

Related statistics are published by various organisations. These links are to external websites for which HESA is not responsible.

Frequently asked student statistics questions

Got a question? If the answer's not online contact one of our Bespoke Data Service experts by email: information@hesa.ac.uk

Q. How many students study at privately funded HE providers not included in the HESA data?

A. A BIS survey in 2012 counted a further 94,707 students at privately funded HE providers in the UK.

Click here for the full results of the BIS survey.

Q. How many students were there in [year]? How have student numbers changed over time?

A. HESA holds data going back to the 1994/95 academic year. However we have refined the way we count students several times since then. The only way to compare our 94/95 data to our recent data is to look at a snapshot population. The table below shows the number of students enroled on the 1st of December in each year.

For a longer view, the last table of this House of Commons Library note shows the number of degrees awarded at ten year intervals back to 1920: Education: Historical Statistics 1920-2004

Students (1st December snapshot) by level of study 1994 to 2013
Year Undergraduate Postgraduate Total
2013 1716645 483685 2200330
2012 1761865 482850 2244715
2011 1856455 509840 2366295
2010 1831665 516040 2347705
2009 1825045 504115 2329165
2008 1777360 471360 2248720
2007 1744765 445660 2190425
2006 1680750 445105 2125855
2005 1713080 443175 2156255
2004 1700450 438920 2139370
2003 1656420 432415 2088835
2002 1587240 413180 2000420
2001 1515925 391005 1906930
2000 1462165 379700 1841865
1999 1426655 368005 1794660
1998 1420770 362885 1783655
1997 1392720 345850 1738570
1996 1372885 325630 1698515
1995 1329925 324790 1654715
1994 1211260 301790 1513055

Q. What subjects are the most popular?

All students by subject area of study
Subject Area * 2012/13 2013/14
Medicine & dentistry 66745 67360
Subjects allied to medicine 279940 273235
Biological sciences 201520 207520
Veterinary science 5760 5935
Agriculture & related subjects 19020 18360
Physical sciences 93050 93270
Mathematical sciences 42235 42225
Computer science 89500 91565
Engineering & technology 158115 159010
Architecture, building & planning 52695 49160
   Total Science 1008585 1007640
Social studies 213360 210580
Law 89190 89225
Business & administrative studies 337245 336600
Mass communications & documentation 50425 49525
Languages 124280 117660
Historical & philosophical studies 92740 89615
Creative arts & design 172860 168860
Education 179910 173015
Combined 71680 56635
All Subjects 2340275 2299355
Graphic showing first year first degree students by subject
Chart from press release 211
More subject info in SFR210, Publication intro and free online data tables

Q. How many students are there in my region?

All students by region of HE provider
Region * 2012/13 2013/14
England 1944995 1902370
North East 100725 101250
North West 232760 226595
Yorkshire and The Humber 195545 192835
East Midlands 160810 157735
West Midlands 190665 188950
East of England 129805 126495
London 372880 366605
South East 407435 389310
South West 154365 152595
Wales 128780 129130
Scotland 214785 215600
Northern Ireland 51715 52260
UK Total 2340275 2299355
Students by HE provider in free online data tables

Definitions

Q. What proportion of young people go into Higher Education?

A. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) publish the initial participation rate for 17-30 year olds. The latest figures can be found here: Participation Rates in Higher Education

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) publish participation measures by local area here: POLAR – Participation of Local Areas

Q. What proportion of students drop out?

A. Non-continuation rates are published as part of the HE Performance Indicators (see PI section above).
7.0% of full-time first degree entrants in 2012/13 did not continue into their second year.
10.1% of full time first degree entrants in 2012/13 are projected to leave higher education without gaining a qualification.

Q. How many students live at home with their parents? How many live in student halls?

A. Approximately 1 in 5 full-time students lives at home during term-time, and about the same proportion live in institution maintained property.

Click here for lots more detail on accommodation

Term-time accommodation of full-time and sandwich students
Term-time accommodation * 2012/13 2013/14
Institution maintained property 309765 325090
Private-sector halls 102255 108155
Parental/guardian home 325770 322045
Own residence 258075 255570
Other rented accommodation 503675 516220
Other 77280 59690
Not in attendance at the institution 20795 24025
Not known 84535 85230
Total full-time and sandwich 1682145 1696030

Q. How many students study by distance learning?

Distance Learning students - UK based/funded †
Level, HE provider 2012/13 2013/14
Undergraduate 177400 158140
Open University 156750 138530
Other 20650 19610
Postgraduate 49020 51870
Open University 10770 11725
Other 38250 40140
Total 226420 210005
† Based on HESA Student Record - see Definitions
Distance Learning students - Wholly overseas ‡
Level, Location 2012/13 2013/14
Undergraduate 62535 59310
EU 12130 10570
Non-EU 50405 48740
Postgraduate 61100 60390
EU 13130 12585
Non-EU 47970 47810
Total 123635 119700
‡ Based on Aggregate Offshore Record - see Definitions
More offshore provision stats in SFR Table 8

Q. How many mature students are there?

Students in 2013/14 by level and age group
Age group Undergraduate Postgraduate Total
20 and under 878100 2480 880580
21-24 448535 173660 622200
25-29 133505 132480 265985
30-59 281530 225405 506935
60 and over 18135 5310 23445
Age unknown 110 100 215
Total 1759915 539440 2299355
More on age in publication intro

Q. How many students are from ethnic minorities?

Ethnicity of UK domiciled students
Ethnicity * 2012/13 2013/14
White 1507845 1459815
Black 117420 116655
Asian 171395 172215
Other (including mixed) 79575 81545
Not known 38780 33630
Total UK domicile 1915015 1863860
More ethnicity info in Publication intro and free online data tables

Q. How many students study for MBAs?

MBA students by domicile
Domicile * 2012/13 2013/14
UK 10530 9525
Other EU 1045 1300
Non-EU 9360 9960
Total MBA students 20930 20785