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The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) is the official agency for the collection, analysis and dissemination of quantitative information about higher education.

It was set up by agreement between the relevant government departments, the higher education funding councils and the universities and colleges in 1993, following the White Paper “Higher Education: a new framework”, which called for more coherence in HE statistics, and the 1992 Higher and Further Education Acts, which established an integrated higher education system throughout the United Kingdom.

HESA Strategy 2010-2014

Our Mission

To support the advancement of UK higher education by collecting, analysing and disseminating accurate and comprehensive statistical information in response to the needs of all those with an interest in its characteristics and a stake in its future.

Our Vision

The general public, prospective students, students, universities and colleges, government organisations, funding agencies, politicians and policy makers will have easy access via HESA to a comprehensive body of reliable statistical information and analysis about UK higher education. This resource will be maintained and developed to the highest standards and will be acknowledged in the UK and overseas as authoritative, useful and cost effective.

Our Values


We serve higher education well and earn the trust of its stakeholders by striving for the highest quality in all our activities and nurturing our independence and impartiality.


We work in partnership with organisations and individuals, making sure we understand their needs and responding in a supportive and professional manner.


We welcome our duty to be accountable for all we do, to use our resources well, to value our staff and their expertise and to provide clear public benefit.


Increasing understanding

Engage with a wide variety of stakeholders in higher education to increase our understanding of their needs and help us shape our services.

Collecting information

Create an information resource by ensuring the right information is collected and managed in the right ways and at the right times.

Disseminating information

Use the information resource and HESA’s expertise in responsible and insightful ways that benefit higher education and wider society.

Operating effectively

Be a well-run organisation that people want to work with and for. 

Download HESA Strategy 2010-2014

HESA is a charitable company which has formal agreements with government departments to provide the data which they require, and it is funded by subscription from all of the universities and higher education colleges throughout the United Kingdom.