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College HE

The aim of the College HE project is to have all UK HE data in one place

Why is this project needed?

About 7% of the HE students in the UK study in FE colleges. Our project will ensure they are represented fully in our official statistics.

Following several months of preparatory work, the first published output of the project is a blog published by Lead Policy & Research Analyst Djihad Drari that explains the need for college HE data, how gaps in data can be filled, and the benefits we are seeking to realise:

Blog: HESA’s vision for college HE data

What will happen first?

The project has been set-up to ingest data about higher education (HE) provision occurring in further education (FE) settings into HESA records. Initially we aim to publish national-level statistics that include HE students no matter where they study.

The first step has been to define what counts as higher education in the UK:

Blog: What counts as higher education in the UK?

What is the longer-term goal?

Over time we intend to make our outputs more detailed, and to make provider-level data available in a similar manner to our Open Data products. We also intend to extend the benefits into the national data infrastructure for HE to FE colleges, by incorporating data about college HE students into our microdata. This will mean that, in time, policymakers, researchers, and other users with legitimate purposes for the data will be able to access a single well-curated data source securely.

Where can I find out more?

This document sets out the vision for the project and incorporates an outline statistical design and project mandate:

Vision for college HE data ingestion and publication by HESA (pdf)

For a shorter summary the project team gave a presentation to the Association of Colleges in March 2022. Their presentation is available to view here:

HESA's vision for college HE data (pdf)

As the project progresses, this page will grow into an information source for users interested in the work.

If you want to talk to us about the project please email [email protected].