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Data Futures: specification overview

As communicated in Data Futures: programme update, Data Futures will not be going live in 2019/20. This page has been created to be as open as possible about what we are considering and help providers understand where we have already made decisions. We are aiming to have as much work as possible complete by the end of 2019. 

Update 10 September: we have created a new section, 'Resolved specification items' for those items not under consultation, to assist with understanding across the overview.

As part of the work, we are reviewing the data model and associated specification items. We have arranged available items according to status:

  • Available for consultation: we will announce when these are available and update this page.
  • Under consideration: items may rely on another item being consulted or reviewed
  • Not under consultation: may be required for a discrete collection, or subject to statutory requirements
  • Resolved specification items


Specification items available for consultation
ID Description Summary of options Status
58158 Returning Postgraduate Research Students and cost centre Providers have raised a lot of queries on how postgraduate students should be returned. With the curriculum discussions this may change. Need to give much clearer guidance and direction on what data is required from postgraduate students.

Work has not yet started pending outcome of the Curriculum item.

Update 21/10/19: Discussed at Statutory Customer meeting in October, including curriculum items from the consultation. Writing up a consultation for providers, which is planned to be live throughout November.

Update 08/01/2020: Consultation now live. Also considering cost centre changes in the consultation.

58158: Give us your views

74808 On-entry data Following consideration of the changes needed for moving to a discrete collection, we wanted to give more thought to the new Entry Profile entity that has been created and other On-Entry data.

Update 08/01/2020: Consultation now live.

74808: Give us your views

68648 Assessment data – GMC regulated students The GMC would like to include data on summative assessments taken by GMC regulated students studying for their primary medical qualification. More details on the proposal are available here:

Consultation now closed: thank you for your input

Update 27/9/19: The outcomes paper has been written and will be taken to the MSC Council meeting on 4 October. 

74719 Definition of Student Registration What is the definition of a Student Registration now? If a student changes course, when do providers consider this a new registration? We will need to be clear when a new Student Registration is required in different scenarios. 

Update 15/01/2020: Consultation now live.

74919: Give us your views

74657 Identifying students that require a Welsh language version of the Graduate Outcomes survey

As part of Graduate Outcomes, they need to understand a graduate’s language of preference to ensure they are surveying them in the language they have chosen to be communicated in. Presently WELSSP and MODLANG are used from the Student record to identify if a graduate has studied their course in 100% Welsh which enables HESA to identify which graduates to survey in Welsh.

In Data Futures we have been asked to consider if there is a way to capture whether a student would prefer to communicate in Welsh, rather than whether they can, for the purposes of the survey.

Not yet published: Consultation will be live around November. 

Update 15/1/20: There was a Welsh working group (for Graudate Outcomes) meeting being held on 25 November where this was discussed. 


Specification items under consideration

The following items are under consideration for consultation:

ID Description Summary of options Status
74721 Full-Time Equivalence and how it can be returned

With the change to discrete collections, how does this affect the FTE options we currently have? Providers have also been querying whether this is a field that HESA could derive and particularly asking for more guidance as this is considered a challenging area.

Initial ideas but no clear proposal as yet.

Update 27/9/19: This will be discussed at the Statutory Customer meeting in October. 

Update 15/1/20: Work has continued on recording the full-time equivalence with feedback from providers and Statutory Customers being taken into account. 

66803 Off Venue Activity and what should be returned within the entity

What should providers be returning in the Off-Venue Activity entity and how much information is required for each example? Providers have asked for a lot more guidance and clear use cases in this area.

Work has started on the GMC regulated students, but other areas still need considering, such as nursing placements, social work placements etc.

Update 28/8/19: We are establishing a working group with GMC, HEE and MSC (and others) to discuss their uses of placement data, primarily medical type placements. 

Update 27/9/19: This meeting has been arranged for October. 

Update 21/10/19: Unfortunately the meeting in October had to be cancelled. Looking to rearrange this for November. 

Update 15/1/20: The meeting has been arranged for 20 January, which will include representation from providers, GMC, HEE, MSC and HESA. It is expected that a wider consultation will be issued in February 2020. 

74993 Qualification category has multiple concepts

The Qualification Category has a couple of concepts within the one field. We would like to explore splitting these out into two fields – one for the qualification and one for any pre-requisites information (e.g. the code H0016 and H0017 should really be the same code).

Work has not yet started pending outcome of the Curriculum item. 

Update 21/10/19: proposal taken to Statutory Customer meeting in October. 

70589 Collaborative provision type field and is code 03 needed? We need to consider the collaborative provision type field – do we need the collaborative provision valid entry, as it looks like this isn’t the way to identify these students? Work not yet started.
72490 Coverage of Qualification Awarded entity and is it correct? The coverage of the Qualification Awarded entity in the C18051 Student record excludes incoming exchange students. However, the coverage of the Qualification Awarded entity in Data Futures is all qualifications awarded, without excluding incoming exchange students. Should these coverage statements be the same? Providers have been querying why this was extended. Work not yet started.
30108 Religious Belief coverage – providers in Wales and England (for Northern Ireland) The DfE(NI) would like to collect religion data on all students domiciled in Northern Ireland (from all providers across the UK), to support analysis and policy in Northern Ireland. DfE(NI) would like all the 'Christian' valid entries in the Religious Belief field to be in coverage across the UK, to allow for comparisons across the devolved administrations, and tracking of Northern Irish domiciled students across the rest of the UK. Currently for England and Wales only 'Christian' is required.

This was considered last year, but we struggled to get agreement from all other Statutory Customers around the details of this. 

There was a consultation last year on this. Unclear if we would need another one, before this could progress further.  


Specification items not under consultation

The following items will not be available for consultation. It is a requirement that Data Futures will be a discrete collection, so any changes relating to that here will not be under review. 

ID Description Summary of options Status
74765 Counting populations In the current published data, HESA count instances in the standard registration population. In the Data Futures model, the equivalent of instance is Engagement which can have multiple registrations. An Engagement having more than one Registration has given rise to a number of considerations for the standard populations. This needs to be considered carefully to make sure no student is double counted. Providers have also indicated that this would be very helpful in the context of aiding their understanding and having consistency across the sector. Work has not yet started pending outcome of the Curriculum item.
58409 Do we need a Location of Study code S equivalent?

There is currently no equivalence to the Location of Study code S ‘Studying abroad and included in the Student record as student has spent or will spend more than 8 weeks in the UK’ in the Data Futures model. Do we need this, in particular, for populations where these types of students are excluded?

Work not yet started.

Update 15/01/20: work has started this month on the Location of Study code S. It looks likely that a new flag will be required to identify these students. Following feedback from providers, we are also considering a reverse of code S, i.e. those who are on the AOR and come into the Student record. 

74712 Fee invoice and other fees data Are the coding frames around fees data correct and are they all still needed? E.g. the equivalent to GROSSFEE, NETFEE, SPECFEE and MSTUFEE. Also need to be clear where fees are needed and the definitions for the guidance of each as providers have been asking for more information on these fields.

Work not yet started.

Update 28/8/19: We have established some principles for returning fees data and are now working through what this means for these fields. We may consult with providers on some options to simplify these fields. 

Update 21/10/19: Took the proposals to Provider Forum meeting, and agreed not to consult. Unanimously voted for one of the options we presented, which is easiest and more closely aligned to what happens now. Agreed that a wider consultation was not needed on this one. More information to be available soon. 


Resolved specification items
ID / description Outcome
70154: Closed Course coverage – providers in Wales Update 15/1/20: Closed course coverage will be updated to include providers in Wales. 
69992: Is the Year of Programme field needed? Update 15/1/20: It was agreed that the Year of Programme field would still be required in the model, for providers to return. However, providers would be allowed to return YEARPRG = 0 for Foundation Years. More details/guidance on this will be available soon. 
74711: Funding completion Update 15/1/20: It was agreed that the FUNDCOMP field would need to remain in the model and continue to be returned by providers. More guidance around this will be written soon. 

74710: Curriculum data requirements

Update: Curriculum consultation phase 2 report now available.

74994: Funding level field Update 27/9/19: Agreed in outcomes following the curriculum qualification that this field would be split out into two fields.
74713: Denormalisation of personal identifiers

Update 28/8/19: The personal identifiers entity will now be split out into separate fields in the model. 

Open 74713 outcome document

74766: Returning Financial Support against Student Registration and Student Course Session

Update 28/9/19: Update 28/8/19: The Financial Support entity will now only be linked to the Student Course Session. 

Open 74766 outcome document

74920: Returning Student fee or Student module fee

Update 28/8/19: Agreed in principle that providers will be allowed to return both Student fee and Student module fee, where this is applicable. 

Open 74920 outcome document

74672: QualificationAwarded.QUALRESULT coverage – providers in England

Update 28/8/19: This will now be added to the Student and AP Student records from 2020/21. 


74682: Impacts of a discrete collection: dates across the model

Update 28/8/19: All of the dates on the personal characteristics will now be removed from the model. 

Open 74682 outcome document

74714: Impacts of a discrete collection: Module Instance and Module Outcome

Update 28/8/19: These two entities will be combined into a single entity. 

Open 74714 outcome document

75700: Impacts of a discrete collection: Financial Support Scheme and Student Financial Support entities

Update 28/8/19: These two entities will be combined into a single entity. 

Open 75700 outcome document

74715: Impacts of a discrete collection: Definitions of Engagement and Student entities

Update 28/8/19: Agreed that the relationship between Student and Engagement would become a one to many mandatory link. 

Open 74715 outcome document

61732: Persistent HUSID

Update 28/8/19: The persistent HUSID field will be removed from the record. HESA will work to produce an approximate identifier to replace this. This will be included in data deliveries but will not be supplied back to providers. 

74808: Impacts of a discrete collection: Data required on entry

Update 28/8/19: There will be an 'Entry profile' entity created for all the data to be submitted about a Student on entry to an Engagement. 

Open 74808 outcomes document

75007: Financial support flag for access and participation commitments - providers in England Update 28/8/19: This will now be added to the Student record from 2020/21. 
74668: Parental Education coverage – providers in NI Update 27/9/19: This will now be added to the Student record from 2020/21. Coverage from providers in Northern Ireland will change to be: all full-time and part-time UK domiciled students. 
69146: Care Leaver coverage – providers in Northern Ireland Update 27/9/19: This will now be added to the Student record from 2020/21. Coverage from providers in Northern Ireland will change to be: all full-time and part-time UK domiciled students. 
74666: Students bringing in credit and APEL from other providers – providers in England Update 28/8/19: This will now be added to the Student record from 2020/21. 


If you have any further queries or feedback please email [email protected].