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Open data

The benefits of open data to the higher education sector are clear – improving usability and strengthening evidence-based planning for positive results. And while we're using open data to innovate with new strategies and services, we're also strengthening the UK's reputation as a leading global HE player. 


Our open data strategy

We're committed to publishing much of the information we hold as open data over the next five years*. In fact, we've already made a start: last year (2016) our Statistical First Releases and UK Performance Indicators were made open; this year, most of our Higher Education in the UK 2015/16 publication is following suit. Our Open Data Strategy 2017-2021 – informed by a public consultation in the summer 2016 – sets out our plans to publish more.

Our open data champions

Our newly-recruited open data champions, Izzy Budd and Hannah Cramer, will lead the way in widening access to our datasets. They’ll work closely with you, as sector colleagues, to refine and implement agreed plans. And as these plans are rolled out, they’ll support you to make the most of our data in its new open format. You can contact them on [email protected] 

What we're doing now

Right now, we're establishing plans for open data communication channels. These will be used to keep you updated and gain your feedback at important points. Your responses to our recent consultation are informing their decisions, and we aim to publish concrete plans in May this year. Conversations with the Open Data Institute (we've also become a member) and others are happening too. 

If you're still unsure what open data actually means, check out the Open Data Institute's explanation. 

*We know that we hold some personal and commercially sensitive information, not suitable for publication as open data. But where these restrictions don't apply, or can be mitigated, we will publish as much of our data openly as possible.