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Relationship between the HE provider, the survey contractor and HESA

These are our responses and clarifications to issues raised in our consultation about the relationship between the HE provider, the survey contractor and HESA.

I work in a university/college. Will my provider still have a role in the graduate data collection process?

This will very much vary from provider to provider.

HE providers will still need to maintain and supply an accurate list of graduates. Providers can also be involved in examining in-collection data – but the extent of this engagement is a local matter.

How much resource will be needed to liaise with central collection agency? Will there be more bureaucracy and/or less flexibility?

Providers would not need to devote significant resources to liaising with the central collection agency. Providers will have a greater role in collecting and supplying contact details. Providers who wish to will be able to engage more fully in the process – through viewing raw survey data through the dashboards, and/or agreeing additional question banks with their account manager.

We will start publishing further information on the requirements on providers in June.

How much input will HEIs have about institutional nuances around DLHE collection?

Providers will be able to work with their account manager to ensure the survey contractor understands nuances in graduate populations. We will aim for account managers to hold profiles of similar groups of providers, e.g. specialist providers, in order to enhance their understanding.

Will the supplier be able to react to providers’ needs for prioritisation (e.g. UK full time first degree graduates over international graduates)?

HESA will set the prioritisation as is done for DLHE. UK full time first degree graduates will continue to have higher target response rates than international students.

Will the callers from the survey contractor be calling “on behalf” of our institution?

This is something we will be taking advice from the steering group on. We think there is a value in harnessing the provider’s brand to enhance response rates. How this works in practice is to be agreed with the sector.

Does the cost guarantee a Minimum Value Proposition (MVP) in terms of number of times the graduate is contacted?

The terms will be set out by the steering group, but as with DLHE all graduates will attempt to be reached multiple times.

The contractor appointed will be the single point of failure, what provisions are in place to manage this?

As part of the implementation project we are developing a detailed risk log, setting out risks and mitigations.

If a central team are required (by an SLA) to get a 70% response rate, what tactics will they be undertaking to deliver this? How many times will they call a graduate? What will their ethical contact policy be?

The contractor will be working to service level agreements which set out the details of how they must conduct the phone calls with graduates. This will form part of the procurement process.