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Data supply and outputs: Details

Open centralisation requires graduate contact details to be made available to the survey contractor and survey responses to be made available to the HE provider.

The extent of graduate contact a provider maintains is a matter for the individual providers. One of the practical considerations that has been highlighted to us throughout the review is the need for the replacement for DLHE to allow providers to continue to offer post-graduation support to alumni. We have avoided designs that could obstruct desirable alumni support, and have designed a framework where this support can (optionally and at cost) be integrated with data collection if providers require it.

Near real-time raw data supply for HE providers

Open centralisation will support near real-time views of survey responses via dashboards. These dashboards will be available through the HESA data collection system, and will allow providers to interrogate the data in order to provide support to their graduates and to plan based on immediate data.

Under the proposed model, HESA will operate these data transfers using the familiar mechanism of its data collection system. This system, currently being upgraded as part of Data Futures, will accommodate an upload mechanism for contact details, and a data supply portal for regular download of survey responses.

During the data collection phase of activity, raw survey data will be available and viewable in a dashboard, and can be used by providers to support struggling graduates and to engage in strategic planning informed by the latest data.

Providers will also optionally have a facility to lodge details of their careers service with the survey contractor, which would allow graduates to be transferred to the careers service, or for the provider to receive details for re-contact through the same mechanism, where careers support has been requested.

Supply of contact details to survey contractor by HE providers

HE providers will be required to supply full contact details for their graduates to the survey contractor. These will be transferred through the HESA data collection system. There will be a ‘return date’ prior to each survey period by which details are required. HE providers will be required to ensure these contact details are up-to-date for their graduates, and HESA will quality assure the contact details provided.

Data supply for enriched data

Once data has been quality checked, the processed data will be supplied back to HE providers through the data collection system. In addition to a near real-time supply of raw survey data, HE providers can expect multiple data files to be made available at various points during the year, as they become available. These will include:

  • Earnings data (described elsewhere)
  • Linked/matched study data (described elsewhere)
  • Standard Occupational Classification codes for individual students (derived data)
  • Standard Industrial Classification codes (derived data)
  • Company information (derived data)

The derived data will be incorporated and supplied after each survey period, as well as a total data supply at the end of the process. Data will be provided to other data users through HESA’s current data supply mechanisms.


The first publication of the full 2017/18 cohort will be available in January 2020. This will include the full year's survey data, as well as linked data from the HESA Student record and supplementary data on occupational and industrial classification, and company details for entrepreneurs. Highlights of this data will be published in our National Statistics statistical first release. Extracts of the data will also be used in our UK Performance Indicators on employment of leavers and in our open data publication on graduate outcomes. Data will be available to subscribers in Heidi Plus, and will be available for bespoke data and analysis requests. We will publish an additional output in May 2020 supplementing this initial data with linked salary information.

These publications will respond to a recommendation in our quality assurance self-assessment that we apply methods of controlling for potential non-response bias at provider level.

Although we will be publishing similar outputs to those currently available, we will not be publishing time series data, due to the substantial changes between DLHE/Longitudinal DLHE and NewDLHE data. The later survey date will lead to a gap in publications of approximately six months.

Further details of the data supply for the linked data are available through the linked data model.

Updates June 2017

We consulted on the model in March/April 2017, and published a synthesis of consultation responses. We have also published a number of responses and clarifications on points raised by respondents, including points on data supply and publication