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Student Alternative Record 2020/21 (C20054): Notification of Changes

This page summarises the changes to the Student Alternative Record that will be implemented for 2020/21 (C20054).

Changes to the Student Alternative Record 2020/21

Students bringing in credit

The Office for Students (OfS) require a way of recording when a student is bringing over credits from a previous award that count towards the new qualification they are now studying. This will help OfS understand where this type of activity happens. The OfS view credit transfer and Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) as important to ensure that choice and competition within the market drive innovation, diversity and improvement.

In order to record this, two fields will be added to the EntryProfile entity to record the number of credits a student brings with them and the associated credit transfer scheme. These fields will be specified as below:

Type

Field

Long name

Credits points counted towards study

Short name

CRDPTSTU

Description

This field indicates the number of credit points being used from a previous award towards the student’s current study.

Applicable to

England

Coverage

All Entry profile entities at providers in England where applicable.

Notes

To be returned whenever a student uses credits from a previous award or APEL towards their current study. Fractional credit points should be rounded to the nearest whole number.

The length of this field is 3 characters, however XML enables data to be returned with or without leading zeros, e.g. 003 or 3.

Reason required

To help the OfS understand where this type of activity happens and to ensure that choice and competition within the market drive innovation, diversity and improvement.

Part of

EntryProfile

Type

Field

Long name

Credit Scheme

Short name

CRDSCM

Description

This field denotes the credit point transfer scheme that EntryProfile.CRDPTSTU applies to.

Applicable to

England

Coverage

All Entry profile entities at providers in England where EntryProfile.CRDPTSTU has a value.

Valid entries

Code

Label

01

A UK Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS)

02

European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS)

10

APEL

90

Other Scheme

Notes

This field identifies the credit scheme to give value to the CRDPTSTU field.

Reason required

This attribute aids interpretation of EntryProfile.CRDPTSTU

Part of

EntryProfile

Coverage of QualificationsAwarded.CLASS

The Office for Students (OfS) have a requirement to collect the class of qualifications for all qualifications awarded at providers in England. The OfS require this information to allow effective regulation of the sector, specifically regarding the OfS emphasis on student outcomes and grade inflation.

The coverage of this field will therefore be expanded to all QualificationsAwarded at providers in England.

The following valid entries will be added to account for cases where the current coding frame does not cover valid class outcomes:

15 Commendation

16 Award of Credit

Financial support data

The Office for Students (OfS) require information regarding financial or in-kind support given to students, including identifying whether this support is part of the commitments detailed in the provider’s access and participation plan. This information will be used to understand the role that bursaries and other in-kind support play in the student experience and on the likelihood of continuing studies. These data will also allow OfS to undertake more powerful analysis, the results of which will be fed back to providers to help better understand the use of funds and where these may be more effectively targeted. Collecting these data will allow OfS to monitor continuously and evaluate the role that this financial support plays throughout the sector.

A new entity will be added to the record containing three fields to record this information. The entity and field specifications can be found below: 

Type

Entity

Long name

Financial support

Description

This entity captures financial support received by students

Applicable to

England

Coverage

All Instances and providers in England where (Course.COURSEAIM begins with H, I, J or C or is M22, M26, M28, M71, M73 or M88) and InstancePeriod.EXCHIND = 3 where applicable

Notes

This entity must be returned where one of the types defined in FinancialSupport.FINTYPE applies to the Instance.

Support should be returned in the HESA reporting year when the decision to award was made. If the decision to award was made in a different reporting year to when the award was actually given to the student, it should be returned in the year the decision was made.

If an award is available to all students at the provider (or all students on the course on which the student for whom data is being returned is studying), and there is no differentiation based on individual circumstances, this should not be returned, even if the award is not utilised by all.

Support given to students which is £50 or less per item within each FinancialSupport.FINTYPE category must not be included.

 

Examples of support

Include:

  • Merit based bursaries and awards, including prizes,
  • Bursaries and scholarships awarded to assist the student with maintenance costs rather than tuition fees,
  • Costs for subsidised travel or meals (if available only to a subset of students),
  • Amounts awarded through ITT bursaries,
  • Amounts awarded through The National Scholarship Programme (NSP), where these awards are offered as bursaries/scholarships or discounted accommodation,
  • Awards paid through charitable funds secured by providers,
  • Awards for EU students that are equivalent to Disabled Students' Allowance

 

Exclude as collected elsewhere:

  • Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) awards – collected by SLA,
  • Fee waivers, free foundation years offered to the students, or any other reduction of student fees – taken into consideration for Instance.NETFEE.

 

Exclude as not required by the Office for Students:

  • Refunds or compensation issued to students in relation to the course or accommodation – this is not considered to be support
  • Support given in relation to student societies or additional courses taken by the student, e.g. language courses,
  • Free membership of a provider's sports centre – for instance if this is offered to all students who reside in University Halls, then it would be considered as part of the student's accommodation costs and so not required,
  • Costs for course materials provided or available to all students on the course – these are considered to be part of the course fee, for example if all students studying Chemistry are issued with a lab pack,
  • Welcome packs provided to all students on enrolment of the course,
  • The cost of inoculations, CRB checks or other costs covered by the provider in relation to the course if available to all students,
  • Incentives given to students to encourage participation in surveys and focus groups

 

Reason required

To capture additional financial or in-kind support (not covered by the fee or otherwise offered on an open basis to all students) received by any student within the coverages, hereinafter referred to as 'support'. This entity is required by Office for Students for discharging their responsibilities. Office for Students, along with the Student Opportunity team at Office for Students, have been charged by Government to develop a shared strategy built on evidence from the sector. This entity is necessary to provide an evidence base for this strategy and is crucial to Office for Students' operation. These data will be used to understand the role that bursaries and other in-kind support play in the student experience and on the likelihood of continuing studies. The Office for Students needs to understand the nature of additional support given to all students, including both advantaged and disadvantaged. This will allow Office for Students to robustly monitor providers' commitments in Access agreements with regard to the amount of financial support set out in their Access agreements. These data will also allow Office for Students to undertake more powerful analysis, the results of which will be fed back to providers to help better understand the use of funds and where these may be more effectively targeted. Collecting these data will allow Office for Students to monitor continuously and evaluate the role that this financial support plays throughout the sector.

Part of

Instance

Type

Field

Long name

Access and participation spending commitment

Short name

APPSPEND

Description

This field indicates that the financial support being returned is part of the commitments detailed in the provider’s access and participation plan.

Applicable to

England

Coverage

All FinancialSupport entities at providers in England registered with the Office for Students in the ‘Approved (fee cap)’ category with an approved Access and Participation plan where applicable.

Valid entries

Code

Label

01

Financial support is part of the commitments detailed in the provider’s access and participation plan

Notes

This field is only applicable to providers registered with the Office for Students in the ‘Approved (fee cap)’ category.

HE providers registered with the OfS that want to charge fees above the basic fee level are required to have an access and participation plan approved by the Director for Fair Access and Participation. Within the plans, HE providers commit to spending a proportion of their higher fee income on strategic measures put in place to address any gaps in outcomes they identify for particular student groups.

Returning 01 in this field indicates that the financial support being recorded in this entity has been provided as part of this access and participation plan.

Reason required

To allow the Office for Students and providers to analyse the effectiveness of the support provided through access and participation plans in relation to student outcomes. To allow the OfS and providers to understand which level and type of support is most effective.

Part of

FinancialSupport

Type

Field

Long name

Financial support amount

Short name

FINAMOUNT

Description

This field records the amount of financial support received by the students.

Applicable to

England

Coverage

All FinancialSupport entities

Notes

Submitted in conjunction with the associated FinancialSupport.FINTYPE to provide an amount for each type of financial support.

Values under £50 should not be returned.

Value to be returned in whole pounds.

Reason required

To allow the Office for Students and providers to analyse the effectiveness of the support provided through access and participation plans in relation to student outcomes. To allow the OfS and providers to understand which level and type of support is most effective.

Part of

FinancialSupport

Type

Field

Long name

Financial support type

Short name

FINTYPE

Description

This field records the type of financial support being reported

Applicable to

England

Coverage

All FinancialSupport entities

Valid entries

Code

Label

01

Cash

02

Near cash

03

Accommodation discounts

04

Other

Notes

Examples of support in each category include:

 

01 Cash

Any bursary/scholarship/award that is paid to the student, where there is no restriction on the use of the award. This will include BACS payments, cheques, cash awards and any means tested hardship funds that fall outside of the Office for Students Student Opportunity allocation.

Scholarships awarded as cash that might or might not be spent as a fee waiver.  If awarded as a fee waiver i.e. the student has no choice as to how the money is spent, this should not be returned in this entity.

 

02 Near cash

This constitutes any voucher schemes or prepaid cards awarded to students where there are defined outlets or services for which the voucher/card can be used. (E.g. Aspire cards.)

 

03 Accommodation discounts

Discounted accommodation in University Halls / Residences

Cash or near cash that is explicitly to be used as an accommodation discount.

Discount for College fees at providers with a collegiate system.

 

04 Other

All in-kind or cash support that is not included in the above categories. Including, but not limited to:

  • Travel costs
  • Laboratory costs
  • Printer costs
  • Equipment paid for e.g. laptops, course literature (other than loans of equipment)
  • Subsidised field trips
  • Subsidised meal costs

 

If the provider settles a bill on behalf of the student, there is no opportunity for those funds to be used elsewhere therefore the support should be reported as 04 'Other'.

Reason required

To allow the Office for Students and providers to analyse the effectiveness of the support provided through access and participation plans in relation to student outcomes. To allow the OfS and providers to understand which level and type of support is most effective.

Part of

FinancialSupport

Person characteristics fields

The OfS have requested three new person characteristics fields be added to the return and the coverage be amended for two fields. This is in order to enhance sector and providers led regulation of access and participation issues in England through a deeper understanding of the barriers and outcomes of students from a wide range of the groups protected under the Equality Act 2010.

The changes are indicated below.

StudentEquality.GENDERID: coverage for providers in England:

All Students

The following valid entry will be added to this field to record where the data is not known by the provider:

99 Not available

 

StudentEquality.SEXORT: coverage for providers in England:

All Students

The following valid entry will be added to this field to record where the data is not known by the provider:

99 Not available

 

New field: EntryProfile.PARED

A new field will be added to the EntryProfile entity to record whether the student’s parents have higher education qualifications. This information is required on entry to an Instance and does not need to be updated if the data changes throughout a student’s Instance.

The field will be specified as below:

Type

Field

Long name

Parental education

Short name

PARED

Description

This field records information about whether an entrant’s parents have higher education qualifications.

Applicable to

England

Coverage

All EntryProfiles at providers in England where (Course.COURSEAIM begins with H, I, J, C or is M22, M26, M28, M71, M73 or M88, excluding H50, H60, H61, H62, H78, H81, I60, I61 or I81) and (InstancePeriod.EXCHIND does not equal 1).

Valid entries

Code

Label

01

Yes

02

No

97

Not known

98

Information refused

99

Not available

Notes

This data is required on entry to a student’s Instance and is not required to be maintained throughout a student’s Instance.

 

Suggested question:

The following question is about your parents' level of education. This includes natural parents, adoptive parents, step-parents or guardians who have brought you up.

Do any of your parents (as defined above) have any higher education qualifications, such as a degree, diploma or certificate of higher education?

 

97 must be returned where the student has indicated they do not know the information.

99 must be returned where the data is not known by the provider.

Reason required

This data will allow monitoring of another aspect of widening participation and may be used for the production of performance indicators.

Part of

EntryProfile

New field: Socio-economic classification

A new field will be added to the EntryProfile entity to record the socio-economic classification of students in higher education if aged 21 or over at the start of their Instance or parent/guardian’s classification if under 21.

This information is required on entry to an Instance and does not need to be updated if the data changes throughout a student’s Instance.

The field will be specified as below:

Type

Field

Long name

Socio-economic classification

Short name

SEC

Description

This field collects the socio-economic classification of students participating in higher education if aged 21 or over at the start of their Instance or parent/guardian’s classification if under 21.

Applicable to

England

Coverage

All EntryProfiles where Course.COURSEAIM begins with H, I, J or C or is M22, M26 or M28 and EntryProfile.DOMICILE = XF, XG, XH, XI, XK, XL, GG, JE or IM and the student applied through UCAS.

Valid entries

Code

Label

01

Higher managerial & professional occupations

02

Lower managerial & professional occupations

03

Intermediate occupation

04

Small employers & own account workers

05

Lower supervisory & technical occupations

06

Semi-routine occupations

07

Routine occupations

08

Never worked & long-term unemployed

09

Not classified

Notes

This data is required on entry to a student’s Instance and is not required to be maintained throughout a student’s Instance.

This collects the socio-economic background of students aged 21 and over at the start of their course, or for students under 21 the socio-economic background of their parent, step-parent or guardian who earns the most is returned. It is based on occupation, and if the parent or guardian is retired or unemployed, this is based on their most recent occupation.

09 ‘Not classified’ includes 3 categories:

  • Students
  • Occupations not stated or inadequately described
  • Not classifiable for other reasons

For students entering though UCAS this information will be available from UCAS via the *J transaction.

Providers are encouraged to provide this information for other undergraduates in order to provide more complete statistical information for the sector.

Reason required

To classify the social background of Students in a standard way. Used to monitor the impact of widening participation policies, and analyses relating to widening access and data quality.

Part of

EntryProfile

New field: Care leaver

A new field will be added to the EntryProfile to record whether the student is a care leaver.

This information is required on entry to an Instance and does not need to be updated if the data changes throughout a student’s Instance.

The field will be specified as below:

 

Type

Field

Long name

Care leaver

Short name

CARELEAVER

Description

This field records whether the student is a care leaver

Applicable to

England

Coverage

All EntryProfiles at providers in England where (Course.COURSEAIM begins with H, I, J, C or is M22, M26, M28, M71, M73 or M88, excluding H50, H60, H61, H62, H78, H81, I60, I61 or I81) and (InstancePeriod.EXCHIND does not equal 1).

Valid entries

Code

Label

01

Care leaver (16+)

04

UCAS defined care leaver

05

Not a care leaver

98

Information refused

99

Not available

Notes

This data is required on entry to a student’s Instance and is not required to be maintained throughout the student’s Instance.

 

The Office for Students (OfS) have defined the circumstances of being in care as being where '...a local authority / Health and Social Care Trust has obligations to provide for, or share, the care of a child or young person under 16 years of age where parent(s) or guardian(s) for whatever reason are prevented from providing them with a suitable accommodation or care. A child is 'looked after' if he or she is provided with accommodation or if they are subject to certain provision imposed by the system.'

 

01 Care leaver (16+) (England only): includes all students who can be reasonably verified as having been in care on or after their 16th birthday. For example this may have been verified by talking to the student personally, by email correspondence or as a result of assessing their eligibility for financial support. This only needs to be established once by a member of staff at the provider, preferably at the point of the student's entry. The provider must have reason above and beyond the information given on the student's UCAS form to identify them as code 01 'Care leaver (16+)'.

Code 01 should be used in preference to 04 ‘UCAS defined care leaver’ where applicable.

 

99 Must be returned where the data is not known by the provider.

Reason required

To classify the social background of Students in a standard way. Used to monitor the impact of widening participation policies, and analyses relating to widening access and data quality.

Part of

EntryProfile

 

Postcode and delivery organisations data

The Office for Students (OfS) require information regarding the physical location a student is studying at and the proportion of a Course delivered by different providers.

The delivery information is required to allow the OfS to attribute students to a named delivery organisation for the purposes of reporting on ‘teaching provider’ consistently (regardless of whether the student falls within an entry, continuing or qualifying cohort). This is used in Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) metrics, NSS results and other sources of student information (DiscoverUni), regional analysis, and analysis of student outcomes used to evidence providers’ compliance with registration conditions concerned with quality and standards.

TEF metrics currently attribute a student to a teaching provider based on the organisation providing the majority of teaching in the student’s first year of study. Knowing from the outset which provider will be the student’s majority teaching provider for the course as a whole will improve issues of consistency and enable providers to better understand the cohorts for which TEF metrics will consider them accountable for the student experience and outcomes.

The geographical location of students is required for a number of purposes:

  • Funding allocations for delivery in London are based on whether the delivery takes place in London rather than whether the delivery organisation is based in London
  • Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) metrics take into account ‘local’ students: students being taught at a provider close to where they’re from
  • Regional profiles need to identify cold spots for certain subject areas and monitor student migration by subject area

In each case the UKPRN for the delivery organisation is not sufficient and a postcode is required.

In order to capture this a new sub-entity of the Course entity will be created to capture organisation(s) and location(s). The entity would be specified as below:

 

Type

Entity

Long name

Delivery organisation and location

Description

This entity records the delivery organisations and locations associated with a Course

Applicable to

England

Coverage

All Courses at providers in England where the reporting provider is not wholly responsible for the delivery of the Course

Notes

This entity must be returned once for each organisation involved in delivery of the Course (except for the reporting provider) with the proportion field returned to indicate the relevant proportion of the Course being delivered by each organisation.

This information should reflect the entirety of the Course and should take into account franchised Modules. The proportions of different organisations may be dependent on student Module choices. In these cases, the proportions returned should be based on the most common choices from students in previous years or the expected pathways for new Courses.

A postcode is required to be returned for each delivery organisation. In cases where the organisation is delivering learning at more than location, the location where the majority of activity is undertaken should be recorded.

If the organisation doing the majority of teaching changes, or there is a new delivery partner, a new Course would be required to be returned.

If the reporting provider delivers the full Course, this entity is not required.

Reason required

To allow recording of franchise arrangements and location information in order to monitor migration and student numbers.

Part of

Course

Type

Field

Long name

Delivery organisation

Short name

DELORG

Description

This field records a delivery organisation for a Course.

Applicable to

England

Coverage

All DeliveryOrganisationAndLocation entities

Valid entries and labels

Code

Label

4002

Other Non-UK provider

4003

Other public body in the UK

4004

Other private body in the UK

 

Notes

In the majority of cases, this field would record the UKPRN of the delivery organisation. Where the organisation does not have a UKPRN, one of the above valid entries must be returned.

Code 4002 should be used for any body (educational or other) based outside the UK. This should also be used for Non-UK providers that have a UK campus, but no UKPRN.

Reason required

To allow the recording of franchise information to allow estimates to be made of student population for use in national statistics.

Part of

DeliveryOrganisationAndLocation

 

Type

Field

Long name

Postcode

Short name

POSTCODE

Description

This field records the postcode for the location at which teaching is taking place

Applicable to

England

Coverage

All DeliveryOrganisationAndLocation entities unless delivery is taking place outside the UK or via distance learning

Notes

A postcode is required for each organisation providing teaching unless the organisation is delivering the Course via distance learning or outside the UK.

In cases where the organisation is delivering learning at more than location, the location where the majority of activity is undertaken should be recorded.

In the event that a full postcode is not known, providers may return the just the outward part.

Letters within the postcode must be returned in upper case.

Reason required

To give the Office for Students a geographical location at which the delivery is taking place for funding allocations, Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) metrics and regional profiles to identify cold spots for certain subject areas and monitor student migration by subject area.

The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) metrics take into account 'local' students: students being taught at a provider close to where they're from.

Part of

DeliveryOrganisationAndLocation

 

Type

Field

Long name

Delivery institution proportion

Short name

DELORGPROP

Description

This field records the proportion of the teaching being undertaken by the organisation in DeliveryOrganisationAndLocation.DELORG

Applicable to

England

Coverage

All DeliveryOrganisationAndLocation entities

Notes

The total of each DeliveryOrganisationAndLocation.DELORGPROP for a Course may not add up to 100 as the proportion of the Course delivered by the reporting provivder would not be returned.

Reason required

To allow the division of student activity between different organisations and locations.

Part of

DeliveryOrganisationAndLocation

 

Instance.GROSSFEE and Instance.NETFEE coverage

These fields are not required to be returned for apprenticeship students. The coverage will be updated to reflect this by excluding Instances where Instance.INITIATIVES = K.

UCAS data

Validation for UCAS entrants against the *J data has been carried out for many years on the Student record. Now that the OfS will be equally regulating providers that complete the Student or Student Alternative record, it is important that the same level of scrutiny and quality assurance is applied across both collections. Therefore, from 2020/21 equivalent validation will be added to the Student Alternative record and to allow this to take place, providers will be required to return the UCAS Personal Identifier and UCAS Application Scheme Code where appropriate.

One field will be added to the Student entity to record the UCAS Personal Identifier, this will be specified as below:

 

Type

Field

Long name

UCAS Personal Identifier

Short name

UCASPERID

Description

This field records the 10-character code issued by UCAS

Applicable to

England Scotland

Coverage

All Students who entered any of their current Instances via UCAS and who have been issued a UCAS Personal Identifier

Notes

The UCAS Personal Identifier together with the UCAS Application Scheme Code forms the UCAS Application Identifier.

The UCAS Personal Identifier is sometimes presented using hyphens between characters 3 and 4 and between characters 6 and 7. These hyphens are not to be included in this field.

This information will be available from UCAS via the *J transaction.

This field is not required for students who did not enter a current Instance via UCAS.

Reason required

To facilitate validation between UCAS and HESA data.

Part of

Student

One field will be added to the EntryProfile entity to record the UCAS Application Scheme Code, this will be specified as below:

 

Type

Field

Long name

UCAS Application Scheme Code

Short name

UCASSCHEMECODE

Description

This field records the UCAS Application Scheme Code which is a four or nine character code issued by UCAS.

Applicable to

England Scotland

Coverage

All entrants who entered this Instance via UCAS

Notes

The UCAS Application Scheme Code together with the UCAS Personal identifier (Student.UCASPERID) forms the UCAS Application Identifier. The Application Scheme Code will normally be a four character code (two alpha and two numeric or one alpha and 3 numeric) or the old style UCAS Application Number of nine numeric characters. For students entering from 2011/12 and onwards, the old style UCAS Application Number is no longer valid in this field, as it does not appear in UCAS transactions. The four character UCAS Application Code should be returned instead.

This information will be available from UCAS via the *J transaction.

This field is not required for entrants who did not enter this Instance via UCAS.

Reason required

To facilitate validation between UCAS and HESA data.

Part of

EntryProfile