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HESA and Jisc collaborate with The Guardian and The Sunday Times to produce interactive HE league table dashboards

HESA and Jisc have developed an agreement with both The Guardian and The Times/Sunday Times to publish interactive dashboards of rankings and measures drawn from their higher education league tables.

It is the first time that both sets of data, from 2015 to 2018, have been combined into one collection of data visualisations. The dashboards are now available to all higher education providers that submit data to HESA, via the Heidi Plus business intelligence platform. The dashboards have been designed and produced by HESA based on original concepts by teams from Jisc’s Analytics Labs.

Interactive HE league tables

Universities have, until now, had to manually compile the data from both league tables and undertake their own time-consuming analysis to assess how the rankings and measures change between years.

The league tables use different criteria and weightings so comparing them has been problematic and often misleading. However, the new dashboards enable universities to accurately and rapidly compare and analyse:

  • competitor information at provider and subject level
  • changes in rank year on year
  • the highest climbers and the biggest ‘fallers’
  • changes in data definitions and methodology over time

In May 2018, when The Guardian publishes its latest league tables, the dashboards will be updated within days. 

This is all part of HESA’s remit to continuously improve standards of and access to data within UK higher education.

“We are very excited to release this new suite of data dashboards within Heidi Plus.” said Jonathan Waller, HESA’s Director of Information & Analysis. “They are the result of a ground-breaking collaboration between colleagues from HE providers, The Times/Sunday Times and The Guardian, together with Jisc and HESA. We believe they will provide valuable insights for UK higher education and look forward to continuing our collaborative work with the sector to develop the growing range of analytics and business intelligence resources available through Heidi Plus.”

“Having access to the data from these two league tables in this interactive format will save significant time on data preparation within my team and amongst our many counterparts in planning offices across the sector,” said Sally Turnbull, Head of Planning & Insight, at the University of Central Lancashire, and author of the HEPI and HESPA Guide to UK League Tables in HE.

“Although league table position does not drive our activities, we are nevertheless conscious that they are one of the primary ways in which potential students and other members of the public form opinions about different providers. It is, therefore, essential that we understand the ways in which our data feed into such rankings.

“I welcome this development and the efficiencies it will bring to our analysis and am grateful to HESA and Jisc for their work in bringing this about.”

For more information about accessing the HE league tables dashboards, contact the HESA Heidi Plus team on 01242 211484.

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Notes for editors

Heidi Plus is the business intelligence platform from HESA which helps UK HE providers, alternative HE providers, and not-for-profits harness powerful insights from HE data and easily create data visualisations and dashboards to inform planning. Heidi Plus currently has more than 2,800 users at HE providers with a full HESA subscription, and also at alternative HE providers.  Not-for-profit organisations can also subscribe to Heidi Plus as an invaluable tool for research, reporting and policy-making.

HESA (the Higher Education Statistics Agency) is the recognised source of data on higher education in the UK. Its experts collect, analyse, and disseminate accurate and comprehensive statistical information on all aspects of UK higher education to support the strategic aims of its users and enhance the effectiveness of the entire sector. It is a charity and a company limited by guarantee. It operates as an independent organisation, working in close partnership with higher education providers, regulators, funders, government departments, policy makers, and other stakeholders.

Jisc is the UK higher, further education and skills sectors’ not-for-profit organisation for digital services and solutions.  Jisc:

  • Operates shared digital infrastructure and services
  • Negotiates sector-wide deals with IT vendors and commercial publishers and 
  • Provides trusted advice and practical assistance for universities, colleges and learning providers.

Jisc press office: 0203 006 6056, or email Georgie Myers

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