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Higher Education Leavers Statistics: Alternative providers, 2016/17 - Notes

Statistical First Release Experimental SFR251


Who produced this Statistical First Release?

This SFR has been produced by HESA in collaboration with statisticians from the Department of Education, the Scottish Government, the Welsh Government, and the Department for the Economy Northern Ireland and with support from analysts from the Office for Students (OfS).


What is an alternative provider and what is a designated course?

Alternative providers (APs) are higher education providers who do not receive recurrent funding from the Office for Students (OfS) or other public bodies and who are not further education colleges. There are a substantial number of APs, but only those who have successfully completed the designation process are required to submit data to us (except those who only have postgraduate courses designated for disabled students' allowances (DSA) only). This designation process means eligible students can access loans and grants from the Student Loans Company (SLC) on specific courses, referred to as designated courses.


What is the coverage of alternative providers in the Destinations of Leavers record?

From 2015/16, the reporting of the elements of the AP Student record for Unistats was compulsory. In order to fulfil the requirement to return data for publication on Unistats, providers were required to complete the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) record, with the exception of those providers who were on ‘teach out’ when the DLHE data was collected. ‘Teach out’ means that new students were unable to access student support, but existing students were able to continue their studies with access to funding until completing. Under these circumstances, DLHE data was not expected to be returned.

The coverage expanded in 2016/17 when for the first time, Ballet West returned both AP Student and DLHE data to HESA (the only AP in Scotland to do so). Additionally in 2016/17, there was a requirement for APs with degree awarding powers to return data about students on taught Masters designated courses. There were six APs with leavers at taught Masters level in the target population of DLHE 2016/17:

  • Arden University
  • BPP University
  • University College of Estate Management
  • The London Institute of Banking & Finance
  • Regent's University London
  • The University of Law


What populations are excluded from this SFR?

Data for non-EU leavers is excluded from the SFR, so as to align with our Statistical First Release on the Destinations of Leavers from publicly funded providers. Among APs, there were 1,590 non-EU leavers in the target population in 2016/17. Of those, 645 responded, an overall response rate of 41%. This is higher than the 34% response rate of non-EU leavers from publicly funded providers.


How to use the tables and charts

The tables and charts (labelled as figures) within this SFR are interactive. There are options immediately above the figures to filter by particular data field(s) such as by first year marker or mode of study. The figures react to whichever option is chosen, changing the data accordingly. 

In the figures, 0, 1, 2 are rounded to 0. All other numbers are rounded up or down to the nearest multiple of 5. Percentages are calculated on unrounded data and are rounded to the nearest whole number. This means percentages may not sum exactly to 100%. Salary data is rounded to the nearest £500.


How to print this release

This SFR is designed primarily for on screen users. Each section of the SFR can be printed by hitting Control P from within a section.


What is the future of Destinations data?

We have conducted a major review of the data we collect about the destinations and outcomes of graduates. This has led to the formulation of the new Graduate Outcomes survey which will provide more comprehensive data that reflects recent changes in the HE sector and the graduate labour market. The first Graduate Outcomes data is due to be published in spring 2020.

Our existing destinations data remains a vital source for understanding higher education outcomes. We will be publishing further destinations data this year (including our DLHE publication), but anticipate that this will be the final year of DLHE outputs.


Why is this publication "Experimental Statistics"?

The Code of Practice for Statistics defines Experimental Statistics as: "A subset of newly developed or innovative official statistics undergoing evaluation."

For most APs this is the second year that they were required to submit data on the destinations of leavers, and the coverage has increased. At this stage we are continuing to explore and understand the quality of the data that has been returned. This SFR has been published as we realise that there is great interest in the destinations of leavers from higher education at APs.



The data presented in this SFR is based on the 2016/17 HESA Destinations of Leavers, AP Student and Student records. The statistics in the HE totality section of this SFR are derived by HESA from data collected from all publicly funded HE providers in the UK (including The Open University) and those APs who submitted data to HESA for the purpose of Unistats. Throughout the other sections of this SFR the statistics are derived by HESA only from data collected from those APs who submitted data to HESA for the purpose of Unistats. Please note that The University of Buckingham is an AP but returns data through the HESA Student record and is included only in the HE totality section of this SFR.

Destinations of Leavers data was prepared in June 2018 using the following versions of the datasets:

  • 2015/16 Fixed AP Student dataset, December 2017 version
  • 2015/16 Fixed Destinations of Leavers dataset, February 2018 version
  • 2016/17 Original AP Student dataset, January 2018 version
  • 2016/17 Original Destinations of Leavers dataset, May 2018 version

Destinations of Leavers definitions

For data intelligence, please see the data intelligence web page.

HESA cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived from the data by third parties.

Press enquiries should be directed to the Press Office at HESA, 95 Promenade, Cheltenham, GL50 1HZ, +44 (0) 1242 211 120, [email protected]. General enquiries about the data contained within this SFR should be addressed to Rebecca Mantle, Official Statistics Manager, HESA (at the same address), +44 (0) 1242 211 133, [email protected].

Please give feedback on this release



12 July 2018, 9:30



Release frequency

Annual - view all releases (2015/16 onwards)

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Children, education and skills

Issued by

HESA, 95 Promenade, Cheltenham, GL50 1HZ

Press enquiries

+44 (0) 1242 211 120

Public enquiries

+44 (0) 1242 211 133


Rebecca Mantle


[email protected]

Department for Education

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Scottish Government logo

Department for the Economy (Northern Ireland)