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HESA Consultation - summary of responses

Four fifths of English HE institutions expressed a preference to continue the collection of data on non-academic staff and estates when this is no longer a statutory requirement.

Report: HESA Consultation Responses – what we have learned

HESA launched a consultation in March 2019 to gather feedback on the value of its activities to the UK higher education sector. The agency received 158 responses on the mix of data collection, dissemination and support services that it provides. 141 responses were from higher education providers.

Responses confirmed that HE providers greatly value the UK-wide annual collection of data about non-academic staff and university estates. 78% of English Higher Education Institutions agreed that they would be likely to subscribe to a voluntary non-academic staff data collection, and 80% would sign-up for collection of estates data. These data collections will remain a statutory requirement in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

HESA is committed to releasing ever more information as open data for anyone to access, while ensuring the individual privacy of students and HE staff. The consultation asked HE providers about how HESA should share more detailed statistical information with public, private and individual data users.

Over 90% of HE providers across the UK agreed that HESA should continue to share statistical data for research purposes that benefit students, academics, HE providers and HE sector organisations. 89% agreed in principle that HESA should continue to share data for compiling league tables and for graduate recruitment research, and 78% agreed with sharing data for other public, commercial and charitable purposes. Permission to share data will be sought on an official basis when HESA circulates its new subscription agreements this summer.

The consultation also sought feedback on the UK Performance Indicators, the support activities HESA provides, the Data Landscape Steering Group, and HESA’s major transformation projects  Data Futures and Graduate Outcomes. The responses generated a wealth of suggestions, ideas and constructive criticism that will feed back into HESA’s work.

Responses to the consultation will inform HESA’s new subscription model. New agreements between HESA and HE providers will be the subject to a further consultation in June and will come into force on 1 August when HESA takes on the full responsibilities of the Designated Data Body for England.

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