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Student 22056 Sign Off deadline and in-year update

We emailed the following update on Monday 13 November to all Accountable Officers / Heads of provider and Student Record contacts. If you have any feedback or queries, please contact [email protected]

For the attention of Accountable Officers and Student Record contacts

Jisc and the funding and regulatory bodies recognise the scale of the change in submitting Student data this year. This is the first data return in the new format, running on new systems and for many HE providers it involves significant changes to student record systems too. Understandably this has been a challenging undertaking for staff in HE providers, and across the sector.  

We are very sorry that HE providers have not had the experience we would have hoped for in this first year using our data collection systems. Jisc ran trial data submissions on the new platform during May and August. During August we experienced many more issues on the quality checking side of the system than we had anticipated. Responding to these issues then compounded challenges we had in delivering some final planned functionality which was needed by teams to complete the Student data return. Since August we have been working to continue to respond to feedback from HE providers and to deliver the planned features needed to sign the data off at the quality levels required.  

We sincerely regret that we have encountered these issues at this late stage and the impact that has had on colleagues in the sector. 

The process for signing off your data this year

As we move towards the Wednesday 22 November Sign Off deadline for this year’s HESA Student data collection, we wanted to clarify the requirements for signing off the data for your organisation.

The sign-off form will be available to you following confirmation that the data submission can be approved for sign off. The sign-off form notes the potential need for further post-collection action where tolerances to quality rules may have been applied to enable data to be included in the return. This includes the potential need to re-supply the data affected (via the historical amendment process). 

This is an exceptional year submitting data in a new format. Please use section C of the sign-off form to include any comments about your data or any specific issues. We will share the information with relevant parties to help inform analysis of the data. If you would like to provide any general feedback on the Student (“22056”) collection, please send this to [email protected] or your regulator/funder.

Data quality assessment processes

As a producer of official statistics, we take data quality very seriously. We will work with key data users and funding and regulatory bodies to assess the data and mitigate data quality risks. We want to ensure that insights on data quality are communicated coherently and consistently for the benefit of users of the data. We have enhanced our standard assessment processes used to evaluate data quality, recognising the potential for heightened risks to quality this year. This work has begun and will continue until we publish the data next year. The actions we take are based on the outputs of this assessment and range from clear explanations of known weaknesses to the suppression or removal of data or, in the most serious cases, the requirement that providers submit data amendments to correct their data. Those actions will be determined on a case-by-case basis, informed by the nature and severity of any data error and its implications for our onward uses. 

There may be increased or additional requirements to submit data amendments this year. Any amends would rectify significant data quality weaknesses in areas that are fundamental for our onward uses of the data. We will fully document the outcomes from our quality assessment process for users and publish this alongside the Jisc statistical products next year. We will communicate more on this in due course.

Final Sign Off deadline 22 November

If your organisation is concerned about meeting the requirements of the Sign Off deadline of Wednesday 22 November, please contact our Liaison team as well as your funding or regulatory body. Jisc and the funding bodies will agree to a limited further extension to the Wednesday 22 November deadline on a case-by-case basis related to the scale of issues. 

Related collection deadlines

Deadlines for the submission of contact details related to Cohort A of the Graduate Outcomes survey (Friday 24 November 2023) and the 2024 National Student Survey (Friday 1 December 2023) will remain unchanged. We encourage providers to contact our Liaison team and their regulatory and funding bodies if they are concerned about their readiness to meet these deadlines and wish to discuss any extensions. Any such extensions would be capped at a maximum of five (Graduate Outcomes) or seven (NSS) working days after any extended deadline for the 2022-23 Student data return, or Friday 12 January 2024, whichever is earliest. 

In-year Student data collection

The OfS communication sent earlier today to Accountable Officers in England included a notification that the first in-year data collection will not happen in 2024/25 for English providers. This is also confirmed for HE providers in Wales and Northern Ireland. The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) will be reflecting on the implications of delaying the introduction of in-year collections for both SFC and Scottish HE providers in consultation with the sector and Jisc. The Data Futures programme board will be discussing this at its next meeting and will confirm further details in due course. 

I hope this is helpful. Please pass on our sincere thanks to staff who have worked hard to complete the first year of this new student data return. If they require any further assistance with the collection or if you would like to discuss any aspect of our work, please contact [email protected].


Press Officer