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HESA consults on open data plans

We are seeking feedback on our plans to release as much of our data as possible as open data by 2021.

We are planning to release higher education data as open data that anyone can access, use and share. We are consulting on these plans to gather the views of data users, HE providers who provide data to use, and anyone else with an interest in HE data.

While we have long operated on principles of transparency and accessibility in data handling, we are now responding to the increasing focus on the value of open data in higher education, and its benefits for HE providers and other key users of data.

To help realise these benefits, we have been collaborating with others in the sector to support the development of open data practices. We have contributed to the Universities UK (UUK) open data workstream and associated events and have become a member of the Open Data Institute (ODI).

The consultation launched today, and running until Thursday 28 July, seeks views on:

  • Making all current HESA statistics publications open and free of charge to users over the next five years
  • Publishing appropriate data streams as open data in their entirety
  • Publishing key metadata in open and linked data formats
  • Securing Open Data Institute certification.

We have already started to release some outputs under open licenses, but we recognise that personal and commercially sensitive data are not suitable for publication as open data in their raw form. Where these restrictions do not apply, or can be mitigated, we would like to make as much of its data as possible open data that anyone can access, use and share.

Releasing HESA data as open data will make it more accessible, and more useful, to more users. Making data available for anyone to use, for any purpose, at no cost has the potential to promote trust, facilitate greater insight, and encourage innovation Paul Clark, HESA’s Chief Executive

Read and repond to the consultation

Join the conversaion on Twitter: #OpenDataHESA.


Notes to editors

About HESA

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


Press Officer