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HE Statistics for the UK 2011/12

Overview of academic year 2011/12

The HESA publication Higher Education Statistics for the United Kingdom 2011/12 is published today. This National Statistics publication gives a statistical overview of higher education in the 2011/12 academic year including data from HESA and other statistics producers. Commentary, summary tables and charts are provided in the online introduction.

UK Higher Education in 2011/12

Summary of UK HE statistics for 2011/12

Details from the 2011/12 introduction tables include:


589,350 UK domicile UCAS applicants and 431,235 acceptances [Table A].


2,496,645 HE students at HE institutions, plus 180,390 HE students at FE colleges [Table B].

56% of HE students are female [Table C].

42% of students studied science subjects. The most popular subject area was business & administrative studies [Table D].


787,205 HE qualifications were awarded, of which 50% were first degrees and 34%postgraduate [Table E].


75% of leavers were employed six months after leaving and 21% were in further study. 7% were doing both [Table F].

Medicine and dentistry graduates had the lowest rates of unemployment after leaving. Computer science graduates had the highest [Table G].


378,250 staff were employed in HEIs on 1 December 2011. 181,385 (48%) were academic staff [Table H].

45% of academic staff were female. 36% were employed on fixed-term contracts [Table I]


UK HEIs had a total income of £28 billion of which 35% came from tuition fees [Table J].

Student Loans

The Student Loans Company lent £3 billion in tuition fee loans [Table K].


Higher Education Statistics for the United Kingdom 2011/12 is a National Statistics publication including data from HESA and other statistics producers covering all aspects of Higher Education in the UK.

The 39 main tables include

  • Student, Staff, Finance and Destinations data from HESA
  • Applications and admissions data from UCAS
  • Data from the Student Loans Company on student support provision
  • Information on participation and graduate rates for 30 countries from the OECD
  • Data from the Labour Force Survey on qualification rates over time.

Higher Education Statistics for the United Kingdom 2011/12 is available as a printed book or an electronic download. Both formats can be ordered online.

A full introduction including commentary, summary tables and charts, is provided online. The introduction provides an overview of the key trends in higher education over the last five years.

Notes for Editors

  1. Press enquiries should be directed to:
  2. In the above data 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 un-rounded numbers.
  3. HESA appreciates the collaboration of all the bodies that have made data available for the volume, and in particular that of our colleagues in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)Welsh Assembly GovernmentScottish Government and the Department for Employment and Learning (Northern Ireland) with whom we have worked closely in preparing it, in accordance with the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.
  4. The contents of Higher Education Statistics for the United Kingdom 2011/12 are based on previously available or published information.
  5. Definitions of the terms used in this press release can be found here.
  6. HESA cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived from the data by third parties.


Press Release

Press Officer