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HE representatives comment on consultation on designated data body

A suite of consultations launched by the Department for Education today seek views on the regulation of higher education in England, including the official designation of bodies to perform quality assessment and data collection activities.

HESA’s bid to be designated as the body for English higher education information was set out in September with its Expression of Interest. The submission highlighted HESA’s 24 years’ experience as independent trusted experts in HE data, and its focus on efficiency and innovation. The not-for-profit agency has received support from representatives of universities, students and graduate recruiters.

Simon Blake, Chief Executive of NUS said:

"NUS is happy to support HESA’s bid to be the designated data body for higher education in England. HESA has long experience of processing student data independently and securely, serving the interests of current students and higher education in general. As the trusted and authoritative source of data on HE, HESA also provides crucial information for prospective students."

Alistair Jarvis, Chief Executive of Universities UK said:

“HESA is an independent and expert source of higher education data. With the changing regulatory framework for universities, it is particularly important to have a consistent and trusted approach to data gathering, interpretation and publication. HESA is ideally placed to provide this service as the designated body for higher education information.”

Gordon McKenzie, Chief Executive of GuildHE said:

“As one of the two officially recognised representative bodies in higher education, representing publicly funded higher education institutions, publicly funded further education colleges delivering HE as well as private providers GuildHE is pleased to support HESA's application to become the designated body for data. HESA has demonstrated over many years the ability to collect, store, analyse and publish robust data about the higher education sector. We believe that HESA has the confidence of the sector, is independent whilst at the same time epitomising the principles of co-regulation to face the future higher education data, information and choice challenges with confidence.”

Stephen Isherwood, Chief Executive of ISE (Institute of Student Employers) said:

“ISE is happy to support HESA in its bid to become the designated body for data. HESA provides essential data that enables all those involved in the employment of graduates – employers and educators – to make informed decisions that ultimately leads to better outcomes for students and employers.”

Paul Clark, Chief Executive of HESA said:

“This consultation presents an exciting opportunity for the higher education sector in England to determine a sustainable regulatory system for higher education providers. The effective and efficient use of objective data will be fundamental to the success of this project, and I am delighted that colleagues from across the sector have endorsed HESA as the prospective designated data body.”

The Higher Education and Research Act 2017 establishes the OfS (Office for Students) as the new regulator for higher education in England and enables it to recommend a body to perform assessment functions, and a body to provide the necessary information about the sector. The consultation seeks the views of interested parties on the organisations who have expressed an interest in being designated to perform these roles. The OfS is expected to recommend the designated bodies in March 2018.


About HESA

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

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