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HESA report helps councils plan for students and graduates

HESA has developed a new data report offering information on the impact of higher education (HE) at the local level. Designed for local authorities, the HE Impact: Local Level Report collates information on the movement of students and graduates into and out of local areas. The report feeds into widening participation agendas and informs the design of local graduate retention and enterprise strategies. It also helps local authorities to plan services and accommodation balancing the needs of student with local populations.

Universities and other higher education (HE) providers play an important role in driving local economic growth. They attract people and businesses, as well as developing knowledge and skills for commercial innovation. Local authorities are challenged with driving this growth in a sustainable way, whilst managing the impact it has on resident populations.

The HE Impact: Local Level Report provides councils with localised information to support evidence-based planning. The report includes data on where students come from, what they're studying, the accommodation they live in and the jobs they go on to do, offering valuable information for strategic decision-making.

The report’s launch represents a renewed commitment by HESA to develop its commercial activities and seek new audiences for its data services. Income from commercial activities is used to keep subscription levels low for HE providers.

Denise Jones, Head of Information Services at HESA said:

“There’s increasing focus on local authorities to develop pro-growth strategies to attract and drive commerce. With higher education playing such a core role, it makes sense that relevant measures feed into planning. This report offers an evidence base for local authorities to assess their HE landscape and make decisions on where to focus their resources.”

Nottingham City Council helped HESA to design and trial the report. Steven Heales, Employment and Skills Strategy Manager said:

“We have two world-class universities on our doorstep and 67,000 students. We’re committed to retaining our graduate-level talent. HESA's data is a critical evidence base and ensures our graduate retention strategy is driven by solid information.”

The report includes detailed data and interactive dashboards to aid analysis. Summarised findings are shown in easy-to-understand charts and graphs for sharing in presentations and publications. The HE Impact: Local Level Report, priced at £499, is intended to help local councils and increase understanding between the higher education and local government sectors.

More information and a sample report can be found on the HESA website at:


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Press Officer