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Our response to the Higher Education Commission report ‘From Bricks to Clicks’

The Higher Education Commission’s (HEC) report ‘From Bricks to Clicks: the potential of data and analytics in Higher Education’, published today (Friday 22 January 2016), contains the findings of the Commission’s ten-month inquiry into the transformative effect that data and analytics can have for university students, higher education providers and the HE sector as a whole.

The report puts forward a number of recommendations relevant to HESA and two specifically for the organisation:

  • HESA, Jisc and Universities UK should work together to develop a sector-wide strategy for excellent and innovative data management.
  • HESA should take responsibility for rationalising the data collection process across the sector, working in partnership with others.

Commenting on the report, Paul Clark, Chief Executive of HESA, said:

“This important report comes at an opportune moment. Data is playing an increasingly central role in debates and decision making across the sector. HE providers are using data-driven insight to help them thrive in a marketised system, and the potential for evidence-based decision-making to improve the student experience is being explored as never before.

“Through our Data Futures Programme, HESA is already addressing the need, identified in this report, for a more efficient and streamlined data collection system. Work is underway to scope out the changes needed to make this vision a reality and the publication of ‘From Bricks to Clicks’ adds helpful impetus and momentum.

“As the HEC report recognises, HESA cannot do this alone. We have close working relationships with organisations across the HE sector, including Jisc and Universities UK, and we look forward to working in collaboration with them to ensure the sector can increasingly benefit from a strategic approach to data.”

About HESA

HESA 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.

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