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2003/04 Performance Indicators released

About the Performance Indicators

Following the recommendations of the National Committee of Inquiry into Higher Education, the Government asked the four UK higher education funding bodies (HEFCE, HEFCW, SHEFC and DELNI) to develop suitable indicators and benchmarks of performance in the higher education sector. The Performance Indicators Steering Group (PISG) was established, with membership drawn from government departments, the funding councils and representative bodies. PISG defines the specification and develops the Performance Indicators. They are now calculated and published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency on behalf of PISG.

The indicators are designed to provide reliable information on the nature and performance of the higher education sector in the UK and constitute a consistent set of measures of this performance. This will contribute to a greater public accountability by the sector, as well as ensuring that policy decisions can be made on the basis of consistent and reliable information.

The Performance Indicators cover the following areas:

  • Widening participation indicators, that is, what proportion of entrants come from various under-represented groups such as state schools or colleges, specified socio-economic classes and low-participation neighbourhoods
  • Students who are in receipt of Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA)
  • Non-continuation rates of students at institutions
  • Module completion rates for part-time students at Welsh institutions
  • Research output, looking at quantitative outcomes of research that will change from year to year. These are different from the ratings of quality produced by the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), and are designed to complement, rather than replace, them
  • Employment of graduates

About the Higher Education Statistics Agency

HESA was set-up in 1993 following a Government White Paper ‘Higher Education: A New Framework’, which called for more coherence in higher education statistics. HESA is not a government body. It is however a sector agency, working on behalf of the higher education institutions and sector bodies in the whole of the UK to meet the needs of the sector itself and to enhance and support the work of the government departments and funding bodies in each administration.

HESA is a Company Limited by Guarantee, whose Members, the owners of the company, are the representative bodies Universities UK and the Standing Conference of Principals. HESA is now the central source for higher education statistics and has standardised and streamlined the data collection and publication process to become a respected point of reference.

A further press release will be issued by HEFCE in due course.

Notes to editors

  1. Full text and tables of Performance Indicators in Higher Education in the UK 2003/04 can be found on the HESA website from Thursday 22 September. As in previous years, the indicators are set out in separate tables. Not all higher education institutions feature in every table. Performance Indicators prior to 2002/03 have been published by the Higher Education Funding Council for England.
  2. There have been no changes to the Performance Indicators since last year - either to the data collected, or to the calculations used. The Performance Indicators Steering Group carried out a review of how the tariff points score is used for benchmark calculations. For more details please see the Changes to PIs 2003/04 document.
  3. Press enquiries should be directed to:
    • HESA Press Officer
    • 01242 211133
    • [email protected]
    • 95 Promenade, Cheltenham, GL50 1HZ.
    • Technical enquiries regarding the calculation of the Performance Indicators can be directed through the HESA Press Office or via the HESA PI Team at [email protected] or call 01242 211133.
    • Enquiries regarding how the Performance Indicators are defined and specified should be addressed to PISG via the HEFCE Press Office telephone 0117 931 7363/7431.


Press Release