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HESA reference volume published today Higher Education Statistics for the UK 2008/09

The HESA reference volume Higher Education Statistics for the UK 2008/09 is published today. The publication provides the official overview of the UK's higher education sector in 2008/09. The publication contains data from HESA, the Student Loans Company, OECD, UCAS and the Labour Force Survey. It has been released according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.

Comparing today's figures to data from five years ago shows a clear picture of the growth of higher education in the UK. The total number of students at UK HE institutions grew by 7% over the five years from 2.2 to 2.4 million. The number of non-UK domicile students increased by 22% for undergraduate students and by 27% for postgraduates over the same period.

Students by level of study and domicile
  2004/05 2008/09 % change
All Students 2236270 2396055 7%
Undergraduate 1753930 1859240 6%
UK domicile 1601465 1673655 5%
Non-UK domicile 152465 185585 22%
Postgraduate 482335 536815 11%
UK domicile 337685 353430 5%
Non-UK domicile 144655 183385 27%
Source: Higher Education Statistics for the United Kingdom 2004/05 and 2008/09

The total number of staff employed at UK HE institutions grew by 11% over the last five years. There were almost 20,000 more academic staff employed in 2008/09 than in 2004/05.

Staff by activity
  2004/05 2008/09 % change
All staff 346305 382760 11%
Academic staff 160655 179040 11%
Non-academic staff 185650 203720 10%
Managerial, professional and technical staff 74520 86920 17%
Clerical staff 66115 72310 9%
Manual staff 45010 44490 -1%
Source: Higher Education Statistics for the United Kingdom 2004/05 and 2008/09

The total income of the UK higher education sector exceeded £25 billion in 2008/09. The table below shows income and expenditure in cash terms and has not been adjusted for inflation.

Income and expenditure of UK HEIs (£ millions)
  2004/05 2008/09
Total Income 18,141 25,373
Total Expenditure 17,976 24,944
Source: Higher Education Statistics for the United Kingdom 2004/05 and 2008/09

The HESA Higher Education Statistics for the United Kingdom 2008/09 reference volume provides a statistical overview of higher education in the UK. It is a National Statistics publication and includes data from the Student Loans Company, OECD, UCAS and the Labour Force Survey.

Higher Education Statistics for the United Kingdom 2008/09 is available for purchase from our website or by calling +44 (0) 1242 211155.

Notes for editors

  1. Press enquiries should be directed to:
  2. In the student and staff data tables numbers are rounded up or down to the nearest multiple of 5. Percentages are calculated on un-rounded numbers. Numbers in the finance table are rounded to the nearest £1,000,000.
  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 Government, Scottish 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. Data for 2004/05 is based on the new standard registration population used since 2007/08 which excludes students on sabbatical and students who are writing-up. The data for this year will therefore not perfectly match the data previously published in earlier editions of Higher Education Statistics for the United Kingdom. Data for 2004/05 is not contained in the 2008/09 reference volume.
  5. Total Income figures include share of joint ventures. 2004/05 finance data is based on restated figures submitted in 2005/06.
  6. Data for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is available on request.
  7. HESA cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived from the data by third parties.
  8. Definitions of the terms used in this press release can be found within each publication.

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