Experimental Statistics: UK Performance Indicators 2016/17
This release has been produced by HESA on behalf of the UK Performance Indicators Steering Group (UKPISG). The statistics combine together data for publicly funded HE providers and alternative providers (APs) with specific course designation. This release also includes a new measure of low participation, POLAR4, which has been derived by HEFCE and differs from the previously used POLAR3 measure. In this experimental release, we present the data using both POLAR3 and POLAR4.
Published Tuesday 27 March 2018.
Participation of under-represented groups in higher education (Table series T1 and T2)
Table series T1 and T2 give information about the participation of groups that are under-represented in HE, relative to the population as a whole. The tables look at the percentage of UK domiciled students from state schools or colleges and low participation neighbourhoods and provide a breakdown by HE provider. Results are shown separately for young, mature, full-time and part-time students, because each of these groups have different characteristics.
Young full-time undergraduate entrants (Table T1)
The indicators for young full-time students in Tables T1a-T1c show, for each HE provider:
- The percentage who attended a state school or college.
- The percentage who come from a low participation neighbourhood (as denoted by its postcode) using both the POLAR3 and POLAR4 method. Low participation data is not produced for HE providers in Scotland and are shown as blank rows in these tables, for more information see definitions.
The supplementary table below shows how the two indicators vary by Government Office region of where the student was living prior to starting their HE course.
Mature full-time undergraduate entrants (Table T2a) and all part-time undergraduate entrants (T2b)
For mature students and for young part-time students, there is just one participation indicator, based on those who come from a low participation neighbourhood. Information on school type is not available for the majority of part-time and mature students and hence a second indicator has not been produced. The low participation indicator has been slightly adapted to exclude those students who have previously obtained a higher education qualification as they would have been included in the participation calculations at that time. This indicator is provided in tables T2a-T2b and again exclude students studying at HE providers in Scotland, see definitions for details.
Particiption of under-represented groups - Supplementary tables
Supplementary table WP2 below provides a breakdown of full-time first degree entrants by the benchmark factors (entry qualifications and subject area) for both young and mature students to provide some contextual figures for the sector and in the derivation of the benchmarks. Supplementary table WP3 shows the percentage of students from state schools and from low participation neighbourhoods, again by the two benchmark factors.
Students in receipt of Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA)
Published Thursday 19 April 2018.
Table T7 provides information about the percentage of students who are in receipt of Disabled Students' Allowance. This is less than the percentage who are recorded as disabled, but should prove to be more robust than the self reported disability data. It covers all UK domiciled undergraduate students, rather than just entrants. The table is split into three sections, one covering full-time first degree students, one covering full-time undergraduates (on first degree, diploma and other undergraduate non-degree courses) and the third covering part-time undergraduates studying at least 50% of the time.
Please note that changes to the Disabled Student Allowances administered through Student Finance England took effect in the academic years 2015/16 and 2016/17, see changes document for details. These changes mean that the DSA data is not comparable across these years.
It should also be noted that the part-time benchmarks produced for the experimental table T7 include data for The Open University, in the previously published data, the Open University were excluded from these figures.
The supplementary table WP4 provides a breakdown of students in receipt of Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA) by subject and entry qualifications.
Non-continuation following year of entry (Table series T3)
Published Tuesday 27 March 2018.
This method is based on tracking students from the year they enter an HE provider to the following year (for full-time students, T3a-T3d) or the following two years (for part-time students, T3e) and provides information about where the students are in that year: continuing at the same HE provider (either on the same course or elsewhere in the HE provider), transferred to another HE provider, or absent from higher education completely.
Full-time undergraduate entrants (Table T3)
The indicators for full-time entrants in Table T3a-d show, for each HE provider:
- The percentage who continue at the same HE provider, transfer to another HE provider and are no longer in HE the year after entry.
- For first degree entrants the percentages who continue, transfer and are no longer in HE by low participation neighbourhood marker (for young entrants) and previous HE marker (for mature entrants).
Supplementary table NC1 below shows the percentage of full-time undergraduate entrants who are no longer in HE by the benchmark factors (entry qualifications and subject area) for both young and mature first degree and all other undergraduates to provide some contextual figures for the sector and in the derivation of the benchmarks.
Part-time first degree entrants (Table T3e)
Published Thursday 19 April 2018.
The indicators for part-time entrants in Table T3e show, for each HE provider:
- The percentage who continue at the same HE provider (either on the same course or elsewhere in the HE provider), transfer to another HE provider, or are absent from higher education completely two years after entry with a split for young and mature entrants.
- It should be noted that the 2016/17 T3e Experimental UK Performance Indicators are based on entrants in the 2014/15 academic year and due to the absence of the 2013/14 AP student record, it has not been possible to link back to first degree courses in the year prior to entry for Alternative Providers. The impact of this is likely to be negligible due to the relatively small number of students studying first degree courses at APs.
Resumption of study after a year out (Table series T4)
Published Thursday 19 April 2018.
Some students who leave higher education during or at the end of the first year will return after a year out. Table series T4 includes statistics about such returns for full-time students. These are not provided as indicators, but to give some extra information which may be used with the indicators in table series T3 to give a fuller picture. Table series T4 gives the percentage of students who were absent from HE the year after they entered who returned to higher education, either at the same HE provider or at another HE provider, the following year. The final column expresses the percentage of entrants who did not return to HE two years after they entered.
The Employment of leavers experimental UK Performance Indicators will be published on 24 July 2018.
What are experimental statistics?
The Code of Practice for Official Statistics defines Experimental Statistics as: "new official statistics undergoing evaluation. They are published in order to involve users and stakeholders in their development and as a means to build in quality at an early stage". This Experimental Statistics release aims to explore the incorporation of HE students registered at alternative providers within the coverage of UKPIs.
Which HE providers are included?
This release contains information regarding UK publicly funded higher education institutions plus alternative providers. Although included in our Statistical First Release, data for students enrolled on HE level courses at the three further education (FE) colleges in Wales are currently excluded from the UK Performance Indicators.
What is an Alternative Provider?
APs are higher education providers who do not receive recurrent funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) or other public bodies and who are not further education colleges. Only APs who have successfully completed a specific course designation process are required to submit data to HESA, all of the submitting APs are located in England, except for one located in Scotland. This designation process means eligible students can access loans and grants from the Student Loans Company (SLC) on specific courses, referred to as designated courses.
In February 2017, we published an Experimental Statistical First Release which set out the details of student enrolments at alternative providers, and provided detail of some student demographic characteristics at APs.
How many APs are included?
63 APs submitted a 2014/15 AP Student data return to HESA, of these 58 satisfy the criteria to be included in the widening participation and non-continuation UK Performance Indicator Experimental Statistics. A further 38 submitted data to HESA in 2015/16 and are included in the widening participation UK Performance Indicator Experimental Statistics. In 2016/17, 97 APs submitted a student data return, 96 of these are located in England and one is located in Scotland.
How does the Experimental Statistics methodology differ from the established UKPIs?
The extended indicators are largely consistent with the UK Performance Indicators 2015/16 with a small number of methodological adjustments. The key differences are outlined below:
Students who withdraw from their studies early in the academic year of entry are excluded under the original methodology, this has historically been done by removing students who withdraw before 1 December in the year of entry. To ensure that providers teaching students starting courses other than in the autumn are neither advantaged nor disadvantaged relative to others in the sector, the methodology has been adjusted to remove students from the full-time entrant population if they withdraw within 50 days of commencing their studies. The methodology for determining whether or not a student continues has also been adjusted to align with the methodology for determining whether an entrant. In addition, students who transfer between an HEI and an AP (or vice versa) are considered as a transfer rather than no longer in HE.
These indicators do not yet include students registered at further education colleges (FECs). UKPISG has committed to incorporating such students in future releases. HEFCE has previously published equivalent indicators for FECs.
What are the next steps?
Feedback is invited on the methodological refinements described and implemented within this experimental release. We also welcome feedback on the content, structure and usefulness of the Experimental Statistics. Please email any enquiries, comments or suggestions for future releases to [email protected]. It is UKPISG’s expectation that in the fullness of time, following appropriate evaluation and development, the methodological refinements employed within these Experimental Statistics will be applied within annual publications of UKPI Official Statistics.
In parallel with the publication of these experimental statistics UKPISG are undertaking a review of the approach and factors used in benchmarking. The review aims to ensure the methodology conforms to statistical best practice and that the factors included fully reflect a wider provider base with more diverse student characteristics. Please email any comments or suggestions for the review of benchmarking to [email protected].
Key links and contacts
- UK Performance Indicators homepage
- Provider mergers and changes
- Data intelligence
+44 (0) 1242 211 120, [email protected]
+44 (0) 1242 211 115, [email protected]