We are closely monitoring the very fluid situation surrounding the COVID-19 coronavirus and we will adhere to government advice as it is published. We will update this notification as developments arise.
Latest update - 26 March
We are aware that the OfS have issued a communication indicating that sign-off deadlines for several collections will be relaxed. We are working with our statutory customers to understand the implications of this and will communicate the impact on HESA collection schedules and other HESA activity when it has been agreed.
Whilst remaining focused on the delivery of the Graduate Outcomes survey, HESA is acutely aware of the evolving situation around COVID-19 and the impact this may be having on our target audience of graduates.
As we continue to implement the engagement strategy for cohort B graduates, we have been exploring ways to adapt our approach and messaging to acknowledge the wider context. We want to support the delivery of the wider NHS / GOV.UK messaging to this key audience, explain why we are contacting them given the current situation and demonstrate our commitment to safety in the delivery of the survey. As you will know, the survey is a census survey at a fixed-point following graduation, and therefore HESA has little scope to differ the survey timetable. With this in mind, HESA has sought to continue the survey of graduates as planned.
At present we will not be changing the engagement strategy itself i.e. the number of contacts we make. Instead, we are in the process of adding supportive messages to email templates, SMS messages, the Graduate Outcomes website and twitter account.
The staff that operate Graduate Outcomes, including our suppliers and HESA, are well equipped to operate from home and have carried on surveying graduates ever since the new Government advice on homeworking was issued. So far, we have not seen a drop in response rates, the short-term trend this week in fact shows a slight increase.
We are mindful of the sensitivities surrounding this situation and the fact that our telephone interviewers are engaging with individuals across the world, some of whom may be experiencing significant challenges in their professional and personal lives. We are developing a set of guidance notes to help interviewers handle such conversations appropriately. In particular, we have identified leading national and international organisations that offer help to individuals experiencing emotional distress. All respondents will be signposted to these organisations.
We will keep our engagement strategy with graduates under review as this situation evolves.
This statement is adapted from text supplied by the Government Statistical Service.
Due to the coronavirus illness (COVID-19) we anticipate that there might be some changes in terms of our regular statistical production. The current disruption to the UK could affect the publishing schedule for some of our statistics. In some cases, the production of some data series may need to be suspended or delayed.
Decisions will be made on a case by case basis, taking into account what information is currently relevant given the situation, with the three pillars of the Code of Practice for Statistics (Trustworthiness, Quality and Value) guiding our decisions. Giving everyone access to statistics at the same time remains a fundamental principle of the Code, but where this cannot be maintained we will be open and transparent about this and any other potential effects on our statistics. These decisions will be underpinned by the Office for Statistics Regulation’s guidance on Changes to statistical outputs during the coronavirus outbreak.
We remain committed to providing the best and most accurate information we can and we will keep you informed as developments unfold.
In line with Government advice we have taken the decision to cancel all face to face training for the remainder of the 2019/20 training programme and where possible move to online delivery.
We will continue to monitor the situation and communicate directly with our delegates. Where we are able to offer online training we will communicate this through the appropriate JiscMail channels. For any questions, please email the Training team: [email protected].
Previous statement - 19 March
We are in an unprecedented time for organisations, families and individuals. We know the focus at HE providers is on protecting the interest of students, colleagues and your related communities and above all, we want to offer our reassurance that we fully support HE providers in this endeavour.
We are working closely with our statutory customers across the UK to support them in the way they are responding to the situation. In doing this, we are seeking to balance the welfare of colleagues, at HESA and across the sector, with minimising the long-term disruption to the higher education sector.
Following a successful business continuity exercise ensuring the ability of our colleagues to work remotely, and in response to Government advice, we have closed the HESA offices.
At this time, all of our collection systems are running as usual and no changes have been necessary to published collection schedules.
We will be working closely with statutory customers over the coming weeks to coordinate our response to the virus. The situation is evolving, and we will continue to update this page and social media (see below) with any new information. Information relating to specific collections will also be included in our HESA weekly update email (which you can sign up for if you wish).
We have prepared a summary of headline information to reassure and provide support where possible.
The HESA data collection systems are available and currently all collections are running as expected; we will communicate any updates to this as soon as they become available.
Our Liaison team will continue to offer their helpdesk service to colleagues at HE providers.
To allow this service to continue whilst our colleagues are working remotely, we have a new phone number for reaching the Liaison team +44 (0) 1242 388 531. This will be available until further notice, or please continue to email [email protected] as you usually would.
We can confirm that all operational activity on Graduate Outcomes is continuing as usual. This includes the current collection of survey responses for cohort B graduates. We have been in regular contact with our survey partners, including our contact centre IFF, and can confirm that they have taken necessary steps to protect their staff and, like HESA staff, are also working remotely.
We are remaining in dialogue with our suppliers to ensure we can offer an uninterrupted survey operation and will keep the sector informed. Where necessary, we will take any action in consultation with our steering group.
At present, our official statistics releases are expected to go ahead as detailed on our upcoming releases page. The next of these being the release of the Finance statistics on 31 March.
We are offering online options for as many events as possible, with the cancellation or postponement of our live training events.
Where an online alternative is not appropriate, a full refund will be provided – there is no need for you to apply to us for this, we will automatically issue it.
Where this is possible, all delegates will be informed appropriately and in line with our Terms and Conditions will have the option to take up the alternative training event or cancel their booking and receive a full refund.
Should you have any questions, please contact the training team via email at [email protected].
Please note, we continue to offer e-learning which is available across data collections. Please visit the Support section of the HESA website which includes our e-learning and other useful tools and resources.
If you have further queries or concerns not covered by this update, please do email [email protected] and we will try to direct you to the information available.
Previous statement - 17 March 2020
Following on from our statement below, we are continuing to monitor the situation regarding the COVID-19 virus carefully. In accordance with Government advice, we have now closed our offices and our colleagues are all working from home.
This has a number of implications and we are undertaking a range of steps to protect our colleagues and stakeholders, as well as the services offered by HESA. We are moving face to face seminars, workshops or meetings online where possible and working with our statutory customers to understand the impact upon statutory data collection.
Impact on Liaison team support
• Our Liaison team will continue to offer their helpdesk service to colleagues at HE providers. In the short term, this will only be via email ([email protected]), whilst we establish a way to open our phone lines remotely.
Impact on events
• 18 March Student Record introductory seminar in Cheltenham will be delivered online – delegates with booked places will be informed separately.
• We are looking into an online solution for the HE-BCI Major Review Strategic Group on 30 March and will advise accordingly.
• All of the advertised Student Record Advanced and Student Alternative Record Advanced seminars in April and May will no longer go ahead as planned – delegates with booked places will be issued with a refund shortly.
• The Data Matters conference will no longer go ahead as planned.
At this time all data collection activity is continuing. We will inform you as soon as we can if this changes.
If you want to report an issue with data submission, related to coronavirus, please contact our Liaison team on [email protected].
Previous statement - 11 March 2020
We are closely monitoring the very fluid situation surrounding the COVID-19 coronavirus and we will adhere to government advice as it is published. HESA is making additional preparations to its pre-existing Business Continuity plans to ensure services can continue to run should we be required to work remotely, or if the virus impacts our staff members.
At present and in line with current advice, all planned training events are going ahead. We will continue to review this in line with the latest guidance and will update event information and delegates accordingly.
We do not currently believe that that this outbreak will have a direct impact on the current data collections or services we provide to our subscribers and Statutory Customers.
We will monitor, update and revise this guidance as the situation and government advice develops. We will also update you if the outbreak starts to impact on our ability to continue to collect data in accordance with the current collection schedules. Please check our website regularly to ensure you always have the latest information.
Does this affect Data collections?
We are continuing to monitor the situation, particularly with respect to the Estates management collection C18042, which has a last submission date of 20 March. There is currently no plan to amend the data collection schedule.
Should there be an impact on HESA, we will work closely with Statutory Customers to review collection schedules.
How does this affect our training courses?
Should there be any restrictions on movement within the UK, it is likely that we will have to cancel our live training courses and bespoke visits. If this was to occur, we will communicate directly with affected delegates.
Liaison Team support?
The Liaison team will continue to provide telephone and email support during our advised working hours (09:00 – 17:00). If there is a restriction on travel and HESA implements its working from home policy, we may opt for communications with the team to be via email only whilst we work to divert phone numbers and make alternative arrangements.
If you want to report an issue with data submission, related to coronavirus, please speak to our Liaison team on +44 (0)1242 388 531