HESA collects a range of data every year UK-wide from universities, higher education colleges and other differently funded providers of higher education. This data is then provided to UK governments and higher education funding bodies to support their work in regulating and funding higher education providers. In addition information derived from the data is published as official statistics and in many accessible formats for use by a wide range of organisations and individuals for a variety of purposes, including HE providers, academic researchers, students, prospective students, private companies, professional bodies and the press and media.
HESA is a charitable company which is funded by the subscriptions of the HE providers from whom we collect data and it also provides an information service for the procurement of expertise, analysis and bespoke information.
The content of the data that HESA collect is determined by government and HE funding bodies, in consultation with HE providers and other key data users.
The data collection streams are:
- Student record - information about students, courses and qualifications at HEIs
- Staff record - information about staff employed by HEIs
- Finance record - income and expenditure of HEIs
- Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education - survey of graduate activities six months after leaving HE
- DLHE Longitudinal Survey - sample survey of leavers 3.5 years after graduation
- Aggregate offshore record - count of students studying wholly overseas for UK HE qualifications
- HE Business and Community Interaction survey - information about interactions between HEIs and business and the wider community
- Estates management record - buildings, estates and environmental information about HEIs
Teacher Training (ITT) in-year record - administrative data about those undertaking teacher training
- Institution profile record - Information about HEI campuses and departments
- Key Information Set - Data about undergraduate courses, published on Unistats
HESA recognises and appreciates the efforts of HE providers in supplying high quality data to HESA. We help by providing training for their staff on all aspects of the data collection process, and an Institutional Liaison team that supports HE providers during data collection periods. Full details of the data requirements of every collection are published online.
All the data collected by HESA is passed to the funding and government bodies which have statutory requirements for information. HESA then publishes statistical information in a variety of formats, including online statistics and publications.
Academic, commercial and other researchers can request tailored information extracts from the Bespoke Data Service. HESA also provides the heidi online management information tool for those undertaking full data returns to HESA.
HESA takes data protection very seriously and HESA data is only used for research and statistical purposes, and not to look up individual students or staff.
Online statistics for each kind of data can be found here:
- Students and qualifiers
- Destinations of leavers
- Business & community interaction
- Estates management/Environmental information
Much more information is available via the ‘About HESA' menus available on every HESA web page.