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On this page: Qualifications, Non-UK students, Widening participation, Non-continuation, Transnational education, Alternative Providers
                          More HESA services, Publications, Unistats, Linked data, External sources, Frequently asked questions

Creative Commons License All tables and charts on this pages are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

General student numbers

Data on the total number of enroled students. For new enrolments see tables of 'First year' students.
For students who finished a qualification during the year, see the Qualifications obtained section below.

Statistical First Release 224

Overview of student data 2009/10 to 2014/15. Tables below cover the whole UK. Breakdowns for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland can be found in further tables.

Table 1 All students by level, mode, domicile and sex
Table 2 First year students by level, mode domicile and sex
Table 3 Students by HE provider, level, mode and domicile
Table 4 Students by subject area, level, mode and sex
Table 4a First year students by subject area, level, mode and sex
Table 6a Full-time students by subject, level, sex, age, disability and ethnicity
Table 6b Part-time students by subject, level, sex, age, disability and ethnicity
Table 7 UK domicile students by domicile and location of HEP
Table 7a UK domicile first years students by domicile and location of HEP
All tables in one Excel workbook
Older Statistical First Releases

Student publication and free online data tables

Student numbers for 1996/97 to 2014/15 including:

2014/15 students by HE provider
2014/15 students by Subject
2014/15 first year students by Ethnicity
2014/15 first year students by Disability

Publication introduction - sector level tables and charts

Definitions

Data from Table 2 of Statistical First Release 224 and earlier years
Students by level of study 2000/01 to 2014/15
Year Undergraduate Postgraduate Total
2014/15 1727895 538180 2266075
2013/14 1759915 539440 2299355
2012/13 1803840 536440 2340275
2011/12 1928140 568490 2496635
2010/11 1913940 589070 2503010
2009/10 1914835 578915 2493750
2008/09 1860425 537160 2397585
2007/08 1804305 501480 2305780
2006/07 1802280 502965 2305250
2005/06 1789025 492755 2281780
2004/05 1753810 482115 2235925
2003/04 1722685 477495 2200175
2002/03 1676920 454190 2131110
2001/02 1615130 427455 2042580
2000/01 1541225 406905 1948135
Students in 2014/15 by mode * , level * and gender
  Undergraduate Postgraduate Total
Full-time Female 765945 164435 930380
Full-time Male 625590 140935 766525
Full-time Total 1391705 305445 1697150
Part-time Female 204405 138550 342955
Part-time Male 131705 94140 225845
Part-time Total 336190 232740 568930
Total Female 970350 302985 1273335
Total Male 757295 235075 992370
Total 1727895 538180 2266075

Qualifications obtained

Data on degrees and other HE qualifications awarded each year.

Statistical First Release 224

Overview of qualifications data 2009/10 to 2013/14. Tables below cover the whole UK. Breakdowns for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland can be found in further tables.

Table 10 - Qualifications obtained by level, mode, domicile and sex
Table 11Class of first degree by sex and mode of study.
Table 12 - Qualifications obtained by level, sex and subject

Student publication and free online data tables

Press release 227 - Trends in HE qualifications

2014/15 Qualifications obtained
2014/15 Qualifications by subject
More free online data tables 1996/97 to 2014/15

Intro tables & charts - Qualifications.
Table K - mode, domicile, level
Table L - first degrees by mode, domicile, sex class
Table M - % 1st and 2i

Definitions

Data from Table 11 of Statistical First Release 224 and earlier years
Qualifications obtained by level 2000/01 to 2014/15
Year Undergraduate Postgraduate Total
2014/15 483405 261600 745005
2013/14 519650 257905 777555
2012/13 525885 262015 787900
2011/12 523025 264090 787115
2010/11 510895 252255 763150
2009/10 490630 226400 717030
2008/09 470080 204720 674800
2007/08 474290 202045 676340
2006/07 447930 167150 615080
2005/06 440410 167065 607475
2004/05 440775 164290 605065
2003/04 412980 157660 570645
2002/03 393080 142090 535170
2001/02 365575 133360 498935
2000/01 357020 125890 482910

Non-UK domicile students

Data on students from overseas studying in the UK at HE providers.
Data from the HESA Student Record

Statistical First Release 224

Table 8 Top EU countries of domicile.
Table 8a Top EU countries of domicile - first year students.
Table 9 Top non-EU countries of domicile.
Table 9a Top non-EU countries of domicile - first year students.
All tables in one Excel workbook

Student publication

Table B - HE students by mode, sex, region of domicile
Table C - PG students by mode, sex, region of domicile
Table D - UG students by mode, sex, region of domicile
Table 1 - UK/EU/non-EU students by HE provider

Definitions

Region of domicile of non-UK domicile students
Region of domicile * 2013/14 2014/15
Other European Union 125300 124575
Other Europe 19525 19920
Africa 35095 35070
Asia 192540 192320
Australasia 2580 2565
Middle East 27520 28525
North America 27340 27610
South America 5310 5995
Non-European Union unknown 285 295
Total non-UK domicile 435495 436880

UK Performance Indicators

Comparative data on the performance of HE providers in widening participation and student retention. UKPIs are specified by the HE funding bodies.

UKPIs Summary - 16 year time series
UK Performance Indicators homepage 

Widening participation

Widening participation of under-represented groups

Press release 226 - headline stats for 2014/15

Table T1a - % young entrants 2014/15 from state schools, lower socio-economic classifications (SEC) and low participation neighbourhoods by HE provider

Table SP1 - WP percentages by region of domicile
Table SP4 - % young state schools entrants by subject
Table SP5 - % young low SEC entrants by subject
Table SP6 - % young low participation neighbourhood entrants by subject

Non-continuation rates

Non-continuation rates (including projected outcomes)

Press release 231 - headline stats for 2013/14 entrants and starters

Table T3a - % 2013/14 entrants not continuing into second year by HE provider

Table T5 - Projected outcomes by HE provider

Table SN1 - % non-continuation of young entrants by subject
Table SN2 - % non-continuation of mature entrants by subject
Table SN3 - % non-continuation of all entrants by subject

UKPIs definitions

The percentage of young entrants to full-time first degree courses from state schools has risen from 85.0% in 1998/99 to 89.8% in 2014/15
The percentage of young entrants to full-time first degree courses from lower socio-economic classifications has risen from 28.4% in 2002/03 to 33.0% in 2014/15
The percentage of young full-time first degree entrants not continuing in HE after their first year has fallen from 7.6% of 1997/98 entrants to 6.0% of 2013/14 entrants

Students studying wholly overseas

Transnational students studying wholly overseas for a UK qualification. Data from the HESA Aggregate Offshore Record

World regions of transnational students

Statistical First Release 224

Table 13 - location, type and level.

Definitions

Student publication

Table O - type and level
Table P - top 20 countries

Students at Alternative Providers

Experimental Statistical First Release 235

Higher Education Student Enrolments and Qualifications Obtained on Designated Courses at Alternative Providers in England 2014/15

Key points- undergraduate enrolments

  • There were 50,245 undergraduate HE enrolments on designated courses at APs in the 2014/15 record.
  • 47,665 of these enrolments were on full-time designated courses compared to 2,580 on part-time designated courses. This reflects that there are less part-time designated courses than full-time designated courses, rather than the true balance between full-time and part-time provision in the AP sector.
  • 48% of students were enrolled on first degree designated courses, 45% of students were enrolled on HND/HNC designated courses, 6% of students were enrolled on other undergraduate designated courses and 1% of students on foundation degree designated courses.
  • The majority of these undergraduate HE enrolments (88%) were UK domiciled.
  • The majority of EU and non-EU domiciled students (75% and 84% respectively) at APs were enrolled on first degree courses whereas the majority of UK domiciled students (50%) were enrolled on HND/HNC designated courses.

More HESA services

Other ways to get HESA information.

Get a customised data extract

If the stats on the website couldn't answer your question, why not ask the experts directly?

The Bespoke Data Service can provide the exact statistics you require. Give them a call on +44 (0) 1242 211133 - or go straight to the data request form

Press and media enquiries

See the Press Office section for press releases and contact details

Follow HESA on Twitter: @ukhesa

Topical statistics blog: www.hesa.ac.uk/topical

Mobile app

UK HE Stats - free app contains five years' data for all HE providers.

iPhone - iPad - Android

Use anywhere. Does NOT require a WiFi, 3G or other connection. All data is contained in the App.

Subject Benchmarking Report

Subject-specific market intelligence with analysis of performance against chosen competitors. Data and graphical analysis cover the student life cycle from enrolment to graduate destinations.

For more information, and to view a sample Subject Benchmarking Report go to www.hesa.ac.uk/subjectreport

Publications

HESA publications are downloadable collections of the most useful data in Excel tables.

Students in Higher Education 2014/15 - comprehensive data on students and qualifications obtained.

See the full contents - includes links to 5 free downloadable Excel tables.

Read the introduction online - includes 16 free Excel tables to download and 11 charts summarising all aspects of the HESA Student Record and the HESA Aggregate Offshore Record.

Students
in Higher Education
Students in Higher Education Institutions

To view all HESA publications and special offers see the Publications home page or the 2016 product catalogue.

Higher Education Statistics for the UK 2013/14 - summary of HE data from HESA, UCAS, SLC, OECD, Labour Force Survey and more.

See the full contents

Read the introduction online - includes Excel tables to download and charts summarising all aspects of higher education, including five year trends.

Higher Education
Statistics
for the UK
Higher Education Statistics for the UK

Older publications for 1994/95 to 2009/10 can be downloaded for free from the Publications Archive.

Unistats

Official data for all undergraduate courses providing key information for prospective students.

Unistats website - the official source for information on HE courses

Unistats dataset - raw data underlying the Unistats website
available for developers to download in XML and CSV format

Unistats FAQ - on the HEFCE website

Unistats - from universities and colleges in the UK

Linked data

Linked NPD-ILR-HESA data

The Department for Education (DfE) receives HESA data and links it to data from the Individual Learner Record (ILR, which covers Further Education Colleges) and to the National Pupil Database (NPD, which covers schools). Linked data is available for research purposes from DfE.

See www.hesa.ac.uk/linkeddata for more information.

To request a linked data extract please see the National Pupil Database pages at www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-pupil-database.

External sources

Related statistics are published by various organisations. These links are to external websites for which HESA is not responsible.

Frequently asked student statistics questions

Got a question? If the answer's not online contact one of our Bespoke Data Service experts by email: [email protected]

Q. How many students study at privately funded HE providers not included in the HESA data?

A. A BIS survey in 2012 counted a further 94,707 students at privately funded HE providers in the UK.

Click here for the full results of the BIS survey.

Q. How many students were there in [year]? How have student numbers changed over time?

A. HESA holds data going back to the 1994/95 academic year. However we have refined the way we count students several times since then. The only way to compare our 94/95 data to our recent data is to look at a snapshot population. The table below shows the number of students enroled on the 1st of December in each year.

For a longer view, the last table of this House of Commons Library note shows the number of degrees awarded at ten year intervals back to 1920: Education: Historical Statistics 1920-2004

Students (1st December snapshot) by level of study 1994 to 2014
Year Undergraduate Postgraduate Total
2014 1680570 484820 2165395
2013 1716645 483685 2200330
2012 1761865 482850 2244715
2011 1856455 509820 2366280
2010 1833165 516440 2349605
2009 1828870 504270 2333140
2008 1778100 471200 2249305
2007 1742805 445795 2188600
2006 1681065 445280 2126345
2005 1713490 442615 2156105
2004 1699010 438405 2137415
2003 1656420 432415 2088835
2002 1587240 413180 2000420
2001 1515925 391005 1906930
2000 1462165 379700 1841865
1999 1426655 368005 1794660
1998 1420770 362885 1783655
1997 1392720 345850 1738570
1996 1372885 325630 1698515
1995 1329925 324790 1654715
1994 1211260 301790 1513055

Q. What subjects are the most popular?

All students by subject area and sex 2014/15
Subject Area * Female Male Total
Medicine & dentistry 37335 28660 66005
Subjects allied to medicine 218585 56845 275450
Biological sciences 128645 82500 211165
Veterinary science 4495 1405 5900
Agriculture & related subjects 11855 7350 19205
Physical sciences 37080 56660 93760
Mathematical sciences 15955 26435 42395
Computer science 16050 77185 93250
Engineering & technology 27030 134390 161440
Architecture, building & planning 17365 30885 48255
   Total Science 514390 502320 1016820
Social studies 130605 77275 207910
Law 53545 34035 87595
Business & administrative studies 161490 165435 326945
Mass communications & documentation 28775 19825 48610
Languages 77375 33945 111340
Historical & philosophical studies 46070 40235 86330
Creative arts & design 105840 61030 166930
Education 124960 39405 164395
Combined 30280 18870 49200
All Subjects 1273335 992370 2266075
More subject info in SFR224

Q. How many students are there in my region?

All students by region of HE provider
Region * 2013/14 2014/15
England 1902370 1869345
North East 101250 99400
North West 226595 224665
Yorkshire and The Humber 192835 191995
East Midlands 157735 156810
West Midlands 188950 188965
East of England 126495 122425
London 366605 359990
South East 389310 369555
South West 152595 155540
Wales 129130 125680
Scotland 215600 218400
Northern Ireland 52260 52650
UK Total 2299355 2266075
Students by HE provider in Table 3 of Statistical First Release 224

Definitions

Q. What proportion of young people go into Higher Education?

A. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) publish the initial participation rate for 17-30 year olds. The latest figures can be found here: Participation Rates in Higher Education

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) publish participation measures by local area here: POLAR – Participation of Local Areas

Q. What proportion of students drop out?

A. Non-continuation rates are published as part of the HE Performance Indicators (see PI section above).
7.2% of full-time first degree entrants in 2013/14 did not continue into their second year.
10.2% of full time first degree entrants in 2013/14 are projected to leave higher education without gaining a qualification.

Q. How many students live at home with their parents? How many live in student halls?

A. Approximately 1 in 5 full-time students lives at home during term-time, and about the same proportion live in institution maintained property.

Click here for lots more detail on accommodation

Term-time accommodation of full-time and sandwich students
Term-time accommodation * 2013/14 2014/15
Institution maintained property 325090 329795
Private-sector halls 108155 118005
Parental/guardian home 322045 327390
Own residence 255570 258655
Other rented accommodation 516220 520545
Other 59690 55360
Not in attendance at the institution 24025 24250
Not known 85230 63150
Total full-time and sandwich 1696030 1697150

Q. How many students study by distance learning?

Distance Learning students - UK based/funded †
Level, HE provider 2013/14 2014/15
Undergraduate 158140 142280
Open University 138530 122750
Other 19610 19530
Postgraduate 51870 47585
Open University 11725 9170
Other 40140 38415
Total 210005 189865
† Based on HESA Student Record - see Definitions
Distance Learning students - Wholly overseas ‡
Level, Location 2013/14 2014/15
Undergraduate 59310 55685
EU 10570 9585
Non-EU 48740 46100
Postgraduate 60390 64785
EU 12585 13110
Non-EU 47810 51675
Total 119700 120475
‡ Based on Aggregate Offshore Record - see Definitions
More offshore provision stats in SFR Table 8

Q. How many mature students are there?

Students in 2014/15 by level and age group
Age group Undergraduate Postgraduate Total
20 and under 900785 2685 903470
21-24 427635 177080 604720
25-29 127185 133215 260400
30-59 256275 219800 476075
60 and over 15800 5285 21085
Age unknown 210 115 330
Total 1727895 538180 2266075
More on age in publication intro

Q. How many students are from ethnic minorities?

Ethnicity of UK domiciled students
Ethnicity * 2013/14 2014/15
White 1459815 1418685
Black 116655 117465
Asian 172215 175235
Other (including mixed) 81545 84525
Not known 33630 33290
Total UK domicile 1863860 1829195
More ethnicity info in Publication intro and free online data tables

Q. How many students study for MBAs?

MBA students by domicile
Domicile * 2013/14 2014/15
UK 9525 8640
Other EU 1300 770
Non-EU 9960 8615
Total MBA students 20785 18035

 

Creative Commons License All tables and charts on this pages are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.