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Data intelligence


  • Qualifications obtained (2015/16)

    In 2015/16, Nova College of Accounting and Business Ltd reported qualifications awarded for students after their first year of study. These qualifications were reported in error.

    Student Qualifications obtained
  • Qualifications obtained (2019/20)

    In 2019/20, The Open University underreported the number of qualifications awarded due to administrative delays as a result of changes to assessment timetabling. These qualifications are expected to be returned in the 2020/21 data return. There is a reduction of around 8,225 qualifications awarded in the 2019/20 data return in comparison to 2018/19. Most of this drop was seen among part time undergraduate students.

    Student Qualifications obtained
  • Qualifiers from designated courses (2016/17)

    In 2016/17, UK College of Business and Computing had a significant increase in qualifiers from designated HND courses, from 265 in 2015/16 to 1,015 in 2016/17. This was due to a series of successful events aimed at encouraging HND students to complete their qualification. These events were marketed at students who began a course in earlier years but had not achieved a qualification during the usual timeframe of the course. As such, HND qualifiers in 2016/17 included cohorts of students who enrolled in past years back to 2012/13.

  • Sex (2014/15-2015/16)

    In 2014/15 and 2015/16, The Brit College incorrectly reported all their students as male. In both academic years, a mix of sexes were enrolled.

  • Student enrolment numbers (2020/21)

    In 2020/21, University of London (Institutes and activities) returned University of London distance learning students studying in the UK for the first time resulting in a large increase in First degree, Other undergraduate and Postgraduate student numbers.

  • Student enrolments (2021/22)

    In 2021/22, by agreement between the University of Northampton, HESA/JISC and the OfS, because of data quality concerns in relation to students at a partner organisation, around 700 student records were excluded from this return.

  • Student FTEs (2008/09)

    The FTEs in Loughborough University return have been overstated for 2008/09. The issue relates to students on non-standard years (i.e. where the year of instance is not completed in one HESA reporting year). All students reported as being active in 2008/09 have been recorded as studying with an FTE of 1, rather than split according to the actual load undertaken in the reporting year. In the main this has over-reported students on full-time PGT programmes.

    Student Full-time equivalent (FTE)
  • Student instances (2013/14)

    The Open University in 2013/14 has seen a decrease in the number of new student instances of study (21%), considerably larger than the decrease in new students (individuals) (6%). HESA data counts instances of study rather than individual students.

    The larger decrease in instance count is mainly reflective of changing behaviour of continuing students following the funding regime changes in 2012/13 and changes to university systems which impact on the number of new instances created for continuing students. There is a decreasing tendency for returning students to resume study towards a new qualification, i.e. on a new instance. Changes to the university’s HESA reporting systems mean e.g. that students gaining an intermediate qualification on the way to getting a first degree are reported on the same instance rather than a new instance as in previous years.

  • Student numbers (2015/16)

    The majority of alternative providers are subject to student number controls which vary from year to year, therefore their undergraduate student numbers in each academic year reflect this.

    In 2015/16, West London College were required to return data to the Alternative provider record but failed to submit this in time to HESA.

    Student Population
  • Student numbers (2017/18)

    In 2017/18, student data was expected from EThames Graduate School Limited, Grafton College and London College of Creative Media Limited. However students at these providers are not included in the 2017/18 AP student record.

  • Student Qualifier numbers (2020/21)

    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2019/20 many providers issued public statements that a 'no detriment' approach would be adopted when it came to assessment. This typically ensured that students would be awarded a final grade no lower than the most recent provider assessment of their attainment. Additionally, a few providers who experienced administrative hold ups related to the COVID-19 pandemic which began in the 2019/20 academic year. As such, qualifications that were not reported in the 2019/20 academic year were carried over to 2020/21, resulting in a decrease of student qualifiers in 2019/20 relative to the previous academic year, followed by an increase in 2020/21. 


  • Subject of study (2007/08, 2008/09)

    The Institute of Continuing Education at The University of Cambridge records enrolments by module, but its student record system is currently unable to capture separately the overall JACS programme of study for the unique course entity requirement. Consequently, for 2008/09, all 3,815 part-time other undergraduate students have been recorded as combined subject of study.

    Student Staff student ratio Subject of study
  • Term-time address (2015/16)

    The University of Leicester misreported term-time address data for 2,000 (52%) first year first degree students in 2015/16. Due to a system error, the term-time postcodes for these students have been incorrectly recorded as their postcodes for summer correspondence. This also affects term-time accommodation data. The 2,000 first year first degree students should have been reported as living in a provider maintained property but instead have been reported under the property type that their summer correspondence postcode relates to, such as a parental/guardian home.


    Student Term-time accommodation
  • Undergraduate numbers (2012/13)

    The Open University has had significant reductions in their undergraduate student numbers in England due to the impact of the new funding regime for part time undergraduate students introduced in 2012/13. This affects all categories of undergraduate students.

    Student Level of study
  • Undergraduate qualifications awarded (2012/13)

    The Open University has had a drop in other undergraduate qualifications awarded. This reflects a restructuring of the undergraduate curriculum and changes to the qualification registration process in 2012/13, along with an overall drop in student numbers in 2012/13, in particular in England, following funding regime changes for part-time undergraduate students.

    In particular there is a drop in the number of OU certificates awarded on completion of 60 credit points which students registered on old framework (pre 2012/13) qualifications could claim en route to a degree. This is not permitted for students registered on the new framework qualifications introduced in 2012/13.

    Student Level of study
  • Undergraduate student numbers (2015/16)

    Heythrop College has announced that they are currently unable to offer full undergraduate programmes for full or part-time study as announced on 26th June 2015. This has resulted in a significant drop in their student numbers for 2015/16.

    Student Level of study Mode of study
  • Unknown accommodation type (2012/13)

    The University of Strathclyde has a significant proportion (87%) of their full-time and sandwich students whose term time accommodation is not categorised by type and therefore display’s as unknown.

    The Queen’s University of Belfast has a significant proportion (69%) of their full-time and sandwich students with an unknown term time accommodation type.

    Stranmillis University College has a significant proportion (66%) of their full-time and sandwich students with an unknown term time accommodation type.

    St Mary’s University College have had technical issues in collecting and reporting term time accommodation data and therefore they have a significant proportion (69%) of their full-time and sandwich students with an unknown term time accommodation type.

    Student Term-time accommodation
  • Veterinary Science students (2015/16)

    The University of Surrey admitted its first small cohort of undergraduates into its new School of Veterinary Medicine in 2014/15. In subsequent years the cohorts will be larger and the degree lasts for 5 years, so it is expected to see noticeable year on year increases in undergraduate numbers in Veterinary Science for The University of Surrey up until 2019/20.

    Student Level of study Subject of study
  • Visiting students (2008/09)

    In 2008/09, the London School of Economics and Political Science misreported 305 full-time other undergraduate visiting students as non-exchange students. As a result these students appear in the provider's other undergraduate figures, where they would normally have been excluded from the HESA session and standard registration populations.

    Student Staff student ratio
  • Year of course (2012/13)

    The Open University has a significant proportion (99%) of their students with an unknown year of course. The flexible nature of study at The Open University means that the concept of a year of course does not have any meaning and hence almost all taught students are returned as unknown.

    Student Year of course