Aggregate offshore definitions
The following definitions relate to our Aggregate offshore record 2007/08 to 2020/21. Before this, offshore data was collected as part of the Student record. We would advise caution when analysing the 2007/08 data from this record as the data quality is not of the same standard as that of more recent years.
It should be noted that for many years Oxford Brookes had a very large population of offshore students, up until 2018/19. In 2018/19, they accounted for 39% of the population. In 2019/20 this reduced to 1% of the population following a change in reporting practices. The majority of these students were registered with an overseas partner on Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) programmes.
For 2018/19 and earlier years the Aggregate offshore record includes all publicly funded HE providers in the UK and the University of Buckingham. From 2019/20, coverage expanded to include all English providers registered with the Office for Students’ (OfS) in the Approved (fee cap) and Approved categories and all publicly funded HE providers in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Further information relating to the OfS registration categories can be found in section III of Securing student success: Regulatory framework for higher education in England.
The Aggregate offshore record collects data about all students studying (to date) wholly outside the UK, who are either registered with a reporting UK higher education provider (HEP) or who are studying for an award of the reporting HEP. This includes all students active at any point in the reporting period, including students who became dormant part way through the year, and those withdrawing from courses.
From 2019/20, additional data was required from HEPs in England and Wales to also include students who are dormant for the entire reporting year. Students at HEPs in England and Wales who are dormant for the entire year are excluded from published HESA data (except in the circumstance that they successfully complete their course during the reporting year).
The small number of distance learning students studying outside the UK who are funded (e.g. Crown servants overseas and the Services), or considered fundable under Funding Council or Regulating Body Early Statistics rules, are not included in the Aggregate offshore record, but included in the individualised Student record.
Students who commence their studies outside the UK and subsequently come to continue their studies within the UK are included in the Aggregate offshore record up until the point at which they enter the UK, when a full individualised record is required. Students studying under articulation arrangements but who do not meet the criteria of being either registered with the reporting HE provider or studying for an award of the reporting HEI are not included in the record, nor are students who spend a sandwich, language or other year abroad as part of their overall course, which is otherwise UK based.
Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man are counted as being outside the UK, but within the European Union, within the Aggregate offshore record.
For data protection reasons we implement a strategy in published and released tabulations designed to prevent the disclosure of personal information about any individual. This strategy involves rounding all numbers to the nearest multiple of 5 and suppressing percentages and averages based on small populations.
HESA Standard Rounding Methodology:
- All numbers are rounded to the nearest multiple of 5
- Any number lower than 2.5 is rounded to 0
- Halves are always rounded upwards (e.g. 2.5 is rounded to 5)
- Percentages based on fewer than 22.5 individuals are suppressed
- Averages based on 7 or fewer individuals are suppressed
- The above requirements apply to headcounts, FPE and FTE data
- Financial data is not rounded
Total figures are also subject to this rounding methodology after calculation; so the sum of numbers in each row or column may not match the total shown. Suppressed values are normally represented as '..' in published tables.
This methodology is sometimes referred to as the HESA Services Standard Rounding Methodology, HESA’s Rounding Methodology or the Heidi Plus Rounding Methodology depending on the context of the reference. These names all refer to the same methodology described here.
For more information on the rounding methodology, including worked examples and instructions on how to apply rounding, please see Rounding and suppression to anonymise statistics.
HESA provides higher education providers (HEPs) with the opportunity to make post-collection amendments to a dataset through the fixed database facility. The fixed database collection opens following the closure of the corresponding live data collection, and remains open for between 6 and 15 months, depending on the data stream; typically longer for the Student record and shorter for other collections. Onward use of information whilst it remains open (for example in HESA open data) will normally be based on the original data collected and not on any amended data submitted through the fixed database facility. Onward use of information after closure of a fixed database will usually be based on the fixed data. For further information about the changes please contact us via [email protected].
Country of overseas provision data is supplied to HESA in the form of country codes. Countries are mapped to geographical regions, informed by the National Statistics Country Classification 2006 grouping of countries. Further details can be found here.
Within the European Union includes students whose location of study country was a European Union (EU) member state. This includes Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Irish Republic, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden. Figures from location of study in the Åland Islands, the Canary Islands, and the French overseas departments of French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte and Réunion are included in this category. Croatia is additionally included in this category from 2013/14 onwards, having acceded to EU on July 1st 2013.
Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man, for the purposes of these tables, are counted as within the European Union. (Officially, the Crown Dependencies of Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man are not part of the UK or the EU).
Outside the European Union includes students whose location of study country was outside the EU.
Level of study is taken from the level of provision and describes the qualification that will be obtained as a result of successful completion of studies. It is based on the coding frame used for course aim in the Student record.
HESA classifies courses according to a framework which aligns with the framework for HE qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (FHEQ), the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) (of which the framework for qualifications of HE providers in Scotland is a constituent part) and the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) and Bologna frameworks. Details are available within the student courseaim field specification. It includes level M for taught masters degrees, and level H for honours degrees.
- Postgraduate (research) includes doctorate and masters degrees studied primarily through research (levels D and L).
- Postgraduate (taught) includes doctorate and masters degrees not studied primarily through research (levels E and M).
- First degree includes bachelors degrees with honours and ordinary bachelors degrees (levels H and I).
- Other undergraduate includes qualification aims equivalent to and below first degree level (levels J and C).
- Further education includes qualifications at FE level (level P and below).
Each higher education provider is allocated two different unique identifiers:
Higher education provider identifier (INSTID) is the unique identifier allocated to a provider by HESA.
UK Provider Reference Number (UKPRN) is the unique identifier allocated to a provider by the UK Register of Learning Providers (UKRLP).
For a list of the HE provider mergers and changes from the 1994/95 academic year onwards see Provider mergers and changes.
Type of activity defines the arrangements under which overseas programmes are provided.
Students registered at a UK higher education provider
Overseas campus of reporting provider includes those studying at a campus set up as a branch campus of the parent provider, and as such it is seen as no different from any other campus of the provider.
Distance, flexible or distributed learning denotes educational provision leading to an award of an awarding provider delivered and/or supported and/or assessed through means which generally do not require the student to attend particular classes or events at particular times and particular locations. (There are a small number of distance learning students studying outside the UK who are funded (e.g. Crown servants overseas and the Services). These students are returned in the Student record and not included in the Aggregate offshore record.
Other arrangement including collaborative provision denotes provision leading to an award of an awarding provider delivered and/or supported and/or assessed through an arrangement with a partner organisation. Collaborative provision, sometimes described as 'franchised' provision includes consortia and joint award arrangements.
Students studying for an award of a UK higher education provider
Students studying for an award of a UK HEI are not registered students of the reporting provider but are studying for an award of the reporting provider, and are registered at an Overseas partner organisation or via some Other arrangement.