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HESA Subscription Model

This page provides an overview of the new subscription model, applicable from February 2020, for the specific rates associated with this model please see subscription rates page, or for the narrative on why this model has been applied see HESA Subscription and HERA.

Payment and invoicing timings

The new model moves to a subscription year of 1 February to 31 January, which consists of two subscription periods, 1 February - 31 July and 1 August to 31 January. This aligns fee charges with cost-generating activity. All future HESA invoices will be charged in line with these subscription periods.

The annual schedule shows the reasoning for this change. The February to January span is the best fit to incorporate total data collection activity for the year. 

Master data calendar one year

Biannual invoicing

HERA requires fees payable in any twelve-month period to not exceed the costs incurred in the same period. We will therefore need to allow for adjustments to subscriptions. 

Twice yearly invoicing will facilitate this by providing flexibility to recuperate additional costs or discount subscriptions where savings are made, in the same way as happens with energy bills.

Individual invoices will be issued for each of the subscription periods, 1 February to 31 July, and 1 August to 31 January. 

Statutory subscription model

The methodology for calculating the post-February 2020 subscription model includes a per-provider fee and a per student fee.

There are varying requirements across the UK, and HERA requires the distribution of costs between England and the rest of the UK to reflect the differences in services provided.  England cannot subsidise other nations and other nations should not subsidise England.

To facilitate this both per-provider and per-student elements of the subscription fee need to vary depending on whether the provider is in England or in the rest of the UK.

The per-student fee is based upon the Student Instance.

The term 'instance' is used to describe a student's engagement with the HE provider, which, because a student can have more than one instance of engagement, can exceed the number of students.

More information regarding how subscriptions are calculated are on our how we calculate our fees page, with more information about instance and student coverage can be found in our definitions section on the website.

Subscriber categories:

  • England Approved
  • England Approved (fee cap)
  • England Designated for Teach Out
  • England Limited Designation
  • England FEC
  • Scotland Full Subscriber
  • Wales Full Subscriber
  • Wales FEC
  • Northern Ireland Full Subscriber
  • Northern Ireland FEC
  • Optional Subscriber

Optional services subscription

Services covered within the Optional Services Subscription are only applicable in England and Northern Ireland and relate to the following activities. Most optional activities and services fall within the scope of VAT.

This list may change over time, but currently includes:

  • Estates Management Record (EMR) subscription fee
  • Staff outside the statutory coverage of the Staff Record

HESA recommended activities

HESA recommended activities, such as classroom-based training, are charged outside of a subscription fee and are not included within any elements of the subscription. As with the optional services, recommended activities also fall within the scope of VAT.

Heidi Plus

The Heidi Plus service is now provided by Jisc, on behalf of HESA and is invoiced separately to the HESA subscriptions.

As Heidi Plus is not a Statutory requirement of the OFS it will fall within the scope of VAT.

In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland Heidi Plus will continue to be a Statutory requirement and will therefore not attract VAT.

Full details can be found on the Heidi Plus Subscription 2019/20 page.