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HESA Subscription and HERA

The new subscription model has been developed to accommodate the requirements placed upon HESA by the Higher Education and Research Act 2017 (HERA). These requirements have been met and measures have been implemented to ensure fair and consistent fees for all UK HE providers.

Section 67 of HERA specifies that the Designated Data Body may charge fees and how those fees must be calculated. 

67 Power of designated body to charge fees

(1) A designated body may charge an annual fee to any registered higher education provider in respect of costs incurred, or to be incurred, by the body in the performance by the body of its functions under this Act.

(2) The amount of a fee payable by a registered higher education provider under this section may be calculated by reference to costs incurred, or to be incurred, by the body in the performance by the body of any of its functions under this Act which are unconnected with the provider.

(3) The total fees payable under this section in any period of 12 months must not exceed the total costs incurred by the body in that period in the performance by the body of its functions under this Act.

(4) The designated body must publish—

(a)a statement of the amount of the fees which it charges under this section and the basis on which they are calculated, and

(b)revised statements where the amount of the fees or the basis on which they are calculated changes.

(5) “Designated body” has the same meaning as in section 66.

Each year’s subscription fee covers the costs of statutory and non-statutory activity in that year, made up of direct and indirect or overhead costs. Overhead costs must be proportionately allocated across all HESA activity – both statutory and non-statutory. No service or collection is allowed to cross-subsidise other activity, nor can it be provided at a marginal cost. This means  that the number of services, or provider take-up of services, can impact the cost of both statutory and non-statutory services.

For example, the total cost of running EMR consists of the direct costs to the collection of EMR data and a proportion of the costs of running HESA. This is the total cost of running the EMR collection, and this cost is shared between participating providers. The cost per-provider of participating in EMR will therefore reduce for each provider as the number taking part increases.

Total costs are apportioned between England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland according to a variety of cost drivers, such as the number of HE providers in each nation or the number of student instances in each nation. Each national total is then apportioned between HE providers in that nation through a combination of a flat fee and a per student fee. 

Statutory fees do not (and cannot) subsidise non-statutory activity, and fees from each UK nation do not subsidise activity undertaken in or for the other nations.

See HESA Subscription – how we calculate our fee to see the charges you will pay for statutory and non-statutory subscription services. 

Statutory subscription model

For the period February 2020 to January 2021, and annually thereafter, the subscription model will change so that the fixed fee per provider and per-student charge may vary according to nation and provider type.

Aggregate Offshore Record

The fee for AOR will be based on per-student capitation only with a cap. 

Graduate Outcomes subscription

Participation in the Graduate Outcomes survey is a statutory requirement for all UK HE providers. This service is a statutory activity of HESA and is identified as a seperate lined when invoiced. The capitation charge for Graduate Outcomes is determined by numbers of graduates rather than numbers of students. 

See Graduate Outcomes Subscription.

Non-statutory services

Separate subscription rates are charged for non-statutory services. These are explained on the main Subscription Information page and summarised on HESA Subscription – how we calculate our fee.