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HESA Subscription - how we calculate our statutory fee

For explanations of why we charge the various fees in the way that we do see HESA Subscription and HERA.

Our subscription year runs from 1 February to 31 January. This will be made up of 2 subscription periods. Subscription fees will be invoiced bi-annually to cover these subscription periods and enable allow for any potential adjustments during the year.

National cost distribution

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 cannot subsidise England. This contributes to the subscription fees being different in each country.

Per-provider fee

The per-provider fee is different in England to other nations in the UK. It also varies based on provider type or registration status. 

The main driver for this difference is that the services deemed statutory for each subscriber category, within each nation (e.g. in England non-‘fee cap’ providers are not required to return Staff).

An additional factor is that a significant proportion of HESA’s costs are driven by the number of providers rather than the numbers of students and the per-provider fee seeks to recognise this.

Per-student fee

The per-student fee supports the above principles. As the costs are driven by a combination of provider and student numbers, the fact that England has a higher number of, on average smaller providers, means that a higher per-student cost is applicable in England.

The HESA subscription has always had an underlying principle that larger providers subsidise smaller providers to a certain extent, this feature remains in the new subscription model. By this differential relating to the per-student fee rather than the per-provider fee it means that this is linked to provider size rather than subscription category.

Separate subscription models apply to statutory and non-statutory/optional activities. The subscription rates for statutory activities cover only the costs of providing statutory services. Non-statutory activities are subject to VAT, but statutory activities are not.

See HESA Subscription for details.

Total statutory subscription


Graduate Outcomes will also be invoiced bi-annually on the same February to January schedule. See Graduate Outcomes Subscription.

Heidi Plus will continue to be charged on an August to July model, as is explained on the Heidi Plus Subscription pages. In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland this separate invoice is considered part of your Statutory Subscription.

Total subscription

The total subscription will include the statutory fee plus any optional services. Services that are included in the statutory fee vary between nations - see Subscription information for detail. 

Total subscription = statutory + optional