UCAS collects data from its applicants as well as course providers. This section includes information about the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), and details about UCAS Data for HESA Transaction (also known as STAR (*) J).
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What are HESA returns?
HESA collects eight main data sets:
- Destinations of leavers from higher education (DLHE)
- Longitudinal DLHE
- Finance Statistics with HE-BCI
- Initial Teacher Training
- Aggregate offshore
UCAS provides data to assist course providers in their Student record return to HESA. This is provided to providers through UCAS Data for HESA Transaction (previously known as *J transaction).
HESA data is collected from the course providers and represents student enrolments; the data which is provided by UCAS relates to the final number of students who have accepted a course offer, but does not track whether the student actually enrolled or changed course or institution.
What is the Student record?
- The Student record contains over 150 pieces of information for each student currently studying a course that leads to a qualification or credit at a higher education institution.
- The data contains information on the subject of study chosen, entry qualification and student characteristics.
- The data is collected for all students who are (or were) actively following a programme of study at some time during the reporting period (1 August – 31 July).
- The final submission is made to HESA in September every year.
Who uses the Student record data?
The Student record data is used by HESA to:
- produce a range of annual publications presenting data both in detail and at a more general level
- complete statistical analysis to inform policy development in the higher education sector as well as future development of the HESA database and use of the data elsewhere.
The HESA record is used by the following organisations, or agents acting on their behalf, to carry out their public functions connected with education in the UK:
- Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
- Welsh Assembly Government
- Scottish Government
- Department for Employment and Learning, Northern Ireland
- Higher Education Funding Council for England
- Higher Education Funding Council for Wales
- Scottish Further and Higher Education Funding Council
- Teaching Agency
- Research Councils
- Department for Education.
The Student record data is also used by other organisations in:
- newspaper and online league tables
- guides to higher education, helping prospective students choose which university to apply to.
What is UCAS Data for HESA?
There are a number of fields included in the transaction, and a specification is available that describes the fields, as well as any translations from UCAS to HESA coding.
Access to UCAS Data for HESA transaction
Course providers will be able to obtain this transaction from UCAS through a number of routes:
(a) A flat-file type structure
(b) odbc-link directly into tables
The following documents give details of the format for the 'FLAT' file for *J data from HESA (see Related documents).
- UCAS data
- CUKAS data
- GTTR data.
The UCAS Data for HESA transaction will be available at the end of an application cycle, once examination results have been confirmed; this is usually mid to late November.
The structure of the transaction is one record per accepted student.
The transaction cannot be split into an entity structure. To give an example of this, and as a starting point, course-related information is provided assigned to each student according to course applied for and qualifications are provided as a repeating group of fields.
Students included in the transaction are those placed in an application cycle for a given year. Deferred students will be included in the transaction of their year of application, and will continue for every year that they are a live applicant.
Changes to the UCAS Data for HESA transaction 2012/13
The codes in fields SBJQA1, SBJQA2 and SBJQA3 will now be JACS3 compliant.
The ethnicity coding frame used in field ETHNIC has been amended to reflect new ethnicity values introduced in the 2010 Census.
The derivation of the QUALENT3 and the P91 Rule has been changed to take into account multiple Level 3 qualifications declared by the applicant as part of the Application process and not collected through ABL. Code P91 (Mixed Level 3 qualifications of which some or all are subject to UCAS Tariff) has been removed and been replaced by codes P93 (Mixed Level 3 qualifications of which all are subject to UCAS Tariff) and P94 (Mixed Level 3 qualifications of which some are subject to UCAS Tariff).
The following new fields have been added to the UCAS Data for HESA Transaction for purely information purposes. These fields do not have to be submitted to HESA:
- HIQA – This field will represent the Highest Qualification an applicant has declared they have attained as entered in Apply. It uses the same coding frame as the field QUALENT3.
- HIQE – This field will represent the Highest Qualification and applicant has declared they are expecting as entered in Apply. It uses the same coding frame as the field QUALENT3.
These fields have been included to help provide a fuller picture of an applicant's qualification record to aid HEIs in the coding QUALENT3.
Assistance with UCAS Data for HESA
If you require any assistance or information in regards to the 2012 entry return, please refer to the HESA website where you will find information on the 2012/13 Student return.
If you require any reference material in regards to 2011 entry, please refer to the document below. Please note that this document should only be used for reference purposes for the HESA student return made in 2011 entry.
For a list of Previous Institution PREVINST Codes please see the related documents.
UCAS member institutions: PREVINST Codes (You will need to be logged in to access this file.)
Non-UCAS member institutions: PREVINST Codes (Please note: this file only includes those schools where the PREVINST Code is based on the UCAS School Code.)