The factors used to construct benchmarks

We periodically review the selection and grouping of benchmarking factors used in the construction of student outcome and experience measures used in OfS regulation.  

We apply the guiding principles for benchmarking factors to complete these reviews. They normally involve the application of statistical modelling to understand the relationships between a range of candidate benchmarking factors and different student outcomes or experiences in higher education in England.  

Our current benchmarking factors result from a review of the selection and grouping of benchmarking factors in 2022. They are used to calculate benchmarks for the Student outcomes data dashboard, TEF indicators and National Student Survey (NSS) results. 

We expect to review the factors used to benchmark student experience measures constructed from NSS responses in 2024.  

Our current benchmarking factors are:  

Benchmarking factor Continuation Completion Progression Student experience
Year of survey

Level of study

Entry qualifications

Course length

✔ (Part-time only)

✔ (except for apprenticeships)

ABCS quintiles

Geography of employment quintiles

Individual student characteristics




Sex (full-time only)

For more information, see the ‘Benchmarking’ section of our description of student outcome and experience measures.

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