Data plays a key role in informing a number of our activities, including allocating funding for teaching, Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) assessments, and public information to inform student choice. These processes rely on data that higher education providers supply to the Office for Students and partner organisations.
What data is used?
The data we use includes:
Assessing the data
We seek to ensure that the data is fit for purpose in a mix of ways:
- Data audit - We audit statistical surveys, as well as HESA and Individualised Learner Record (ILR) data, to ensure that the rules on how to populate the returns set out in publications have been applied correctly.
- Data reconciliation - As part of our work to monitor the data that universities and colleges supply we carry out annual reconciliation exercises. These compare data returned to the OfS with HESA or ILR data.
- Data verification - We carry out data verification on HESA and ILR data during the period of data cleansing before formal sign-off or submission of data to HESA or the ESFA by providers. We aim to help providers ensure their data is accurate at the time of submission and fit for purpose (although responsibility for this lies with the provider). We highlight areas where data appears unusual, so that the provider can review the data to ensure it is correct. This should reduce the need for changes to data post-submission, which is both costly and time-consuming for providers and for the OfS.
If you need any further information on data assurance, please email us at [email protected].