The Office for Students (OfS) is an evidence-based regulator. This means that we use data and information to inform effective and intelligent regulation in the student interest.
We use different measures to assess performance at providers (‘institutional performance measures’) to inform the evidence which underpins some key areas of our work.
The OfS’s approach to institutional performance measures is informed by our data strategy.
These measures allow us to understand the outcomes that a provider delivers for its students at different stages of the student lifecycle in higher education:
- Applications and access
These describe the makeup of students entering higher education.
- Continuation and completion
These examine whether students continue their studies or not.
- Student views
Students’ perceptions of different aspects of their higher education experience.
- Degree attainment
These examine the numbers of graduates who achieve a first or upper second class degree.
We currently report on whether students are in highly skilled employment or study at a higher level six months after leaving higher education.
Where do we use these measures?
We currently use these measures to provide evidence in the following areas:
We expect to use some or all of these measures to support:
How do we create them?
We produce the measures from individualised student data, collected annually by the Higher Education Statistics Agency and the Education and Skills Funding Agency.
The methods that we use, and the algorithms that we apply to the student data, are explained in a series of technical documents.
Higher education providers registered with the OfS also receive a copy of their individualised student data, to which we have added information that helps them to understand how each student contributes to our institutional performance measures.
Wherever possible we use consistent approaches and definitions to ensure that our evidence base is coherent, and to minimise burden on providers in understanding our methods.
In some uses, we use benchmarking to contextualise institutional performance measures or allow more meaningful comparisons between different student groups and other groups or units of interest.
Latest statistics using institutional performance measures
If you have any queries or feedback about institutional performance measures, please email us at [email protected] or call 0117 931 7230.