The Office for Students calculates student numbers for various regulatory purposes. These include setting OfS registration fees and assessing applications for degree awarding powers and university title.
This page contains technical information about the detailed method behind student number calculations. It is intended primarily for those who are familiar with the individualised student data we use, and who may be interested in understanding or recreating our calculations.
Methodology and technical information
Errata for overview document
- 27 March 2019: The method document was updated to reflect the changes made to the student number algorithms, following feedback from higher education providers.
Errata for technical document
- January 2018: Updated to correct a field name in footnote 6.
- 27 March 2019: Following feedback from higher education providers, we made changes to the algorithms to exclude those ILR records which have been closed to correct an incorrect LEARNPLANENDDATE, to exclude ILR records which relate to teaching provision rather than registered provision, and to use the PRIORLEARNFUNDADJ field to determine the proportion of a course that each ILR record represents.
The previous version stated that the algorithms would apply to applications for transfer from the further education to the higher education sector received on or after 1 August 2019. This has been updated to 1 April 2019.