Student outcome and experience measures

As an evidence-based regulator, we use data and information to inform effective and intelligent regulation in the student interest. We use a standard set of measures of students’ outcomes and experiences in higher education to inform some key areas of our regulation.

We consulted on the definitions we use in our student outcome and experience measures during 2022.

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:

  • Access
    These describe the characteristics of students entering higher education.
  • Continuation and completion
    These examine whether students continue their studies and gain higher education qualifications 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 1st or 2:1 degree.
  • Progression
    These examine students’ progression into the labour market and other destinations after leaving higher education and report on whether they are employed in managerial or professional roles, undertaking further study or in other positive outcomes

Where do we use these measures?

We currently use these measures to provide evidence in the following areas:

How do we create the measures?

We produce the measures from individualised student data, collected annually by the Higher Education Statistics Agency and the Education and Skills Funding Agency, and from the Graduate Outcomes survey and National Student Survey.

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 student outcome and experience measures.

We use consistent definitions and, wherever possible, similar presentations and approaches 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 the measures or allow more meaningful comparisons between different student groups and other groups or units of interest.

Contact us

If you have any queries or feedback about institutional performance measures, please email us at [email protected] or call 0117 931 7230.

Published 07 May 2020
Last updated 30 September 2022
30 September 2022
Updates to reflect changes to our published measures.
26 July 2022
Minor update to reflect that the analyses of responses to the consultations on student outcomes and teaching excellence have been published
24 March 2022
Minor content update to reflect that the consultation on the construction of student outcome and experience indicators has now closed.
20 January 2022
Link added to consultations on proposals for our regulation of quality and standards.
17 November 2020
Link added to Registration condition B3: 2020 sector-level indicators

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