HESES20 training webinar session three: Identifying and counting students to be included in HESES20

A series of online training webinars on how to complete the Higher Education Students Early Statistics 2020-21 (HESES20) data return.

By attending this series, you will:

  • learn how to complete and submit the HESES20 data return with a sufficient level of technical understanding to return surveys with high quality data
  • understand how OfS funding is allocated and how individual teaching grant allocations are calculated from student survey data.

About this session

This webinar will covered:

  • how to count student years
  • how to make forecasts of non-completion and full-time equivalence (FTE)
  • how to complete the healthcare tables in HESES20.

Watch the webinar

See the slides

Questions and answers

Questions and answers from the session are provided below. 

If a student leaves within two weeks of starting their instance they should not be recorded in HESES. If a student has completed more than two weeks of study before the census date but then withdraws after the census date, they should be recorded in HESES and be counted as a non-completion.

A standard year of instance is one where all activity for the year of instance is entirely within one academic year (1 August to 31 July). If the activity crosses from one academic year into the next, then this is considered a non-standard year. However, if the course has been ‘extended’ by a new year of instance being started, then that new year of instance should be recorded in HESES20. It is possible that the mode of study may change from full-time to part-time.

HESES20 records counts of years of instance for students (regardless of whether or not the student is repeating a year) aiming for a recognised higher education qualification or higher education level credit that can be counted towards one.

You may want to email us at [email protected] to confirm whether these courses should or should not be included in HESES20.

You would record this student's year of instance as a standard year for both years of this course. It is important to note that they did not complete in year one and it is possible that they may change their mode of study between years one and two, which should be recorded appropriate in the HESES return.

There are examples of this in the HESES guidance similar to this situation in Annexes C and D. Email us directly at [email protected] if you want to double-check.

Correct. The start date for the year of instance is the date when the student first started studying towards the qualification, or its anniversary. If the first year of instance becomes countable between the census date and 31 July, then they are included in Column 2 of the appropriate table in their first year and, in later years, would be similarly returned in Column 2 of subsequent HESES returns.

No, as that student’s year of instance starts after the census date. On the anniversary of that date in subsequent years, the student should be included in Column 2 of in HESES20 and in Column 2 of subsequent HESES returns as they continue their studies.

For the purposes of HESES, they are considered non-completions. Note that completion is judged against the student’s study intention at the start of the year. As detailed in Annex D of the HESES guidance, in some cases providers’ regulations allow credit to be given because of the level attained in other modules: this would not be treated as completion for funding purposes, even though the provider may allow the student to progress. We would not expect these students to be included in your non-completion data as the non-completion is due to exceptional circumstances and would skew the data.

To be counted as a completion, the final assessment for a particular module counted within the year of instance must take place within 13 calendar months of the start of the year of instance. Depending on the start or anniversary of the student's year of instance, it is possible that a re-sit exam in November or December 2020 may still be within this 13-month period and therefore the student can be counted as a completion for HESES purposes.

As long as the student undergoes the final assessment for the module they should be defined as a completion. It is likely however that their mode and/or FTE would change for this year of instance.

Correct. To complete a module, a student must undergo the final assessment of the module or meet one of the other criteria. The final assessment for a module is the one that has its first occurrence on the latest normal due date: the timing of re-sits and coursework extensions should therefore be disregarded when determining the final assessment date.

This is a sensible approach.

The level at which you calculate non-completion rates depends on your individual provider circumstances, and you might bear in mind such factors as different courses, years and modes all having different non-completion rates. You may wish to look at a sample of courses and determine their non-completion rates and investigate if these are influenced by any specific factors that could then impact your non-completion estimates. It is up to you to determine whether looking at course level non-completions gives you the best possible estimate.

It depends on your provider circumstances.

If you have been operating before but have not been completing FUNDCOMP, then you can use your own internal estimates of non-completion.

If you are a completely new, we recommend that you contact us directly at [email protected] to discuss further.

The concept of a 'new entrant' is relevant to all providers who are completing HESES, as new entrants are recorded in Table 5 and all providers are expected to have data to enter into this table. The concept of a 'new starter' is only relevant in Tables 6a, 6b, and 6c and will only apply to a small subset of providers.

In sub columns a and b of Tables 6, you record all of your students, no matter what year they are in. In sub column c, you record the subset of those in sub columns a and b who are starters in 2020-21.

Correct. In terms of completion by way of undergoing the final assessment of a module, this refers to the activity of the student in sitting an exam or submitting coursework rather than that of an assessment board in assessing the achievement of the student.

This webinar was run as part of a series of HESES20 training webinars. Please see our events page for details of other sessions.

If you have any questions about these webinars please email [email protected].

See our privacy notice for OfS Zoom webinars.

Published 24 August 2020
Last updated 04 November 2020
04 November 2020
Added FAQ from webinar
06 October 2020
Recording and slides published
01 October 2020
Two additional HESES20 workbook exercises sessions added
16 September 2020
Registration links added for the two HESES workbook sessions

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