HESES20 training webinar session two: Categorising your students using HESES20 definitions

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 covered:

  • who should be included in the HESES survey
  • how to categorise students by mode, level of study, and subject
  • how to categorise your students by residential and funding status
  • how to determine which of your students are ‘new entrants.’

Watch the webinar

See the slides

Questions and answers

Questions and answers from the session are provided below. 

To be counted, years of instance generated by a student in the HESES population require that a fee be charged for tuition. If a student is self-funded and pays their own tuition fees, this alone does not exclude them from the HESES population.

It is important to understand which provider is responsible for returning students in their HESES workbook when there is a sub-contractual or other partnership relationship between different higher education institutions.

If an FE provider is responsible for returning the students in the HESES workbook, then they would use LDCS codes and not HECoS codes that are associated with the particular learning aim, splitting these if appropriate.

Please see Annex A (starting at paragraph 6) of the HESES20 guidance for more detail.

For undergraduate students, long years of instance typically occur in accelerated programmes where the qualification is achieved in a much shorter time than normal.

For part-time courses, the distinction will depend on the length of each year for an equivalent full-time course. The number of weeks attended within the year of instance for part-time students is irrelevant in determining whether the year of instance is long.

The equivalent full-time course used should be the same as that used in calculating the full-time equivalence (FTE). More information on long years of instance can be found in Annex J of the HESES20 guidance.

To be classed as actively studying, a student should be engaged with a structured course and this will include lectures, classes, self-study, revision and completion of assessments such as course work and exams that are part of the structured course. If a student is re-sitting an assessment without teaching this is not classed as active study; but if they are re-sitting a whole module, for example with the teaching element, then this would be.

If the year of instance is 45 weeks or more in length because of a period of work-based study, then the year of instance is not counted as long. This applies to both learning in the workplace and work experience, including work placements. Sandwich years out cannot therefore be recorded as long, nor would we generally expect foundation degrees, qualifications taken as part of an apprenticeship or years of instance for pre-registration courses in nursing, midwifery and allied health to be recorded as long.

Please see Annex J of the HESES20 guidance for more information.

Providers should take reasonable steps to test the accuracy of the entry qualifications reported by their students. An equivalent or lower qualification (ELQ) is a qualification that is no higher than one that a given student has already achieved. The two key considerations in determining whether a student is aiming for an ELQ are the academic levels of the qualifications already awarded to the student and the academic levels of the qualifications that the student has stated they are aiming for. If the qualifications already achieved are not known, the student should be treated as if aiming for an ELQ.

See Annex F of the HESES20 guidance for more information.

It is worth noting here that a foundation course is different from a foundation degree. A foundation course (or foundation year) is not designated as higher education (HE) as it is Level 3 in the framework of higher education qualifications (FHEQ) and HE levels start at Level 4. It is worth noting that a foundation year may be reported in HESES if it is an integrated part of a recognised HE course.

There is further information on this in Annex B of the HESES20 guidance.

A foundation degree is considered higher education as it is Level 5. We treat Levels 4-6 as the same broad undergraduate level, as students are not expected to have a graduate degree to start on these programs. A foundation degree is on the same broad level as a BA and this is why a student moving between the two is not considered a new entrant. For an MA, a normal condition of entry is that entrants are already qualified to a degree level (e.g. Level 6), so a student moving from a BA to an MA is considered a new entrant as these are not on the same broad level.  

For Table 5, students should be classed as new entrants when they meet both the following criteria:

  1. They first generate a countable year of instance for a higher education course recognised for OfS funding purposes.
  2. They have not been active at the same broad level (undergraduate, postgraduate taught or postgraduate research) as a student of the same registering provider in either of the two previous academic years.

ELQ is not used in considering whether a student in a new entrant or a continuing student. For more information, please see Annex C of the HESES20 guidance.

All years of instance in the HESES20 population should be included on either Table 1, 2 or 3 as well as Table 5. Table 5 breaks the HESES population down in a different way than in Tables 1, 2 and 3; it records new entrants as a subset of the whole HESES population. A student's start date determines whether they are recorded as a standard year (Column 1) or non-standard year (Column 2) in all of these tables. For a student who starts after the census date, for example in January 2021, they would be recorded in Column 2 of Table 1, 2 or 3 as well as in Section A of Table 5. In Table 5, they would also be recorded as a new entrant in Section B.

For more information on counting student activity, see Annex C of the HESES20 guidance.

This webinar was run as part of a series of HESES20 training webinars. Please see our events page for details of the 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
01 October 2020
Webinar recording and slides published
16 September 2020
Registration links added for the two HESES workbook sessions

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