Data provided to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA)

1. About HESA

The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) is the official agency for the collection, analysis and dissemination of quantitative information about higher education in the UK. It was set up, by agreement between the relevant government departments, the higher education funding councils and the universities and colleges, in 1993, following the White Paper Higher Education, a new framework, which called for more coherence in HE statistics, and the 1992 Further and Higher Education Acts, which established an integrated higher education system throughout the United Kingdom.

In line with the statutory framework within which HESA operates the mission of HESA is:

To provide a system of data collection, analysis, and dissemination in relation to higher education in the whole of the United Kingdom that:

  • delivers, on a charitable basis, the information required by higher education institutions for their planning and development; and,operating on behalf of the higher education sector,
  • supports and enhances the ability of Government and its agencies to determine higher education policy and allocate funding, and does all this to standards of quality that assure fitness-for-purpose, at costs that provide best value, and in a manner designed to minimise compliance burdens on institutions.

2. Personal data collected by HESA

The University is required by law to send some of your personal data annually to HESA. HESA holds coded information on students and staff in Universities and Higher Education (HE) Colleges, known as Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). HESA uses the records for statistical analysis, statistical data for research and commercial uses under strict conditions (see Section 4 – Further Information for Students and Section 5 - Further Information for Staff below). Individuals are allowed to withdraw their record from HESA analyses.

Further information on this and on the categories of information held by HESA (for both Student and Staff) is available via the HESA website.

3. Sensitive data

The categories of sensitive data (which are subject to stricter conditions of processing) collected by HESA are ethnicity and disability. Sensitive data is collected for participation monitoring required by government. The University is obliged to ask staff and students for this information, however staff and students may refuse to give it.

4. Collection Notices

Principle 1 of the Data Protection Act 1998 (“the Act”) requires information to be provided, or made readily available to data subjects so that they are not deceived or misled as to the purposes for which their data is to be processed. The Scope of what is done with your personal information by HESA after it has been submitted by the University is set out in the following Collection Notices:

The Collection Notices also contains the contact details for HESA for access requests to your information held by HESA.

5. Further Information for Students

Your record will be added to a database that will be passed to the central government departments and agencies and devolved administrations that need the data to carry out their functions under the statutory framework governing the UK Higher Education sector. The data will also be used in an anonymised form for statistical analysis by HESA and the above bodies, the result of which will be published and released to other approved non-statutory users, including academic researchers and commercial bodies. They are never used to affect individuals.

6. Further Information for Staff

Your personal information is sent to HESA annually, in a coded and anonymised form. Your record is added to a database that is passed to central government departments and agencies and devolved administrations that need the data to carry out their functions under the statutory framework governing the UK Higher Education sector. It is also used for statistical analysis by HESA and the above bodies, the result of which will be published and released to other approved non-statutory users, including academic researchers and unions.