Department of Student and Academic Administration

Higher Education Students Early Statistics Survey (HESES)

What is HESES?

It is the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) annual survey providing a count of the number of students on recognised Higher Education (HE) courses on the 1st of December. The three main tables require information to be split by mode, level of study, and nominal price band as well as being grouped according to whether their enrolment start is pre or post December and whether they are HOME/EU fundable, HOME/EU non-fundable and International. Other tables provide more specific information pertaining to year abroad, funding planning, sub-contract/Franchise, and Health courses. 

The main outcomes of the survey are that it will:

    • Give an early indication, for purposes including government planning, of the number of HE students studying in the current academic year
    • Together with data supplied to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), inform the allocation of teaching funds for the next academic year

HEFCE will compare this forecast with the student HESA and if there are significant differences there may be a funding claw-back.

What information does it use?

As a funding return it includes an actual count of students enrolled as at the first of December and an estimate of the number likely to be enrolled from December to July. The latter estimate is obtained by counting the previous year's enrolments for the same period and adjusting according information provided by the faculties and departments. Because of the funding focus it concentrates on 'active' students based in the UK excluding those who are; dormant, interrupted or withdrawn before the first of December, writing up, or exchange. 

Apart from counting course enrolments, unit enrolments along with the course and unit information e.g. JACs and HESA academic cost centre associated to them is used to correctly categorise the information required.   

Because of the different criteria used the student numbers can vary from not only the figures produced out of the HESA student record but also any ad-hoc operational reporting. 

What are the key dates?

21 July 2018 Changes notified
4 September 2018 HESES18 beginners’ workshop
Early October 2018 Workbook available
01 December 2018 Census date
10 December 2018 Deadline date
17 December 2018 Data verification queries raised
28 January 2019 Sign off
January to February 2019

HESES evaluation


Who does it involve?

The HESES is wide ranging and involves faculties and departments within the Department of Student Academic Administration (DSAA) with inputs from Planning.