Tailored datasets

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Unlock analytical insights about the UK higher education sector.

Tailored datasets are bespoke extracts of HESA data. Our team of highly skilled analysts have a long and successful history of producing these bespoke extracts and provision of data analysis across all aspects of higher education (HE) in the UK.

Higher education providers across the UK submit data annually to the following HESA data collections:

  • Students: studying at UK higher education providers or abroad for UK provider accredited qualifications
  • Staff: at UK higher education providers
  • Estates management: management of estates at UK higher education providers including energy consumption
  • Graduate outcomes: a survey of students leaving higher education conducted fifteen months after graduation
  • Higher Education Business and Community Interaction (HE-BCI): how universities interact with local businesses and community engagement
  • Finance: finances of UK higher education providers
  • Destination of leavers from higher education (DLHE): a survey of students leaving higher education conducted six months after graduation. The final survey took place in 2016/17

Explore the data fields and definitions within the record collections on the HESA website.

Visit the HESA data collection pages for technical descriptions about the data collected (please note, not all the fields listed are available for purchase via tailored datasets due to data protection restrictions).

The 2022/23 student data is based on the new model which replaces the former Student record and Student Alternative record introduced by the Data Futures programme. Read our frequently asked questions for more information.

HESA data, powered by Jisc

HESA data is collected by the data collection and statistic directorate in Jisc and is the expert provider of data on the UK higher education sector. The directorate collects, assures, and disseminates data about higher education (HE) in the UK on behalf of statutory bodies. Jisc is the designated data body (DDB) for England.

Insights available through tailored datasets

  • Entry tariffs and A-level points
  • Investment planning
  • Travel and student flow
  • Leagues tables
  • Equal opportunities monitoring
  • Market assessment
  • Academic departments and courses
  • FE students at HE institutions
  • Graduate salaries
  • Student continuation rates
  • Post-study employment
  • Masters and PhD study
  • Student/staff ratios
  • Provider trends and benchmarking
  • HE institution location
  • Domicile of students

Customers we support

We support a wide range of customers with their higher education research challenges including:

  • Education sector providers
  • Students and academic researchers
  • Professional membership bodies
  • Public, statutory and regulatory bodies
  • Charities and not-for-profit HE sector agencies
  • Local, national and international governments
  • Government departments, agencies and public bodies
  • Media, research and think tanks
  • Professional services and management consultancies
  • Technology and transportation services
  • Financial services
  • Construction and accommodation providers
  • Engineering and industrial
  • Consumer products and retail

How to buy a tailored dataset

The process of purchasing a tailored dataset begins with either a conversation with one of our expert data analysts or by submitting our data request form.

We will help you finalise your data requirements and will advise you of any important information regarding the HESA data you have requested. Once your final tailored dataset specification has been agreed we produce a quotation for your approval.

As soon as you accept your quotation, you will be sent a contract to sign electronically. Upon receipt of your signed contract, your tailored dataset will then be extracted and quality assured in accordance with our delivery timescales.

Request or update tailored datasets

Further information

Higher education providers who return HESA data for tailored datasets

Citing data when publicising tailored dataset analysis

Data should be attributed to Jisc with the following wording:

“Copyright Jisc 2024.

Neither Jisc nor Jisc Services Limited can accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from data or other information supplied by Jisc or Jisc Services Limited.”

In addition, where the data includes derived fields containing third party data, these additional terms, attributions and caveats will apply.

How Jisc as data controller for tailored datasets complies with data protection

We ensure privacy and data protection compliance by only supplying the minimum amount of HESA data necessary for any research project, and only for the specified statistical and research purposes.

Part of the mechanism for complying with data protection principles is to ensure the data we are publishing, or sharing is adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary. We will therefore generally provide rounded aggregate data, and any individual level data will be anonymised. We will not supply names and addresses.

Read more about Jisc's data protection roles.

Protecting the personal data you receive

To purchase tailored datasets you must comply with the licence agreement as detailed in your contract which ensures that data is only used in ways that are compatible with what we’ve told students and staff will happen with their data.

Accessing Open Data

See the most recent Open Data releases on the HESA website.

Earlier academic years of data are available from the publication archive. 

For more information about the Open Data and Statistical Releases please contact the official statistics team on official.statistics@hesa.ac.uk or 0333 015 1170.

Data that cannot be sourced via Open Data can be requested via our tailored dataset services.

Why the HESA data you're citing could be different from your data

There are several reasons why reports based on HESA data that have been published by a different organisation might not match our publications.

We provide bespoke data on an ad hoc basis to a number of different groups/bodies, for example funding councils, institutions, local councils etc.

  • As the data is provided on a bespoke basis, the populations used may not be those used in our publications
  • There may also be additional restrictions in the data, for example a report could be looking at just full-time and sandwich students, or just first-year students etc
  • Furthermore, in some of the data requests that we receive, our clients request their own specified field groupings. For example, while we have standard subject group (Subject Area and Principal Subject), clients can request these to be grouped differently so that it better suits their analysis

Jisc can attempt to match the data for you if required but will not be able to do this if there is not enough information about how the report has been created. Please note that Jisc cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived from HESA data by third parties.

If we can match the data, we will be able to update reports for you (this would be subject to standard Jisc tailored datasets charges). If we are unable to match the data, then as an alternative we would suggest creating a new bespoke report for you.

Pricing

Tailored datasets are priced to reflect the cost of the complete service from expert analyst advice on your requirements to preparing an agreement for your tailored dataset to processing and supply of the tailored dataset to you.

On average a tailored dataset costs approximately £2,800 + VAT, although this varies considerably depending on your exact data requirements and is calculated on a bespoke basis. Any costs associated with the processing of the data to your exact requirements increases with the complexity and the size of the tailored dataset.

Contact our data analysts for a quote by submitting our data request form.

How we offer discounts

There are some costs associated with the supply of a tailored dataset which we are unable to offer a discount on, such as preparation of the agreement for supply of the tailored dataset.

Discounts are offered on any costs associated with the data as follows:

  • To member HE providers of at least 25% discount on any costs associated with the data
  • To academic researchers and students undertaking postgraduate studies receive 85% discount on any costs associated with the data. Read the terms and conditions (pdf)

Please contact data.analytics@jisc.ac.uk for more information.

Timescales

Our turnaround times for standard tailored datasets is up to 20 days. If possible, depending on our current workload, we will endeavour to supply data earlier than the expected delivery date.

The timescales quoted include time for the data to be extracted, quality assured and then supplied in your preferred format.

The quoted delivery timeframe begins once a signed contract is returned to us, so does not include any time taken to agree the specification and quotation.

We will confirm your delivery timescales during the discussion about your tailored dataset request. If you have a specific deadline that you are working to, please inform our analysts as soon as possible so that we can advise if we can meet this timescale.

Support

For customer support, or if you have any issues accessing or downloading your tailored datasets please contact our customer success team on 0333 015 1170 or customer.success@jisc.ac.uk

ISO certification

This service is included within the scope of our ISO9001 certificate.

Read more about International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) standards and view Jisc certificates.

ISO 9001-2015 UKAS logo

Other HE data sources

You can find further information about the higher education sector from the following organisations:

Student information

Graduate destinations information

Staff information

Finances information

The HE funding councils produce reports related to their work of funding, regulating and monitoring Higher Education providers:

Further education (FE) data

For 1972 to 1993/94, Further Education Statistical Record (FESR) collected data from the former polytechnics and HE colleges – further information in this area is available from The Department for Education. In addition to this, we produced the publication 'Higher Education Statistics for the United Kingdom' for 1992/93, in conjunction with the Government Statistical Service. The volume for 1994/95 also includes a supplement to cover 1992/93.