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Executive summary


1. This document is the first of a series of publications giving the widening participation1 and non-continuation indicators for higher education (HE) provision registered at HEFCE-funded further education colleges (FECs) in England.

Key points

2. We anticipate this information will be of relevance to FECs and others interested in the participation and retention of HE students at FECs.

3. The indicators in this report are derived from data submitted to the Data Service’s Individualised Learner Record (ILR) and the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) student record for the academic years 2008-09 to 2009‑10. Two tables accompany this document as separate files.

  • Table 1 shows the profile of students from low participation neighbourhoods for young full-time HE entrants registered at FECs in 2009-10.
  • Table 2 shows the breakdown of non-continuation following year of entry, for full-time entrants registered at FECs in 2008-09.

4. Each individual FEC’s data are compared with a sector-adjusted average. The methods used to calculate the indicators provided by this document are intended to be as consistent as possible with the UK Higher Education Performance Indicators published by HESA, for Higher Educations Institutions (HEIs).

5. We intended to produce these indicators annually. HEFCE intend to publish Table 1 for entrants in 2010-11, and Table 2 for entrants in 2009-10, later in 2012.

Action required

6. This document is for information only.


1 Indicators referred to throughout this publication as participation indicators are those that look at the profile of students in HE with respect to characteristics associated with under-represented groups.

Date: 21 August 2012

Ref: HEFCE 2012/20

To: Heads of HEFCE-funded further education colleges, Heads of HEFCE-funded higher education institutions

Of interest to those
responsible for:

Student management, Quality assurance, Widening participation

Enquiries should be directed to:

For queries relating to the content of this document and its supporting tables, please contact Alison Brunt, tel 0117 931 7166, e-mail

For queries relating to HEFCE’s policy in respect of higher education provision registered at further education colleges that are not covered by this report, please contact Ruth Tucker, tel 0117 931 7367, e-mail