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Updates should be uploaded to the HEFCE extranet by Friday 27 June 2014.

Dear Vice-Chancellor or Principal

HESA funding and monitoring data (FAMD) 2012-13: Funding summaries and request for updates to completion status data

1. This letter provides higher education institutions with further information about how we have used their Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) data to inform funding allocations for 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15.

2. This letter also asks institutions to provide an update for students whose completion status was reported as undetermined in their 2012-13 HESA return. Updates should be uploaded to the HEFCE extranet by Friday 27 June 2014 (see paragraph 12).

3. We are also making available a number of funding summary outputs which will assist institutions in understanding how their HESA data have been used. If, on consideration of the outputs, institutions identify errors in the HESA data, they may wish to correct them by submitting an action plan to the HEFCE extranet by Friday 4 July 2014 (see paragraph 6).

4. Institutions can access their funding summaries from today. We will write separately to heads of institutions and Higher Education Students Early Statistics (HESES) survey contacts, to provide the necessary access keys to the HEFCE extranet.

Funding summaries

5. The funding summaries contain data that have been used to calculate:

  • revised rates of funding for old-regime mainstream students (and the subsequent application of these rates in the 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 funding for old-regime, mainstream students)
  • 2012-13 funding for old-regime students (mainstream) [Note 1]
  • 2012-13 high-cost funding for new-regime students
  • 2012-13 funding for old-regime students (co-funded)
  • 2012-13 interim postgraduate taught allocation
  • 2014-15 quality-related (QR) Research Degree Programme (RDP) supervision fund
  • 2014-15 Student Opportunity (SO) allocation
  • 2014-15 National Scholarship Programme (NSP) allocation [Note 2].

6. The funding summaries are provided for general information and to bring further transparency to our calculations. We expect institutions to review their outputs with a view to understanding how their data are used to inform funding. As in previous years, institutions may inform us of any errors they identify in their HESA data by submitting an action plan. The deadlines for submission of an action plan and sign-off for amendments are as follows.

  • Friday 4 July 2014 Deadline for the submission of action plans.
  • Friday 25 July 2014 Deadline for sign-off of 2012-13 HESA data amendments.

7. These deadlines will ensure that we can consider whether any changes to HESA data should be reflected in the amended funding allocations to be issued to institutions in October 2014. It is unlikely that we will be able to incorporate responses received after these deadlines in the October 2014 announcement.

8. We originally published the algorithms used to generate the funding summaries in ‘Higher Education Statistics Agency funding and monitoring data (FAMD) 2012-13: Web facility’ (HEFCE Circular letter 22/2013). However, we have made some minor changes where we believe improvements are appropriate.

Completion status survey

9. It is appropriate for the completion status for some students to be reported as ‘undetermined’ on the HESA data return. This occurs when a student has not yet completed their year of study, but is not defined as having ‘non‑completed’ because the student is:

  • on a non-standard year (that is, a year of study that spans two academic years)
  • expected to undergo their final assessment within 13 months of the start of their year of study, these 13 months not having passed by the time the HESA return is compiled. 

10. In the absence of a definitive completion status, we have assumed in our provisional funding calculations that a proportion of such students have completed their year of study [Note 3]. We are asking institutions to update the completion status of any students reported on the 2012-13 HESA student record with an undetermined completion status (FUNDCOMP = 3) via a 2012-13 Completion Status Survey (CSS).

11. In finalising 2012-13 teaching grants for the October 2014 grant announcement, and for grant recalculations for subsequent years, we will replace the 2011‑12 CSS assumptions with the information returned in the 2012-13 CSS. Where institutions do not return the 2012-13 CSS, we will assume all such students on the 2012-13 HESA record are non-completions, and will not therefore count them towards our funding allocations.

12. The 2012-13 CSS workbook, containing pre-filled data for each HEFCE-fundable or employer co-funded student in the HESES population who was returned as FUNDCOMP = 3 in the 2012-13 HESA student record, can be downloaded from the HEFCE extranet. We will write separately to the heads of institutions and HESES contacts with the necessary extranet access keys for the survey. Institutions will need to update the ‘Updated FUNDCOMP’ column and upload the completed workbook to the same web-site. The deadlines for submission and sign-off of the updated CSS return are as follows.

  • Friday 27 June 2014 Deadline for the submission of the updated CSS return.
  • Friday 25 July 2014 Deadline for sign-off.

How we allocate funding

13. Further information about how we fund institutions is provided in the individual grant letters that have been issued to institutions.

Relationship with ‘HESA FAMD 2012-13: Funding data reconciliations’

14. We also use HESA data to monitor other returns that inform funding and student number controls, such as HESES [Note 4]. We will separately release these funding data reconciliations later this year, and may ask institutions to provide explanations for any discrepancies that we identify.

15. The release of the funding data reconciliations will be in two phases. The first, in May 2014, will not incorporate institutions’ responses to the 2012-13 CSS. Therefore, as part of the first phase, we will only contact those institutions where we assess that any differences between the two data sources are not primarily due to the completion status assumptions (for students reported against FUNDCOMP = 3). The second phase will be released later this summer and will incorporate institutions’ responses to the 2012-13 CSS.

16. In addition to our usual funding data reconciliations, paragraph 12 of ‘Funding for universities and colleges for 2012-13 to 2014-15: Board decisions’ (HEFCE Circular Letter 04/2014) explained that we would carry out further work to ensure consistency between the HESA data that inform grant rates and volumes for old-regime students. Details of this further work will be announced later this spring.

Further information

17. General FAMD guidance is available on our web-site. Specific areas that may be of interest are as follows. 

  1. Extranet locations, deadlines and documentation can be found in the ‘2012-13 funding and monitoring data overview’.
  2. Further details about the preparation and submission of action plans can be found in the ‘Guide to action plans’.
  3. Technical information (such as algorithms) is listed in the ‘2012-13 funding and monitoring data overview’.
  4. Further details about the funding summaries, including descriptions of some allocation methods such as that for student opportunity, can be found in the ‘Indicative funding summaries’.
  5. Information on how to obtain data from the HEFCE extranet can be found in the ‘How to access outputs’ guide.

18. Institutions are reminded that the individualised data made available through this exercise are covered by the Data Protection Act. These data are only accessible to someone holding the HEFCE extranet key which we will provide to heads of institution and HESES contacts for institutions. Institutions should ensure that the extranet key is not passed to anyone without a legitimate reason to access the individualised data.

19. If you require further information contact Laura Bamford (tel 0117 931 7003, e-mail hesa_heses_stats@hefce.ac.uk).

Yours sincerely

Professor Madeleine Atkins

Chief Executive

 

Notes

  1. In particular, this applies to the calculation of the student number volume that informs the allocation.
  2. The adjustments to the 2014-15 NSP allocation are primarily based on 2011-12 HESA data, rather than 2012-13 HESA data. The funding summaries for 2014-15 NSP were separately released via e-mail from Trisha Patel on 10 March 2014. These summaries have not changed since their original release on that date. We have included them here so that institutions can access all the funding summaries at a single location on the HEFCE extranet. As the 2014-15 NSP allocation is now finalised, amendments to 2011‑12 HESA data cannot be made for the purposes of amending this allocation.
  3. The proportion is based on responses to the 2011-12 CSS.
  4. We have not included a HESES12 re-creation output as part of the funding summaries release. The HESES12 re-creation output will be made available through the ‘HESA FAMD 2012-13: Funding data reconciliations’ release later this summer. However, substantial elements of the HESES12 re-creation are indirectly available through the output that describes how the revised rates of funding and volumes for 2012-13 have been calculated (HESESRRV12_H-XXXX.xlsx, where XXXX denotes the institution’s HESA identifier).

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Date: 27 March 2014

Ref: Circular letter 08/2014

To: Heads of HEFCE-funded higher education institutions

Of interest to those
responsible for:

Student data, Planning, Finance, Audit

Enquiries should be directed to:

Laura Bamford, tel 0117 931 7003, e-mail hesa_heses_stats@hefce.ac.uk