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Higher education institutions should upload updates and action plans to the HEFCE extranet by Friday 26 June 2015.
Data amendments should be signed off by Friday 17 July 2015.

Dear Vice-Chancellor or Principal

HESA funding and monitoring data (FAMD) 2013-14: 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 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16.

2. This letter also asks institutions to provide an update for students whose completion status was reported as undetermined in their 2013-14 HESA return. Updates should be uploaded to the HEFCE extranet by Friday 26 June 2015 (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 by Friday 26 June 2015 (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:

  • 2013-14 funding for old-regime students (mainstream)
  • 2013-14 high-cost funding for new-regime students
  • 2013-14 funding for old-regime students (co-funded)
  • 2015-16 Very High-cost STEM Subjects targeted allocation (VHCSS)
  • 2015-16 quality-related (QR) Research Degree Programme (RDP) supervision fund
  • 2015-16 Student Opportunity (SO) allocation
  • 2014-15 and 2015-16 final National Networks for Collaborative Outreach (NNCO) allocation [Note 1] 
  • 2015-16 London Targeted Allocation (LTA)
  • 2015-16 final Postgraduate Support Scheme (PSS) allocation [Note 1]
  • 2015-16 to 2017-18 supplement for old-regime students.

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 26 June 2015     Deadline for the submission of action plans.

Friday 17 July 2015      Deadline for sign-off of 2013-14 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 2015. It is unlikely that we will be able to incorporate responses received after these deadlines in the October 2015 announcement.

8. We originally published the algorithms used to generate the funding summaries in ‘Higher Education Statistics Agency funding and monitoring data (FAMD) 2013-14: Web facility’ (HEFCE Circular letter 28/2014). However, we have made some minor changes where we believe improvements are appropriate. Details of these changes are provided in the annex to this letter.

Completion status survey

9. It is appropriate for the completion status for some students to be reported as ‘undetermined’ on the HESA student 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 such students have completed their year of study. We are asking institutions to update the completion status of any students reported on the 2013-14 HESA student record with an undetermined completion status (FUNDCOMP = 3) via a 2013-14 Completion Status Survey (CSS).

11. In finalising 2013-14 teaching grants for the October 2015 grant announcement, and for grant recalculations for subsequent years, we will replace our completion assumptions with the information returned in the 2013-14 CSS. Where institutions do not return the 2013-14 CSS, we will assume all such students on the 2013-14 HESA record are non-completions, and will not therefore count them towards our funding allocations.

12 .The 2013-14 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 2013-14 HESA student record, can be downloaded from the HEFCE extranet (https://data.hefce.ac.uk/). 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 26 June 2015     Deadline for the submission of the updated CSS return.

Friday 17 July 2015      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 2013-14: Funding data reconciliations’

14. We also use HESA data to monitor other returns that inform funding and student number control allocations, such as HESES. 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 2015, will not incorporate institutions’ responses to the 2013-14 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 year and will incorporate institutions’ responses to the 2013-14 CSS.

Further information

16. General FAMD guidance is available on our web-site (www.hefce.ac.uk/data/famd/help/). Specific areas that may be of interest are as follows.

  1. Extranet locations, deadlines and documentation can be found in the ‘2013-14 funding and monitoring data overview’ (www.hefce.ac.uk/data/famd/latest/).
  2. Further details about the preparation and submission of action plans can be found in the ‘Guide to action plans’ (www.hefce.ac.uk/data/famd/help/guide/).
  3. Technical information (such as algorithms) is listed in the ‘2013-14 funding and monitoring data overview’ (www.hefce.ac.uk/data/famd/latest/).
  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’ (www.hefce.ac.uk/data/famd/indicative/).
  5. Information on how to obtain data from the HEFCE extranet can be found in the ‘How to access outputs’ guide (www.hefce.ac.uk/data/famd/help/output/).

17. 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.

18. If you require further information contact Gabriel Glencross (tel 0117 931 7473, e-mail hesa_heses_stats@hefce.ac.uk).

Yours sincerely

Professor Madeleine Atkins

Chief Executive


Note

1. The adjustments to the NNCO and the PSS allocations are primarily based on 2012-13 HESA data, rather than 2013-14 HESA data. We have included them here so that institutions can access the underlying data for all recent announcements of funding allocations informed by HESA data at a single location on the HEFCE extranet. As the NNCO and PSS allocations are now finalised, amendments to 2012-13 HESA data cannot be made for the purposes of amending these allocations.

Date: 26 March 2015

Ref: Circular letter 07/2015

To: Heads of HEFCE-funded higher education institutions

Of interest to those
responsible for:

Student data, Planning, Finance, Audit

Enquiries should be directed to:

Gabriel Glencross, tel 0117 931 7473, e-mail hesa_heses_stats@hefce.ac.uk