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Dear Vice-Chancellor or Principal

Early notification of planned changes to HESES and HEIFES for 2016-17

1. This circular letter provides early notification of changes that we intend to incorporate in the 2016 Higher Education Students Early Statistics (HESES16) and Higher Education in Further Education: Students (HEIFES16) surveys. We do not require a response to this letter. Any questions about this letter should be sent to heses@hefce.ac.uk (for higher education institutions, HEIs) or heifes@hefce.ac.uk (for further education and sixth form colleges, FECs).

2. The particular areas where changes are necessary in HESES16 and HEIFES16 are:

  1. Collection in a new Table 7 of 2016-17 student numbers on courses in nursing, midwifery and allied health professions, which lead on successful completion to registration with a relevant regulatory body. This will be required following the decision that funding responsibility for such courses is transferring to HEFCE from 1 August 2017 with successive entry cohorts of students. The Department of Health has recently consulted on the impact of this change1.
  2. A further breakdown of postgraduate taught (PGT) students to identify separately those on courses eligible for the new masters loan that is being introduced from 2016-17. Eligibility in this context is an attribute solely of the course, not of the individual student on it. This breakdown is required to inform funding decisions on support for PGT students, which has been subject to consultation in ‘Funding to support teaching in higher education: Consultation on arrangements for supporting widening access and successful student outcomes, including progression to taught postgraduate study’, HEFCE 2016/10. It means that PGT students will be classed as one of the following:
    1. PGT (UG fee): postgraduate taught students on courses that are designated for fee loan support purposes under the undergraduate student support arrangements. This applies only to initial teacher training courses and some architecture courses.
    2. PGT (Masters loan): postgraduate taught students on courses that are eligible under the new masters loan arrangements (irrespective of a student’s own personal eligibility for such a loan).
    3. PGT (Other): all other postgraduate taught students. This will include those on postgraduate diploma and certificate courses (other than in initial teacher training) and masters courses that are not eligible under the new masters loan arrangements, such as those for students topping up from a postgraduate diploma or certificate.
  3. In Table 5, separate identification of students undertaking recognised higher education as part of an apprenticeship. This is required for planning and monitoring purposes. We are also clarifying that higher education qualifications taken as part of an apprenticeship should not be treated as closed courses and therefore home and EU students taking them may be recorded as HEFCE-fundable subject to them meeting all other criteria for that status. This applies even though the majority of the finance for apprenticeships comes through the Skills Funding Agency.
  4. Further guidance on the activity that should be reported on Table 6. This table collects information on years of instance or course that are taught under sub-contractual (franchise) arrangements by providers other than those with whom students are registered, and is used to inform the HEFCE Register of higher education providers. The further guidance is to make clear that activity should be reported in Table 6 only where a formal contractual arrangement exists under which teaching will be provided by one provider on behalf of another provider. Table 6 should not include informal arrangements that are not governed by contracts between providers.
  5. Clarification that home and EU students on courses leading on successful completion to the award of Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS) should be recorded as non-fundable. This is because the funding responsibility for them rests with the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) and ensures their treatment is the same as for courses leading to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
  6. A reminder that there is a change to the population defined as home and EU, even though our definition has not changed. Students are classified as home and EU if they can be regarded as eligible students as defined in Schedule 1 of the Education (Fees and Awards) (England) Regulations 2007 (SI 2007 No. 779), as amended. An amendment to these regulations has been made through the Education (Student Fees, Awards and Support) (Amendment) Regulations 2016 (SI 2016 No. 584), which introduces a new eligible category applying to students who are not settled in the United Kingdom but have been residing in the UK for a long time. This change also affects their entitlement to student support and liability to regulated fee levels.

3. Annex A provides further information about these changes and clarifications.

Yours sincerely

Mario Ferelli

Director (Analytical Services)


1 The Department of Health consultation on finance arrangements for pre-registration nursing, midwifery and allied health courses closed on 30 June 2016, and the outcome is available from https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/changing-how-healthcare-education-is-funded. The consultation document is still available from https://consultations.dh.gov.uk/workforce/healthcare-education-funding/consult_view.

Date: 28 July 2016

Ref: Circular letter 17/2016

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

Of interest to those
responsible for:

Planning; Student data

Enquiries should be directed to:

Email HESES@hefce.ac.uk (for higher education institutions) or HEIFES@hefce.ac.uk (for further education and sixth form colleges).