1. This document asks further education and sixth form colleges to complete the annual survey of students on recognised higher education courses.
2. The data will:
- give an early indication, for purposes including government planning, of the number of higher education students studying in the academic year 2017-18
- together with the Individualised Learner Record (ILR) supplied to the Education and Skills Funding Agency, inform the allocation of teaching funds for the academic year 2018-19
- be used to update the HEFCE Register of HE providers
- inform the Annual Provider Review (APR) which is our core mechanism to assess quality in the higher education providers we fund.
3. This document provides the following.
- An introduction to the Higher Education in Further Education: Students Survey 2017-18 (HEIFES17) and how we use it to inform our funding allocations.
- Guidance notes for completing the HEIFES17 survey (Section 1).
- Definitions used in the HEIFES17 survey (Section 2).
- Appendices which provide detailed technical information to support the HEIFES17 tables and worksheets (Section 3). Sample tables are available below. The actual tables for completion will be available to download from the HEFCE extranet in October 2017.
- A summary of changes since HEIFES16 (paragraph 29-44 of the main document).
- Good practice guidance (shaded sections throughout the document).
- Guidance on related ILR data (boxed ‘ILR notes’ sections throughout the document).
4. Although, under the Higher Education and Research Act 2017, the teaching funding responsibilities of HEFCE are expected to transfer from April 2018 to the Office for Students (OfS), institutions should assume that the guidance in this document on the preparation and use of HEIFES17 data will continue to apply. Accordingly, any references in this document to the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), ‘the Council’, ‘we’, ‘us’ or ‘our’ include the OfS as may be appropriate. Information on how HEIFES survey data is used to inform funding allocations can be found in ‘Guide to funding 2017-18: How HEFCE allocates its funds’ (HEFCE 2017/04).
5. HEIFES17 should be completed by all further education and sixth form colleges receiving HEFCE recurrent funds for teaching. Workbooks will be available to institutions in October 2017. Key actions for institutions are as follows:
- Completed workbooks must be uploaded to the HEFCE extranet by noon on Monday 13 November 2017.
- We will email HEIFES contacts at institutions with any data verification queries by 20 November 2017. An initial response will be required from institutions within five working days. Further rounds of queries may be necessary.
- By 8 January 2018:
- All data verification queries will need to be resolved.
- The data must be signed off by the accountable officer of each college.
NB: The following changes have been made to correct errors since this document was originally published:
- Paragraph 1 of Annex B originally referred in error to 'the HEIFES population for 2016-17'. This has been corrected to 'the HEIFES population for 2017-18'.