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HESA AOR Review

07 October 2022      Jennifer Summerton, Executive Director

The Aggregate Offshore record is the official data collection for students studying wholly outside the UK while registered at UK higher education providers or registered on their programmes. Information about the UK’s TNE has been collected by HESA since 2007/08 and identifies, by HE provider, a headcount of students studying wholly overseas further subdivided by level and type of provision, as well as country of activity. From 2019/20, providers in England and Wales have submitted separate headcounts, with the subdivisions above, to capture the numbers of students in active study, dormant, successfully completed, and withdrawn from study.
 
HESA opened its major review of the AOR in July 2022, consultation activity with higher education providers is planned for winter 2022, and we are planning to announce outcomes to the sector (via a notification of changes) in July 2023. The changes will then be implemented for the 2024/25 collection year. The membership of the review group includes the Department for Education; Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland; General Medical Council; Higher Education Funding Council for Wales; Office for Students; Scottish Funding Council; Scottish Government; and Welsh Government; with an advisory role for UUKi.
 
The OfS and HEFCW have confirmed their requirement for individualised data on overseas students, which will entail the collection of this data through the Student record (Data Futures data model). SFC and DfENI have not yet reached a final decision on whether individualised data will be required from providers in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Should SFC and DfENI elect to continue collecting data at the headcount level, a revised version of the existing AOR will be retained for providers in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
 
At this stage in the review, requirements for specific data items in the Student record remain under discussion, though we anticipate that data on curriculum (including subject of study), award, student activity, and location of activity will be collected, along with a subset of data on student characteristics. HESA have also presented proposals for more detailed data on the nature of TNE provision (i.e. the TYPE field in the existing AOR) and the integration of TNE-specific fields in the Student record. Work in this area is continuing.
 
Further information can be found on the following webpage:
https://www.hesa.ac.uk/innovation/records/reviews/aggregate-offshore-return-review


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