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HESPA’s advocacy work involves maintaining good relationships with key stakeholders and lobbying on behalf of members to drive positive change for the sector. This happens in both proactive and reactive ways. For example, when policy changes are made or consulted on in the wider community, HESPA collates feedback from its members to feed into the debate helping to aid deeper understanding of the way issues or changes affect specific functions and may lead to unintended, and sometimes undesired, consequences.

HESPA also proactively seeks out opportunities to lobby government and other stakeholders on matters which are important to its members and might otherwise have a negative impact on the sector as a whole. This is done in a number of ways, through representation of members on sector-wide working groups, e.g. HESA’s Data Futures Programme Board, and via our Higher Education Data Insight Group (HEDIG) which comprises a number of external stakeholders including, DfE, HESA, OfS, SFC, HEFCW, UCAS, Jisc, UKRI and others, who meet to discuss the responsible use of HE data.


To give you an idea, here are a few examples of this type of work, but there are many more across a broad spectrum:


• Lobbying the Department for Education (DfE) over the way in which temporary student number controls are implemented to stabilise the sector in the midst of Covid-19 in order to make them manageable and avoid members breaching their cap.


• Lobbying for Best Strategic Planning Team to be added to the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards (THELMAs). This was added as a category in 2015.


• Lobbying the Office for Students over proposals to change the date of the 2019 HESES survey census date and submission deadline. The outcome of which was that dates remained the same and avoided a clash with HESA data returns.

You can also find out how HESPA is represented on certain boards and forums.

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