Find out about changes to the way data is collected for the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) and what we are doing to prepare.


What it is: A new and accurate data submission process for staff working with HESA data. 

Why it's better for you: It aims to transform the efficiency, performance and resilience of the higher education data collection systems and processes. 

Why it's better for the University: Accurate and consistent data will help feed into the university league tables.

When it's happening: The project began in August 2022 and will be completed in November 2023 when the Vice-Chancellor signs off our HESA data futures return. 

How it will launch: The project team will begin briefing data-owners to meet the new requirements.

About the HESA Data Futures Project

The HESA Data Futures Project will prepare us for changes in the way data is collected and organised, so that we meet the changed statutory requirements from the Office for Students.

The project has two work streams:

  • a Technical Change stream, to prepare our IT systems for the new data model
  • a Business Change stream, to ensure that the University’s data-owners have all the information they need to meet the new requirements.

Both the Technical Change stream and Business Change stream are underway.

About HESA and what they do

The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) collect and aggregate data from all Britain’s universities to enable both national and local planning.

Changes to student data collection

HESA are changing the way student data is collected in two ways:

  • firstly, richer data is now required including some data items that have not been requested before
  • secondly, from the academic year 2024/25 a data submission will be required twice a year.

What the changes mean for Sussex

For University staff who maintain student data, it may be necessary to ensure that additional data is input to the ‘Yellow Forms’ or otherwise provided to the Student Data and Records team.

Once we move to two data submissions per year, the accuracy of the data that we hold and input must be of the highest possible quality, as there will be far less available time for this to be cleansed prior to submission.

Next steps 

The next step for the project is for all the University’s data-owners to attend the arranged meetings, so that each team can be made aware, and trained if necessary, to meet the new reporting requirements.


The stages the HESA Data Futures Project will go through are: 

  1. Begin work

    The project team begins work – August 2022.

  2. Engagement phase with stakeholders

    Project team sets out plan/responsibilities for key stakeholders, February - March 2023.

  3. HESA data interim submission (1)

    First interim submission of data to HESA – 31 May 2023.

  4. HESA data interim submission (2)

    Second interim submission of data to HESA – 18 August 2023.

  5. Final submission of HESA data

    Submission of final data set to HESA – 3 November 2023.

  6. Sign off 

    Vice-Chancellor signs off Sussex 2023 submission – 22 November 2023.

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