European Union Higher education


This Statistical First Release (SFR) has been produced by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) in collaboration with statisticians from the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Welsh Government (WG), the Scottish Government (SG) and the Department for Employment and Learning Northern Ireland (DEL(NI)). It has been released according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority. It provides details of student enrolments and qualifications obtained by higher education (HE) students at HE institutions (HEIs) in the United Kingdom (UK) for the academic year 2012/13. For the first time this year this SFR also includes summary statistics about study at higher education level in further education colleges, and it therefore presents figures illustrating the totality of higher education provision in publicly-funded institutions in the UK. This SFR also includes information from the HESA Aggregate Offshore Record. This record captures students studying wholly outside the UK who are either registered with the reporting institution or who are studying for an award of the reporting institution.

Readers should be aware that data definitions sometimes change over time and this can affect the validity of time series comparisons. Any significant changes have been explained in the Notes to Tables and/or Definitions.

HESA logoA statistical reference volume ‘Students in Higher Education Institutions 2012/13' providing more detailed information about students in higher education in the UK will be published by HESA in February 2014.

Key points - enrolments (all UK HEIs)

The total number of HE enrolments at UK HEIs stood at 2, 340, 275 in 2012/13, a decrease of 6% from 2011/12. This reflects a general decline across the sector in all modes and levels of study which coincides with changes to the tuition fee arrangements.Chart 3 - Student enrolments on HE courses by level of study, mode of study and domicile 2012/13 Postgraduate and undergraduate enrolments both decreased by 6% between 2011/12 and 2012/13. Full-time enrolments decreased by 2% while part-time enrolments showed a sharper decline of 15% over the same period (see Table 1 and Chart 1). There were a further 186, 455 HE enrolments at further education colleges in 2012/13 compared to 180, 390 in 2011/12. These data are presented in Table 1b disaggregated by mode and level of study. All further figures presented in this SFR exclude HE enrolments at further education colleges.

Over the time series shown in this SFR the overall number enrolled on HE courses has risen consecutively from 2, 396, 055 in 2008/09 to 2, 501, 295 in 2010/11. The total stood at 2, 496, 645 in 2011/12, a decrease of 4, 655 in overall numbers, with a further decrease of 156, 365 in 2012/13 to 2, 340, 275. (Ref. Table 1). The 6% decrease in enrolments between 2011/12 and 2012/13 can be attributed to the decline in first year enrolments on HE courses in 2012/13, which experienced a 13% decrease from 2011/12. The total number of first year enrolments stood at their lowest point in the 5 years shown at 971, 410 in 2012/13. (Ref. Table 2).

Chart 5 - Percentage change in student enrolments on HE courses by subject area and level of study between 2011/12 and 2012/13 Chart 7 - Qualifications obtained at UK HEIs 2012/13 Chart 8 - Qualifications obtained at UK HEIs 2008/09 to 2012/13 by level of qualification Chart 9 - Percentage of first degree graduates obtaining each classification by gender and mode of study 2012/13


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