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The 5 most popular higher education topics that Jisc provided tailored data on in 2021/22

Jisc data analytics has an immensely popular tailored datasets service where customers can request specific extracts of higher education data. Our analysts look at each request and see how we can use the most relevant data to answer their question. We then extract and send the agreed data in the customers preferred format.

Over the past year, we’ve received hundreds of requests for data and below are the five most popular higher education topics that we provided tailored data on along with some examples of how we can help.

5th – Data about international students

In fifth place were requests on international students coming to study in the UK. These students are so important to the strength of the higher education sector that it’s no surprise that people want to find out more about them and their study journey.

How can we help?

  • Information on which countries international students come to study from
  • Information on which subjects they study and at which provider
  • International student diversity information
  • International student data over time for trend analysis
  • We also have data for UK students which we refer to as UK-domiciled students including a broader range of diversity data

4th – Student outcomes data

Just missing out on a podium place but nevertheless always popular were requests about student outcomes. This is a huge topic which splits across datasets with some questions relating to the qualifications that students obtained and some relating to what they went on to do after graduation.  

How can we help?

  • Information about qualifications obtained such as classification of first degree
  • Information about post-graduation activity from the Graduate Outcomes survey
  • Subsequent employment information such as graduate industry, occupation, salary and location
  • Subsequent further study information such as what graduates went on to study next and where

3rd – Staff data

Onto the top three and taking the bronze medal position for this year are requests relating to higher education staff. Many of them include elements of diversity which is a trending topic within the sector right now.  

How can we help?

  • Information about staff diversity in the sector such as Sex or Nationality
  • Information on staff broken down by provider and/or department (known as Cost Centre)
  • Contract levels information to look at the breakdown of each type of staff within the sector
  • Data restricted to a certain population group e.g. professors or academic staff
  • Staff data over time for trend analysis

2nd – Student diversity data

Just missing out on the top spot were requests relating to student diversity. As with staff diversity, information on this topic is highly sought after and can help to inform research, policy and benchmarking as well as equal opportunities monitoring.

How can we help?

  • A wide range of student diversity information including Ethnicity, Disability, Age and Sex
  • Information on student participation such as Low participation neighbourhoods
  • Socio economic classification data and information on parental education
  • Diversity data can be restricted to a specific population of students such as BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) students or for the whole sector.
  • Diversity data can be broken down by provider or aggregated to the whole sector

Please note that not all of the diversity variables may be available in the same dataset for data protection reasons and each request is assessed for appropriateness and data usage in line with our staunch commitment to GDPR and responsible data use. Some diversity information is only available for a subset of students but our analysts can advise on what’s best for your question.

1st – Subject and course data

This year’s most popular higher education topic that we provided tailored data on was student subjects and courses. This type of data can provide fascinating insight into the popularity, growth and decline of a subject, the strength of future pipelines and representation amongst a particular discipline when combined with other data.    

How can we help?

  • Information on the subjects that students are studying at varying levels of detail from broad subject areas such as Physical Sciences to more detailed information such as Astronomy or Chemistry
  • Course title data
  • Data going back over time (although some of the ways the subjects are coded do change as you look back, so our analysts can advise what’s best for your question)
  • Subject data restricted to certain subjects or providers

Request your own tailored dataset

To get your very own tailored dataset to answer your specific higher education question(s), please complete our bespoke data request form and one of our team will get back to you.

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We have more information on what’s available, the process and timescales for delivery on our tailored datasets webpage.

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