Updated on Oct 11, 2012 - 1:29 p.m. IST by Prabha Dhavala
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About: The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) is a non-departmental public body of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (previously the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills) in the United Kingdom, which has been responsible for the distribution of funding to Universities and Colleges of Higher and Further Education in England since 1992.

A new web-site that features a standardised set of data called the Key Information Set (KIS) has been launched by The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). The completely revised Unistats web-site provides extensive information for over 31,000 courses in the UK, including student satisfaction ratings, graduate salaries and employment, tuition fees and financial support, and the cost of accommodation.

The new KIS data have been collated after consulting students about the information they find most useful when they are choosing higher education courses. The data for each course link directly to the relevant course webpage, which provides more detail on what the course contains and how it will be taught.

For the first time prospective students will be able to search and compare information about courses across the UK, focusing on the factors that are most important for them. They will also be able to create a shortlist of their favourite courses and create a detailed comparison page, to make it easier to compare their options.

Results from the 2012 National Students’ Survey will also be included in the site.

The KIS covers full-time and part-time undergraduate higher education courses in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland for 2013-14 which subscribe to the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA). It also covers undergraduate programmes taught through further education colleges in England and Wales (this applies to colleges funded indirectly through a higher education institution and for courses HEFCE funds directly). The KIS does not cover short courses (one year full-time equivalent or less), postgraduate courses, those delivered entirely overseas, or closed courses.

The site draws on the following official data on higher education courses:

  • Student satisfaction from the National Student Survey
  • Student destinations on finishing their course from the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey
  • How the course is taught and study patterns
  • How the course is assessed
  • Course accreditation
  • Course costs (such as tuition fees and accommodation)

Note: These data have been provided by the Higher Education Statistics Agency, HESA, the Data Service, universities and colleges and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey)

Though this data has been compiled for the students of UK, the council hopes to further it with information for international students. There are plans to include the post graduation courses at a later date.

Website: http://www.hefce.ac.uk

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