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In late July, representatives of the Agency for Science and Higher Education visited the United Kingdom with the aim of exchanging experiences with three institutions in charge of collecting, distributing and analysing higher education data:  HESA – Higher Education Statistics Agency,  JISC  and  QAA – Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education. The goal was to learn about tools and methods used in collecting, but also in the application of higher education data.

The most important role in data collection is played by HESA – Higher Education Statistics Agency, which was established by the UK government in cooperation with the Higher Education Funding Council (HEFCE) and higher education institutions with the aim of providing greater transparency to the management of public funds invested in higher education. All higher education institutions that receive public funds have to send the prescribed data on their students, employees, resources and finances to the Heidi system (Higher Education Information Database for Institutions), which is administered by HESA. The data from this system is used as the basis for decision-making by various bodies from the system of higher education (especially in matters of funding HEIs and student scholarships). Higher education institutions that are obliged to feed their data into the Heidi system also have the possibility to search the data of other HEIs in the system and draw comparisons.

In developing information tools that enable HEIs and the wider public to view and use a lot of information from the Heidi system (e.g. Heidi Lab), HESA cooperates with the non-profit organisation  JISC.

Information from the Heidi system is also used by UK’s leading accreditation agency – QAA – Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education  – in their evaluation procedures that result in the development of profiles of higher education institutions.