Consultation on Proposed Transfer of National Statistics Publications from the Scottish Government to the Scottish Funding Council.
Higher Education ( HE) student statistics in Scotland cover activity in both higher education institutions ( HEIs) and colleges in Scotland. These statistics are collected by the Higher Education Statistics Agency ( HESA) from HEIs and by the Scottish Funding Council ( SFC) from Further Education Colleges (Colleges). Both the Scottish Government ( SG) and the Scottish Funding Council ( SFC) are producers of official statistics and publish a variety of statistical releases covering the HE topic area, including: student characteristics, participation, widening access, cross border flows and access and equalities. Additionally, SFC maintains responsibility for public requests for information relating to higher education statistics.
Proposed transfer of some national Statistics Publications to SFC
Although SG and SFC statistics are produced from the same source data, there remains discrepancies between the way these statistics are reported (through differences in methodologies applied) and a duplication of efforts in the work required to prepare statistical releases. In order to provide users of these statistics with a more consistent service it is intended that future releases of this publication and the next publication of the Age Participation Index ( API) for Scotland, will be produced by SFC in addition to their current statistical outputs. This will allow SFC to harmonise the outputs and improve the relevancy of HE statistics in the public domain, in consultation with users of these statistics.
Plans for this publication
The next update to this statistics publication is due in March 2012. It is expected that HE student statistics will remain as a standalone publication, but will include the recent addition of data relating to qualifiers in the same academic year.
Plans for the API publication
The next update to the API for Scotland is due in August 2011. Under current plans the API would be incorporated into SFC's Participation Report, available from SFC website ( www.sfc.ac.uk). Beyond 2012, future release of the API will be subject to work being undertaken jointly between SG and SFC to develop new measures of participation in HE in Scotland. A summary of the work so far can be found below.
We would welcome the views of all users on the intended transfer of responsibility for the two National Statistics products mentioned above. To allow sufficient time for preparation of the outputs mentioned, subject to users views, we are asking for responses to be submitted by Friday 27 th May 2011. Responses can be submitted using the contact details below.Lifelong Learning Statistics
5th Floor, 5 Atlantic Quay
Tel: 0300 244 6774
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