Administrative data are records about organisations that are collected for regulatory and evaluation purposes. In UK higher education, two of the main sources of administrative data about universities include the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) and the National Student Survey (NSS). Although not primarily collected for research purposes, both of these sources provide open data sets about the attitudes and demographics of students and staff in each university in the UK. Such information can be used alone for research purposes, but there is also considerable scope for linking these data to panel survey data to find out more about the impact of universities on longer-term outcomes for graduates and staff.
In this free event, we provided practical advice on: (1) How to locate and obtain various data from HESA and the NSS; (2) how to obtain appropriate licences for data use; and (3) how to make data linkages between HESA/NSS data and panel survey data. We also presented some case studies on how such data have been used for research purposes.