We have just received the excellent news that our proposal on behalf of HEAT members to the Administrative Data Research Network (ADRN) to access UCAS data at an individual pupil/student level has been approved. Our success is especially pleasing given that only 40% of applications are approved first time around. As far as we know, this is the first approved application to access the UCAS data since the ADRN agreed to broker researcher access. It means that we will have much more information about how our HEAT participants engage with the UCAS application process and how this relates to the other information we know about their attainment and enrolment in HE. We expect to be able to share some findings with the membership in the summer.
The lengthy application process is only the first stage though. We will now be working with the ADRN and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to work out the mechanics of matching our data to the UCAS data. Once the match is complete, our Lead Analyst Anna Anthony will be accessing and aggregating the data in a ‘secure setting’ (most likely the ONS offices). Anna will only be permitted to remove aggregated tables whilst in this secure setting, so we must ensure that this precious ‘access’ time is maximised. We will need to finesse the methodology and tables that we proposed to the ADRN panel before she accesses the data so that we can make the most of the match between HEAT and UCAS data.
We will keep members informed of how the work is progressing at our meetings, via the HEAT website and through our Monthly Bulletins. However, if you have any queries in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact Rachael Edgar or Anna Anthony.