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UK: HESA and Jisc discuss data body merger

The Higher Education Statistics Agency and Jisc are exploring a potential merger in order to create a new designated data body they anticipate will benefit the UK higher education sector.

Photo: Unsplash

The two bodies hope to combine their expertise to “create a resilient, joint capability for delivering the sector’s data and digital needs” according to Jisc, the higher education technology provider.

If the merger, which is in its early stages, goes ahead, HESA will cease to exist as an independent agency and instead become a part of Jisc and will therefore need to be replaced as the designated data body, a role it fulfilled in 2018.

The Office for Students collected expressions of interest from the sector in March to fill this position. The higher education sector regulator is now in the process of consulting further with higher education providers and sector bodies to determine the new DBB.

The successful candidate will be an organisation with extensive knowledge of the sector and its regulatory landscape and is independent of ministers and universities, among other requirements.

The OfS intends to publish in full all responses to the invitation.

In September 2019, not-for-profit Jisc, merged with HESA’s data analytics team, building on the recommendations of the 2017 Bell Review.

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