Statistical certainty

April 10, 2008

It is not the case that institutions can choose not to supply the Higher Education Statistics Agency with data relating to academics excluded from their 2008 research assessment exercise submissions ("Hesa to report RAE exclusions - if v-cs approve", 3 April). The supply of data to Hesa is a requirement; it is only publication that is subject to institutional discretion.

Hesa will collect two relevant fields, one that records whether or not the staff member has been submitted for the RAE and one that records the unit of assessment to which staff are assigned, regardless of whether they have been submitted for the RAE. Hesa will publish, for each institution that does not withhold its data from publication, the full-time-equivalent total of eligible staff assigned to each unit of assessment. This figure will be comparable with the figure published in the RAE profiles for the FTE of staff submitted. Hesa will not itself publish any breakdown between submitted and non-submitted staff numbers.

Lesley Perry, Director, external relations and communications Universities UK.

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