Later for data

March 25, 2005

The Government's flagship Teaching Quality Information website, designed to help prospective students and their parents pick their way through the bewildering array of glossy prospectuses, continues to be plagued by problems and delays.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England has admitted that there will be further delays before it can publish even basic quantitative data.

It was meant to be ready last December with unprecedented information on course quality, from dropout rates to employability statistics.

But in a letter, circulated last month to all vice-chancellors and principals, Hefce says that the site will not yet be "actively publicised" while problems were ironed out. Hefce acknowledges that the data due to be published "require more detailed review than allowed for within the Hefce's published timetable".

It also admits that reviews of the data "highlighted varied practice in recording data, and there has been a greater than anticipated need by institutions to review their data".

The letter says that the issues have now been resolved, and that the first set of Higher Education Statistics Agency data is be added to the site at the end of February 2005. But, as The Times Higher went to press, there was still no quantitative information available on the site.

A spokesman said it would go live at the end of this month.

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