Department for the Economy publishes Higher Education Performance Indicator Statistics

Date published: 07 March 2019

The Department has today published a statistical fact sheet: Performance Indicators (PIs) in Higher Education: Student Retention – Northern Ireland Analysis 2017/18.

Department for the Economy publishes Higher Education Performance Indicator Statistics
Department for the Economy publishes Higher Education Performance Indicator Statistics

Key points

  • For all full-time first degree entrants to Northern Ireland Higher Education Institutions (NI HEIs), 6.4 per cent of students were no longer in Higher Education (HE) in 2017/18, following entry in 2016/17; better than the UK average of 7.5 per cent (Table 1).
  • Of all full-time first degree entrants to NI HEIs in 2015/16 who took a year out in 2016/17, 74.1 per cent did not return to HE in 2017/18. This figure was better than the UK average of 79.4 per cent (Table 5).
  • The non-continuation rate for part-time first degree entrants to NI HEIs was worse than the UK average (35.0 per cent), with 43.7 per cent of such students no longer in HE in 2017/18, following entry in 2015/16 (Table 4).
  • In terms of projected learning outcomes for full-time first degree entrants, NI HEIs were projected to perform better than the UK average of 80.1 per cent, with 84.6 per cent of full-time students starting first degree courses in 2016/17 expected to gain a degree (Table 6).

This document is available to download at the Higher Education Performance indicators page on the Department’s website.

A full set of tables, including further information on the Performance Indicators for NI HEIs and all other publicly funded HEIs in the UK, is published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) and is available to download from their UK Performance Indicators page.

Notes to editors: 

  1. The statistics presented in this fact sheet are based on data collected by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). HESA is the official agency for the collection of information on publicly funded HE institutions in the UK.
  2. The HESA data presented in this fact sheet relate to students at NI HEIs and do not include HE students at Further Education (FE) colleges in NI or GB, or at institutions in the Republic of Ireland.
  3. Higher Education students for the purpose of HESA's data collection are those students on courses for which the level of instruction is above that of level 3 of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) National Qualifications Framework (NQF) (for example, courses at the level of Certificate of HE and above).
  4. The academic year runs from 1 August to 31 July.
  5. Further notes and technical details are available in the fact sheet and the related Contextual Information document on the Department’s website.
  6. For further information, please contact the DfE Press Office on 028 9052 9604. Out of office hours contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110.

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