The Key Information Set (KIS)

The Key Information Set, or KIS, comprises the items of information which students have said they find most useful when making choices about which course to study. Some of the items are measures of student satisfaction from the National Student Survey (NSS), which is completed by more than 220,000 mainly final year students in the UK each year. Some of the items are from the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) which surveys students who gained a qualification from a university or college, six months after they left. The DLHE survey asks whether they are employed, studying, both or, neither. In the KIS these results are combined with the results of a similar survey, the Long DLHE, which surveys a sample of those who responded to the DLHE, 40 months after they left university or college. The KIS also contains some information provided by universities and colleges. The items in the KIS and where the items come from are given in the table below:

Institution owned/sponsored accommodation: average annual costs - upper and lower quartiles, and number of units (to which students can reasonably expect to have access)Private rental accommodation: average annual costs - upper and lower quartiles

Information items for publication in the KIS Source of this information For the September 2013 KIS, this information relates to:
Results from the following NSS questions:
  • Staff are good at explaining things
  • Staff have made the subject interesting
  • Overall, I am satisfied with the quality of my course
  • I have received sufficient advice and support with my studies
  • Feedback on my work has been prompt
  • Feedback on my work has helped me clarify things I did not understand
  • The library resources are good enough for my needs
  • I have been able to access general IT resources when I needed to
  • I am satisfied with the Students' Union (Association or Guild)
National Student Survey (NSS) 2013 NSS results
Proportion of time spent in various learning and teaching activities - by year/stage of study, with a link to further detail Universities and Colleges The experience a typical student may have
Proportion of summative assessment by method - by year/stage of study
Professional, statutory and regulatory bodies that recognise this course, details of the type of recognition with a link to further detail Accreditation in place or planned for academic year 2014-15
Institution owned/sponsored accommodation: average annual costs - upper and lower quartiles, and number of units (to which students can reasonably expect to have access). Private rental accommodation: average annual costs - upper and lower quartiles Universities and colleges Academic year 2013-14
Financial support available from the institution: whether it offers a fee waiver; means-tested support; non means-tested support; National Scholarship Programme; and a link to more detailed information UCAS or Universities and colleges (for courses that do not recruit through UCAS). Financial support planned for academic year 2014-15
Average fees (excluding fee waivers) per year by country of UK domicile UCAS or Universities and colleges (for courses that do not recruit through UCAS). Planned fees for academic year 2014-15
The destinations of graduates six months after completing their course - comprising working, studying, working and studying, unemployed, and not available for work Six-month figures from the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey. 2011-12 DLHE and 2012 Longitudinal DLHE results
Of those in employment, the proportion in managerial/professional jobs six months after graduation.
Salary data for those in full-time employment:
  • upper quartile, median and lower quartile six months after graduation from the course at the institution displaying the KIS
  • regionally adjusted upper quartile, median and lower quartile for the subject across all institutions six months after graduation
  • regionally adjusted upper quartile, median and lower quartile for the subject across all institutions at 40 months after graduation
40-month figures from the Longitudinal DLHE survey

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Why full KIS data may not be available

A lack of data does not reflect on the quality of the course. There are several reasons why some courses will not have the full KIS data to display. For example newer courses may not yet have had the opportunity to collect student satisfaction data from the National Student Survey (NSS), or employment data from the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE). Very new courses will also not have had time to build up data about continuation, qualifications on entry, and the degree that previous students have obtained.

Some well-established courses may also not be able to show student satisfaction data or employment data. This might be because the course runs with a small number of students, so that there are not enough responses to the surveys for the data to be statistically meaningful. Data can be misleading if it only represents a small number of students, and/or less than half the students on the course.

Some private companies that provide courses do not take part in the National Student Survey (NSS), Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey, or other national data collections. Therefore these data do not appear for these courses.

For some courses that have small numbers of students but receive survey responses from over half, Unistats will show data either for:

  1. more than one year of the same course, or
  2. for this course added together with data for other similar courses at the same institution. For example, if the course was for Forestry, then data may be shown for all agriculture and related subjects.

Some universities or colleges may not have accommodation available, for example the Open University provides its courses entirely by distance learning so that students do not need to leave home to study. Also, some colleges may not offer their own accommodation (e.g. halls of residence), but can provide information about the costs of private accommodation.

If there is not a full set of data about the course you are interested in, you should contact the university or college for more information.

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