UK sector agencies Jisc and Hesa complete merger

Union achieves key aim of 2017 Bell review of sector organisations

October 4, 2022
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Two UK sector agencies, Jisc and the Higher Education Statistics Agency (Hesa), have completed their merger.

As part of the union, the Department for Education has transferred Hesa’s status as the English sector’s designated data body to Jisc, which is UK higher education’s main technology organisation.

All 171 Hesa staff are now joining Jisc as a new data collection and statistics directorate headed by Hesa chief executive Rob Philpotts, who is taking a seat on Jisc’s executive leadership team.

The merger has been under consideration since the Bell review of 2017, which recommended consolidation among UK sector bodies. However, Jisc said that Hesa’s brand and website would retain their independence “for the foreseeable future”.

“This merger has been a long time in the making, with Jisc welcoming on board Hesa’s skilled data analytics team back in 2019,” said Heidi Fraser-Krauss, Jisc’s chief executive.

“This month, the transfer of the remaining colleagues will consolidate the considerable expertise of both organisations to create a resilient, joint capability for delivering the sector’s data and digital needs.”

The other main merger recommended by the Bell review, established by Universities UK and chaired by Sir David Bell, now vice-chancellor of the University of Sunderland, was completed in 2018, bringing together the Equality Challenge Unit, the Higher Education Academy and the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education as Advance HE.

The Higher Education Careers Service Unit has already merged with Jisc, as recommended by Sir David, but his proposal that admissions service Ucas should join the expanded Jisc is yet to be taken forward.

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