Higher Education Funding Council England (HEFCE)
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Checking student qualifications

An online service has been launched to help employers check graduates’ qualifications and recognised degree-awarding bodies.

The Higher Education Degree Datacheck (HEDD) can be used to check that a UK higher education provider existed and was approved by the UK Government at any given date going back to 1990. Every UK university and college is listed in the database to provide a check on degree awarding status. 

In response to a query, HEDD provides contact details to direct the user to the appropriate university or college records office.

The service is also particularly useful for employers and postgraduate course providers who want to verify degree results, and can be used by graduates to request transcripts and replacement certificates.

Three universities, Manchester, Sheffield Hallam and Essex, have signed up and submitted their student records to the HEDD service and several more are in the pipeline. Together they are generating around 350 enquiries per month. Over 90 per cent of the enquiries are from screening and recruitment agencies, with almost half of these from overseas.

The main benefits of the service are fast and reliable verification, and improved efficiency. Universities using the system have reported a 50 per cent reduction in enquiry processing time as well as a positive effect on staff morale and productivity. The service reduces the burden of work on Registry teams by handling all customer service activity and providing automatic verification, where student data is available. Verification enquiries have been increasing significantly each year and cost English universities alone over £2 million in Registry resources.

Katie Britton, Verifications Manager at the University of Manchester, said:

‘Having HEDD has made a big impact on us – it’s much more convenient and easy to use than our old processes were, and it’s freed up so much time to spend on the other jobs we have to do.’

The service is one of several projects funded by HEFCE to support greater efficiency at universities and colleges and reduce costs over the medium term. 

The HEDD web-site provides more information, or contact s.mcgovern@prospects.ac.uk.


  1. HEDD is run by Graduate Prospects, the trading arm of Higher Education Careers Services Unit, which works to improve careers education and advice for graduates of UK universities. Graduate Prospects provides a range of shared services to the HE sector. The HEDD team is working with stakeholders including BIS, the CBI and the NUS, who have formally endorsed the service.
  2. Further details about HEFCE’s shared services projects are available here.

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