The AFD team recently sponsored the Student Records Officers’ Conference (SROC) which brought together staff working in the field of student records within HE Providers together to:

  • Hear Keynote addresses on issues of current interest
  • Exchange information and share best practice through workshops and seminars
  • Talk with AFD Software about their market-leading data validation solutions

AFD’s HE specific solutions that help the sector are detailed below:

Address Lookup

Fast, accurate address validation helps ensure student address data is correct at the point of entry. Our solution is quick to install as confirmed by the University of Dundee: “Upgrading to AFD Software within our student record system took the best part of a couple of hours. It just worked straight away. We needed to do some work within our online forms as we were now offering an online postcode lookup. The solution works straight out the box, but we needed to spend some time reorganising the structure of the forms so the postcode question was asked first rather than last. The actual postcode popup screen just worked with some small configuration changes made once globally.”

Batch cleansing address data – HESA Returns

Even with data validation in place, student address data can still be entered incorrectly and can be received in bulk from UCAS.

As accurate address data is one of the requirements for the HESA return, AFDs Refiner tool helps universities by taking all their address records and cleansing them against the best possible sources.

Many of our customers would have staff spending huge amounts of time manually checking addresses before discovering we could help do this process in around an hour.

POLAR data – Widening participation

In addition to cleaning and reformatting addresses, Refiner can also append Education specific data sets including POLAR4.

If an HE provider wishes to charge above the basic tuition fee cap, they are required to have an “approved access and participation plan” for students from minority groups, areas of lower Higher Education participation, lower household income and/or lower socioeconomic status groups.

POLAR4 data shows how likely young people are to participate in higher education according to where they live, this allows Universities to target specific areas with marketing efforts in a bid to meet targets for widening participation and essential funding.

Other datasets include Index of Multiple Deprivation (governments official rank of Postcode from most deprived to least deprived) and Censation, AFD’s geodemographic classification system that shows the typical age, affluence, lifestyle, interests and professions at Postcode level.

Phone and Email

HESA confirms that each institution is required to collect graduates’ personal contact details to contact them 15 months after graduation for the “Graduate Outcomes” survey.

it is a requirement for the details to be “robust, accurate and comprehensive” and it is recommended that point of collection validation is in place for when details are entered and updated on the student record, and that alumni contact details are thoroughly cleansed prior to submission to HESA.

Email and telephone validation from AFD further help meet this requirement and achieve the target of “robust, accurate and comprehensive” contact data.

If your institute would benefit from AFD’s range of data validation and cleansing solutions contact one of our Data Quality Consultants on 01624 811711 or email

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We are here to help

We serve thousands of organisations and a network of hundreds of partners across multiple industry sectors, enabling them to have full confidence in their contact data.