Data set from Coronavirus (COVID-19) Reporting in Higher Education Providers

HE COVID cases and isolating figures 2020_21 Terms 1 and 2

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This file contains weekly data on confirmed COVID-19 cases and numbers of students thought to be self isolating at Higher Education Providers (HEPs) from the week to 04 November 2020 to the week to 07 April 2021. It also contains estimated weekly case rates from the week to 04 November 2020 to the week to 16 December 2020.

Data set details

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Reporting in Higher Education Providers
Release type
Geographic levels
  • Estimates for number of students known be self-isolating at these providers
  • Number of providers reporting estimates for students known to be self-isolating in the 7 days to the reporting date
  • Overall response rate
Time period
2020 Week 45 to 2021 Week 9

Data set preview

Table showing first 5 rows, from underlying data
2020Week 45NationalE92000001England04/11/2020814031438221.91227519600
2020Week 46NationalE92000001England11/11/2020813809434210.2120.77018300
2020Week 47NationalE92000001England18/11/2020833017409164.9112.57914100
2020Week 48NationalE92000001England25/11/202082175024099.268.4718200
2020Week 49NationalE92000001England02/12/202079106921660.662.8565800

Variables in this data set

Table showing first 5 of 8 variables
Variable nameVariable description
dateReporting period 7 days to
response_rateOverall response rate
responses_self_isolatingNumber of providers reporting estimates for students known to be self-isolating in the 7 days to the reporting date
seven_day_case_rates_per_100000_staffStaff weekly estimated case rate per 100 thousand
seven_day_case_rates_per_100000_studentsStudent weekly estimated case rate per 100 thousand


  1. The student travel window between 3 and 9 December and the national lockdown from 4 January mean that term time residence is likely lower in the weeks from December 3rd than previously.
  2. Response rate here means the proportion of providers that made at least one data return to the Office for Students COVID-19 reporting tool during the 7 day period.
  3. Rapid lateral flow tests were launched for HE on 27 November 2020. The bulk of tests in the Autumn term were taken in December to support safe student travel during the winter break. Testing resumed to support safe return to study in January.
  4. Cases are those that are known to providers and confirmed by polymerase chain reaction test (up to 26 January) or polymerase chain reaction/lateral flow device tests (from 27 January).
  5. For Higher Education Providers who have reported an estimate for students self-isolating in the reporting week, we take the most recent reported estimate and sum to produce a sector summary. Providers who did not submit an estimate during the reporting week are excluded from the counts. See Methodology for more details.
  6. Rates are calculated from providers that returned valid case data and a valid estimate for headcount for the Autumn term.
  7. Estimated case rates per 100,000 for staff and students are rounded to 1 decimal place.
  8. In line with DfE guidance issued in December 2020, the number of students in scope for in person teaching is limited in the Spring term. We estimate that 19% of students were in scope from the start of the Spring term (mainly clinical and teacher training courses, 'tranche 1'), and 49% were in scope from 8 March (all students on courses with practical or practice based elements, 'tranche 2').
  9. Number of providers returning data is shown rather than response rates because during term 1 providers were only asked to return data on self-isolation if they self-reported more than 25 cumulative cases in the previous 7 days. Response rates are therefore less helpful in contextualising this statistic.
  10. A national lockdown was in place between 5 November and 2 December 2020.
  11. Estimates for totals known to providers to be self-isolating are rounded to the nearest 100.

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