"The 'Big Idea' behind my entry to the TSO competition was a simple one – make UCAS course data (course code, title and institution) available as data. By opening up the data we make it possible for third parties to construct services and applications based around complete data skeleton of all the courses offered for undergraduate entry through clearing in a particular year across UK higher education.
The data acts as scaffolding that can be used to develop consumer facing applications across HE (e.g. improved course choice applications) as well as support internal 'vertical' activities within HEIs that may also be transferable across HEIs.
Primary value is generated from taking the course code scaffolding and annotating it with related data. Access to this dataset may be sold on in a B2B context via data platform services. Consumer facing applications with their own revenue streams may also be built on top of the data platform.
This idea makes data available that can potentially disrupt the currently discovery model for course choice and selection (but in its current form, not in university application or enrolment), in Higher Education in the UK."
(Tony Hirst, 2011)
"Unistats lets you search, review and compare official information about universities and colleges in the UK, and the subjects they offer. It includes results from the National Student Survey – where more than 220,000 students give their views about the quality of their higher education experience. ...
HEFCE (the Higher Education Funding Council for England)¹ owns the Unistats websites and has contracted UCAS to manage the delivery and maintenance of these websites on its behalf."
"The Joint Academic Coding System (JACS) is owned and maintained by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) and the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) and is used for subject coding of provision across higher education in the UK. JACS was first introduced in 2002/03 (UCAS year of entry 2002 and reporting year 2002/03 HESA) to replace the two different classifications systems previously used by the two organisations. JACS is currently used to code the subjects of both higher education courses and the individual modules within them across the full range of higher education provision.
Since the range and depth of subjects available for study in higher education is not static, it is necessary to review JACS on a regular basis to ensure that it is current and up to date. A first review of a subset of subject areas resulted in JACS 2.0 introduced for 2007 year of entry (UCAS) and 2007/08 reporting year (HESA).
A second review of JACS has just been completed, leading to the production of JACS 3.0 for use from 2012/13 (UCAS year of entry 2012). The intention of this review was to understand any new developments in the identified areas that may not have been reflected in the JACS 2.0 classification and/or to identify anything that was otherwise missing or incorrectly classified.
A number of subject areas were identified as needing review. It was also intended that particular attention be paid to ensuring that JACS was suitable for coding foundation degree provision. Investigation was also undertaken as part of this review to see whether or not JACS could also be used for classification of research."
(Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, UK)
1). Owen Stephens JISC MOSAIC JACS extraction utility: W614, 2011
"UCAS is an acronym for the Universities and Colleges Application System At present all students in schools and colleges apply to university at the beginning of Year 13, although there are plans to change this. This means that tutors have to be ready to start the process with their tutees at the end of Year 12, when they return from completing their AS examinations. By this time students will have already had some preparation, as students will have had talks from local university representatives, and have attended a UCAS Higher Education Fair and [open day presentations]. Some of them will also have attended Taster courses at local universities around Easter time."
(Groby Community Specialist Language College)
Fig.1 screen-shot of interactive Google map of UK universities and colleges.