Support #1853

Missing Data in Higher Education Codes

Added by Johanna Reuter over 1 year ago. Updated 7 months ago.

Data inconsistency
Start date:
% Done:




I applied for special access to the data 8578 Higher Education Codes. I have now been given the data but I am extremely worried about the number of missing values in the data. Specifically, there are extremely many missing values in the higher education institution for individuals who have a UK higher education degree and who finished in or after 1995. Therefore, I wanted to ask whether this is normal and how come there are so many missing values. Is there any systematic reason of why some individuals were asked the questions regarding their HE institutions and others were not? Or is it simply that some individuals refused to respond - however, I thought that this should be coded as inapplicable rather than missing.

I attach a screen shot of a count of individuals who have a degree but no HE institution information in wave k in comparison to individuals who have a degree but have HE institution information in wave k.

Thank you very much for your help!


Screenshot 2023-02-09 at 10.10.46.png (35.9 KB) Screenshot 2023-02-09 at 10.10.46.png Count of individuals who have a UK degree with and without HE inst information Johanna Reuter, 02/09/2023 09:11 AM

Updated by Understanding Society User Support Team over 1 year ago

  • Status changed from New to In Progress
  • % Done changed from 0 to 10
  • Private changed from Yes to No

Many thanks for your enquiry. The Understanding Society team is looking into it and we will get back to you as soon as we can. We aim to respond to simple queries within 48 hours and more complex issues within 7 working days.

Best wishes,
Understanding Society User Support Team


Updated by Understanding Society User Support Team over 1 year ago

  • Category changed from Special license to Data inconsistency
  • Status changed from In Progress to Feedback
  • % Done changed from 10 to 70


I am sorry that it has taken so long to get back to you.

The high level of missingness is due to some errors that happened when the data was collected in wave 11, some of these problems are briefly described in the dataset description available on the study's UKDS webpage: "Users of the Wave 11 file should be aware that approximately 2,000 respondents who did not give consent to a linkage consent question were incorrectly not asked for their establishment identifiers. The respondents affected have been asked the same questions again in Wave 12." Additionally, our data team has identified some other problems and is currently working on fixing them. We hope that we can release the revised version by the end of April.

Best wishes,
UKHLS User Support Team


Updated by Understanding Society User Support Team 7 months ago

  • Status changed from Feedback to Resolved
  • % Done changed from 70 to 100

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