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Draft Data Dictionary for Tertiary Sector Drawn Up

June 26, 2019

Department of Higher Education and Training

26 June 2019

A Draft Data Dictionary on terms and concepts used in the tertiary education sector has been drawn up.

The higher education and training department called for comment on the Draft Data Dictionary of Post-School Education and Training in Government Gazette 42536.

According to the department, the proposed Data Dictionary will “promote data integrity by supporting the adoption and use of consistent data elements and terminology within the PSET systems”.

The adoption of the Dictionary will improve the reliability and quality of the data.

The Data Dictionary will also provide common understanding of the meaning and descriptive characteristics of the PSET data.

It flows from the Higher Education and Training Information Policy (HETIP) approved at the end of 2013.

As outlined in the Draft Data Dictionary’s introduction, the main purpose of the HETIP is to “provide guiding principles that enhance data collection system in the Post-School Education and Training (PSET) sector; enhance strategies of providing better data and information to the public and researchers; and to promote accountability as well as informed decision on planning, management and monitoring of the PSET sector”.

Due to the outdated nature of the aggregated data format based on annual surveys, the department developed the Higher Education and Training Management Information System (HETMIS) which is an integrated information system, containing unit level record data from different PSET sectors.

“Data in HETMIS follows common information standards that are shared, in order to generate data that is comparable and of an acceptable quality.”

According to the department, the data in HETMIS will add maximum value to PSET planning, monitoring and management.

In order to achieve this, a Data Dictionary is needed to provide a standard for the terms and concepts that are commonly used in the PSET sector, thereby promoting data integrity.

The Data Dictionary will apply to data managers and programme managers who undertake surveys in PSETIs, especially in the development of questionnaires data analysis and report writing.

A list of terms defined is provided.

The plan is to update the Dictionary every two years.

Comment is invited within 30 days of the date of publication.