Student identifier(SID)

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Student identifier
Short Name
Parent Entity
Applicable To
England Northern Ireland Scotland Wales

All Students

This field records the unique identifier for the Student.

The first time a student is returned by a provider, a new Student.SID is created for the student using the structure below. There is not a requirement to return the same Student.SID as a previous provider if the student has previously been returned to HESA by another provider.

If the student has more than one Engagement at the same provider, they should retain the same Student.SID. For continuing students who were submitted in the Student or Student Alternative returns and will continue to be returned by the same provider in Data Futures, the Student.HUSID returned in the Student or Student Alternative return must be submitted as the Student.SID.

When a HUSID has been assigned to a student this should continue to be used whenever that student returns to the same provider, which includes students who previously completed prior to 1 August 2022 and return to complete a second period of study after that date.

Providers can optionally return their own student identifier in Student.OWNSTU.

Where a SID is returned, it must be returned in line with HESA's defined structure.

The structure of the SID is as follows:

  • First 2 digits: Year of entry into provider (last 2 digits of year)
  • Next 8 digits: Provider's UKPRN
  • Next 6 digits: 6 digit reference number internally allocated by provider
  • Last digit: Check digit

Calculation of Check Digit

The check digit is calculated using the first 16 digits of the SID and provides a means of detecting errors of transcription.

To calculate the check digit, each of the first 16 digits is multiplied by a weight which depends on its position in the number, with the resulting products then added. The check digit is then obtained by subtracting the final digit of the resulting sum from ten.

If the final digit of the sum of the products is 0, the check digit would be the final digit after subtraction i.e. 10 - 0 = 10, check digit is 0.

The weights used are:

 Year of EntryUKPRNReference Number


In October 2012 a student enters the University of Gloucestershire and is allocated an internal number of 123456. The check digit calculation for this student's reference number, 1210007145123456 would be calculated as:

 Year of EntryUKPRNReference Number

The sum of the products is 220, the final digit being 0, therefore the check digit is 10-0, or 0. The full identifier is therefore 12100071451234560.

Reason Required
To uniquely identify students within providers, to allow linking between entities.
Field Length
Quality RulesQuality Rules to follow
Minimum Occurrence
Maximum Occurrence
Primary Key?
Foreign Key For
Revision History
Coding Manual VersionElement VersionNotes clarified about students returning to study.