DLHE Returns User Guide<>

Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education

What is DLHE​?

DLHE (usually pronounced ‘deli’) stands for ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’.

DLHE is a telephone survey and data collection process which aggregates information about what former students are doing six months after graduation. It provides a detailed breakdown of the numbers in employment, further training and unemployed.

Institutions contact former students included in the survey and ask each individual a series of around thirty questions relating to his or her employment status and experience of higher education.

What is the purpose of DLHE​

The DLHE results assist potential students to make an informed choice of HE course and institution. The results have a strong influence on the league tables and other measures of quality and performance of institutions provided by various media ranking reports.

Who is responsible for DLHE?

DLHE is a project of the The Higher Education Statistical Agency (HESA). HESA is the central agency for the collection and distribution of data relating to higher education institutions. It supports the government in determining higher education policy and the allocation of funding.

Defining who is included ― the POPDLHE list

HESA provides each institution with a list of former students who should be included in the survey. This list is known as the ‘DLHE Target Population’ or by its abbrievated name POPDLHE (pronounced ‘pop-deli’). The majority of former students are included in the survey.

More information about DLHE and POPDLHE

Information about the survey methods and recommended practice can be found in the DLHE Good Practice Manual. This can be downloaded from the HESA website at:


What is the Quercus DLHE option?

The Quercus DLHE option allows data entry operatives who are conducting the telephone survey, or who are transcribing survey results from paper forms, to enter DHLE results directly into the Quercus HESA module. The screens are the electronic equivalent of the paper forms provided by HESA. They are, however, optimised for fast on-screen data entry.