One of the biggest needs regarding benchmarking in the higher education sector is the availability
of reliable data. IDSC is a private South African company that developed the web-based Peer Data
Sharing (PDS) application to help address the above. A conscious decision was made to use HEMIS
data for this data sharing project which enables an institution to compare itself with a selection of
Peers on certain indicators.
IDSC developed this web site and will continue to maintain the PDS web site with the financial
support of the University of Johannesburg.
An enhancement of the PDS application were requested by the South African Technology Network
(SaTN), which provides a flexible tool for comparing aggregated data of the 23 institutions, for the
years 2000 to 2007.
The enhanced PDS was commissioned by the SATN Performance Indicators Project and implemented
by IDSC, developers of higher education MIS software.
The application allows a user to cluster institutions into groups for purposes of comparison. Data
is then extracted for a particular indicator (or type of data) and the result displayed in a line or bar
Up to seven different groupings can be specified by the user. An initial set of 17 indicators is
provided. The data used in the graphs is also accessible in tabular form.
The data extracted by the PDS application is from Hemis, the Department of Education’s Higher
Education Management Information System. The final, audited submissions of data from the
institutions are used, at an aggregated level, as supplied by the DoE.
The new enhancement has been developed as part of the 2008 SATN Performance Indicators
Project, to which Universities of Technology and Comprehensive Universities have contributed.
An improvement to the PDS web site occurred during May 2009 with the introduction of research
related data and also an additional reporting functionality (Indicator Explorer) with the assistance
of North West University. This Research related data includes Research Publications, Research Block
Grant Funding, and the Number of Rated Researchers in the Higher Education Sector.
The HEMIS data is annually provided by the Department of Higher Education (DoHE), based on the
following process. Second HEMIS submission data (Year N) will be available at the end of May (Year
N+1) and final audited HEMIS submission data (Year N) will be available from August (Year N+1). The
August data submission will also include any resubmitted data of previous years. It is important to
note that the May submission is provisional and possibly incomplete data. On the 10 June 2014 the latest dataset (2013 Sub 2) was received from the DoHeT.