HESA Student Data Collection Notice
Student and leaver surveys
Your contact details may be passed to survey contractors to carry out the National Student Survey (NSS) and surveys of student finances, on behalf of some of the organisations listed below under Purpose 1. These organisations and their contractors will use your details only for that purpose, and will then delete them.
About six months after you graduate, we may contact you to ask you to fill in the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) ‘Destinations of Leavers from HE’ questionnaire. You may also be contacted as part of an audit to check that we have undertaken this survey properly. We will not give your contact details to HESA.
You may also be included in longitudinal surveys of leavers in the years after you graduate. If so, we will pass your contact details to the organisation that has been contracted to carry out that survey. That organisation will use your details only for that purpose, and will then delete them.
If you do not want to take part in any of these surveys, please let us know.
Submission of your information to HESA
Every year we will send some of the information we hold about you to HESA (“your HESA information”). HESA is the official source of data about UK universities and higher education colleges. HESA collects, and is responsible for, the database in which your HESA information is stored. HESA is a registered charity and operates on a not-for-profit basis. HESA uses your HESA information itself for its own purposes.
HESA also shares information from your HESA information with third parties. It may charge other organisations to whom it provides services and data. HESA's use of your HESA information may include linking information from it to other data, as described further below. All uses of HESA information must comply with the Data Protection Act 1998.
If you give us information about your disability status, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender reassignment or religion these may be included in your HESA information and used to assist with monitoring equality of opportunity and eliminating unlawful discrimination in accordance with the Equality Act. Some other sensitive information is used to enable research into the provision of fair access to higher education, for example information as to whether you are a care leaver.
If you are enrolled at a higher education provider in England regulated by the Higher Education Funding Council for England your HESA information will include details of any financial support you may receive from us.
Your sensitive information will not be used to make decisions about you.
Your HESA information including linked data is used for four broad purposes:
Purpose 1 - Public functions
Education statistics and data
Your HESA information is used by some organisations to help carry out public functions connected with education in the UK. These organisations are data controllers in common of your HESA information under the terms of the Data Protection Act (read Key definitions of the Data Protection Act).
Such organisations may include:
- Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
- Welsh Government
- Scottish Government
- Department for Employment and Learning, Northern Ireland
- Higher Education Funding Council for England
- Higher Education Funding Council for Wales
- Scottish Further and Higher Education Funding Council
- Department for Education
- Research Councils
- Education Funding Agency
- National College for Teaching and Leadership
- National Health Service
- General Medical Council
- Office For Fair Access
- Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education
and any successor bodies.
Your HESA information may also be used by some organisations who are also data controllers in common to help carry out public functions that are not connected with education. Such uses may include the following:
- Measurement of population levels and migration by the Office for National Statistics, National Records of Scotland and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency
- Monitoring of public expenditure by the National Audit Office
- Monitoring of the accuracy of electoral registers by Electoral Registration Officials.
Purpose 2 - Administrative uses
Fraud detection and prevention - Your HESA information may be used to audit claims to public funding and student finance, and to detect and prevent fraud.
Previous study - If you are enrolled at an HE provider in England: The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) may share your previous education records with us, including HESA information submitted by other institutions, to determine the nature of any prior higher education study, including your current qualifications. This may be used to make decisions about the fees you are required to pay, the support available to you or the availability of a place for you to study with us.
Your HESA information will not be used to make decisions about you other than for those uses outlined under Purpose 2.
Purpose 3 - HESA publications
HESA uses your HESA information to produce and publish information and statistics. This includes some National Statistics publications and online business intelligence and research services. HESA will take precautions to ensure that individuals are not identified from any information which is processed for Purpose 3.
Purpose 4 - Equal opportunity, research, journalism and other processing in which there is a legitimate interest
HESA and the other data controllers in common (see Purpose 1) may also supply information to third parties where there is a legitimate interest in doing so. Examples of use for this purpose include:
- Equal opportunities monitoring
- Research - This may be academic research, commercial research or other statistical research where this is in the public interest
- Journalism - Where the relevant publication would be in the public interest e.g. league tables
- Provision of information to students and prospective students
Users to whom information may be supplied for Purpose 4 include:
- Higher education sector bodies
- Higher education providers
- Academic researchers and students
- Commercial organisations (e.g. recruitment firms, housing providers, graduate employers)
- Non-governmental organisations and charities
- Local, regional and national government bodies
Information supplied by HESA to third parties within Purpose 4 is supplied under contracts which require that individuals shall not be identified from the supplied information. Read a copy of HESA’s current agreement for the supply of information. HESA student information may be linked to school and/or further education college information and supplied to researchers. Read a copy of the Agreement for the supply of linked data about pupils from schools in England.
Linking information in the HESA record
As indicated above, where HESA and organisations covered by Purpose 1 use HESA information this may include linking HESA information to other information for example:
- UCAS data
- National Student Survey data
- School and Further Education data
- Student Loans Company data
- Qualification Awarding Bodies data
- Tax, Benefits, and Employment data.
Where HESA provides information from your HESA information to third parties under Purpose 4, the permitted uses of the information by a third party may include linking HESA information to other information held by the third party. Permission for such use is considered on a case by case basis. It is only given where the linking is for the purposes outline in Purpose 4 and subject to the requirement not to carry out linking to identify individuals.
Destinations information for schools and colleges – If you attended a school or college in England linked data may be disclosed to the last school or college you attended (or its successor body) to enable them to assess the outcomes of secondary education.
The HESA Initial Teacher Training Record ("ITT)
If you are on an ITT or EYITT course at a higher education provider in England, HESA will collect additional information about you and provide this to The National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL).
ITT or EYITT courses are those that lead to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) or Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS)
NCTL is an executive agency of the Department for Education (DfE) and for the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998 DfE and HESA are data controllers in common of the ITT record. NCTL will process your personal data for the administration and monitoring of initial teacher training schemes, including the allocation of Teacher Reference Numbers. NCTL may share personal data with us, its partners and contractors, including employers, employment agencies, Ofsted, Capita Teachers’ Pensions and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), for this purpose and may link it to other sources of information about you.
About the HESA Student Collection Notice
The HESA Student Collection Notice is regularly reviewed. Access the most up to date version online. Minor updates to the Student Collection Notice (including organisation name changes and clarification of previously specified purposes) may be made at any time. Major updates (such as a new purpose or administrative use) will be made no more than once per year.
Under the Data Protection Act 1998 you have rights of access to the data HESA holds about you. You will have to pay a small fee to access this. For further information about data protection and your HESA information please see the HESA website or email email@example.com.