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 institution 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 informantion 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. Such organisations 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
- Skills Funding Agency
- The National College for Teaching and Leadership
- The National Health Service (including Health Education England)
- General Medical Council
- Office For Fair Access
- The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education
and any successor bodies. These organisations may link your HESA information with other information they or other organisations hold. For example the Department for Education and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills link your HESA information to the National Pupil Database and the Individual Learner Record. Your HESA information is linked to data from the Student Loan Company by HE Funding Councils. Your HESA information may also be linked to tax or employment information.
Linked data is used for research into education and its outcomes.
Your HESA information may also be used by some organisations 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
Your HESA record will not be used to make decisions about you other than for those uses outlined under Purpose 2.
Purpose 3 - HESA publications
HESA uses the HESA Student Record to produce statistical publications. These include some National Statistics publications and online management information services. HESA will take precautions to ensure that individuals are not identified from the data which are 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 listed under Purpose 1 may also supply data 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 data 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 is supplied under contracts which require that individuals shall not be identified from the supplied information. A copy of HESA’s current agreement for the supply of information is available at https://www.hesa.ac.uk/bds-details#e. HESA student information (linked to the National Pupil Database and/or Individual Learner Record held by DfE) may be supplied by HESA through DfE to researchers. A copy of the Agreement for the supply of linked data is available at www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-pupil-database