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Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) Student Collection Notice

Student and Leaver Surveys

Your contact details may be passed to survey contractors to carry out the National Student Survey and surveys of student finances, on behalf 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 will contact you to ask you to fill in the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) ‘Destinations of Leavers from HE’ questionnaire. We will not give your contact details to HESA. You may also be included in a longitudinal survey of leavers a few 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 these surveys, please let us know.

The HESA Student Record

We will send some of the information we hold about you to HESA. HESA collects, and is responsible for, the database in which your HESA student record is stored.  HESA uses this information in its own right, for example to publish statistics about students in higher education. HESA also processes information held in the database for other organisations. All uses of the HESA Student Record must comply with the Data Protection Act 1998.

HESA is a registered charity and operates on a not-for-profit basis.  It may charge other organisations that it provides services and data to, in order to cover its costs.

Sensitive personal data

If you give us information about your disability status, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, pregnancy/maternity or religion these will be included in the HESA Student Record to assist with monitoring equality of opportunity and eliminating unlawful discrimination in accordance with the Equality Act. These fields will not be used by HESA in any way that could be used to identify you.

The HESA Student Record is used for four broad purposes:

Purpose 1 - Public functions

Education statistics and data

The HESA Student Record 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 the HESA Student Record 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
  • The Teaching Agency
  • Department for Education
  • General Social Care Council (and successor(s))
  • Research Councils
  • Skills Funding Agency

and any successor bodies. These organisations may link information from the HESA Student Record with other information they hold. For example the Department for Education and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills link the HESA Student Record to the National Pupil Database. The linked data is used for understanding higher education and its impacts.

Other uses

The HESA Student Record 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

Previous Qualifications -If you are enrolled at an institution in England: We and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) may compare your data to educational records from previous years to help determine the levels of your current qualifications. This may in turn affect the fees you are required to pay or the availability of a place for you to study with us.

Non-EU domiciled students - If you are a non-EU domiciled student HESA may be requested to provide data about you to the United Kingdom's immigration authorities. These authorities may process your personal data in order to carry out their public functions connected with immigration.

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 3 include:

  • Higher education sector bodies
  • Higher education providers
  • Academic researchers and students
  • Commercial organisations (e.g. recruitment firms, housing providers, graduate employers)
  • Unions
  • Non-governmental organisations and charities
  • Local, regional and national government bodies
  • Journalists

Data supplied by HESA to third parties is supplied under contracts which require that individuals shall not be identified from the supplied data. A copy of HESA’s standard agreement for the supply of data is available

About the HESA Student Collection Notice

The HESA Student Collection Notice is regularly reviewed.  The most up to date version can be found at 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.

Your Rights

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 for this. For further information about the HESA Student Record please see or email

Additional data protection information at Bangor: