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Data Protection

Student Data Collection Notice

We will send some of the information we hold about you to the Higher Education Authority (HEA). This information forms your HEA student record, which does not include your contact details (name, address or telephone number).

During your studies, you will be invited to participate in the Irish National Survey of Student Engagement. Some of your information may be sent to the HEA to ensure that the survey is offered only to intended target groups of students. Your information may be matched to your survey responses in order to allow for anonymous analysis of results, for example, by gender or full-time / part-time. Your responses will be treated confidentially and no individual student will be identifiable in any reports or results generated as a result of this survey.

About nine months after you graduate, we will contact you to ask you to fill in the HEA ‘First Destination of Graduates Survey’ questionnaire. We will not give your contact details to the HEA.

The HEA student record is used for three broad purposes:

1. Statutory functions

The HEA record is used by the organisations listed below, or agents acting on their behalf, to carry out their public functions connected with education in the Republic of Ireland.

  • Department of Education and Skills
  • Department of Enterprise Trade and Innovation
  • Department of Social Protection

The HEA record may also be used by the Central Statistics Office in order to carry out their statutory functions of measuring population levels and monitoring public expenditure.

Your HEA record will not otherwise be used in any way that affects you personally.

2. HEA publications 

HEA use the HEA student record to produce anonymised aggregate data in annual statistical publications. These include some National Statistics publications and online management information services.

3. Research, equal opportunity, journalism, other legitimate interest/public function

HEA will also supply anonymised aggregate data to third parties for the following purposes:

  • Equal opportunities monitoring - the HEA student record may contain details of ethnic group and disability. This data is only used where it is needed to promote or maintain equality of opportunity or treatment between persons of different racial or ethnic origins, or different states of physical or mental conditions.
  • Research. This may be academic research, commercial research or other statistical research into education where this is of benefit to the public interest.
  • Journalism, where the relevant publication would be in the public interest.
  • Anonymised aggregate data for the above purposes is supplied by HEA to the following types of user:

    • Local, regional and national government bodies who have an interest in higher education
    • Higher education sector bodies
    • Higher education institutions
    • Academic researchers and students
    • Commercial organisations (e.g. recruitment firms, graduate employers)
    • Unions
    • Non-governmental organisations and charities
    • Journalists

Individuals cannot be identified from this anonymised aggregate data.

Your Rights

Under the Data Protection Act 1998, you have rights of access to the data HEA holds about you. This information can only be obtained by the individual presenting with a photographic ID to the HEA. 


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