HESA record privacy notice

As a university student some of your information will be sent to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) to form your HESA record and your contact details may be passed to survey contractors.

Your HESA record

We will send some of the information we hold about you to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). This information forms your HESA record, which does not include your contact details. Please see HESA's student and staff collection notices for more information.

The HESA record is used for three broad purposes:

The HESA 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 UK:

  • Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
  • Welsh Assembly 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
  • Training and Development Agency for Schools
  • General Teaching Council for England
  • Department for Education
  • General Social Care Council
  • Research Councils.

The HESA record may also be used by the Office for National Statistics and the National Audit Office to fulfil their statutory functions of measuring population levels and monitoring public expenditure.

Equivalent and lower qualifications

This applies only to students enrolling at institutions in England: We and the Higher Education Funding Council for England 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.

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

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

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

Equal opportunities monitoring

Your HESA record may contain details of your ethnic group and any disabilities you have. For students domiciled from Northern Ireland and attending an institution in Northern Ireland it may also contain information about religion. 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, religious beliefs or different states of physical or mental conditions


This may be academic research, commercial research or other statistical research into education where this is of benefit to the public interest.


Where the relevant publication would be in the public interest e.g. league tables.

Anonymised data

Anonymised data for the above purposes is supplied by HESA 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, housing providers, graduate employers)
  • Unions
  • Non-governmental organisations and charities
  • Journalists.

HESA will take precautions to ensure that individuals are not identified from the anonymised data which they process.

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. Get further information about HESA's data protection.

For students on Initial Teacher Training courses at institutions in England only

If you are on an ITT course at an institution in England, HESA will also pass some or all of your HESA record to the General Teaching Council for England (GTC).

GTC is a data controller under the terms of the Data Protection Act 1998. GTC will process your personal data in order to fulfil its remit and its statutory obligations, including the administration of provisional registration. Except where there is a legal obligation, GTC will not share your data with any third party, except those fulfilling a service on their behalf and under their expressed instructions.

Data for 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 education organisations. These organisations and their contractors will use your details only for that purpose, and will then delete them.

After you graduate you may be contacted and asked to complete one or more surveys into the outcomes of higher education and your activities after graduation. These surveys are used to create statistics to meet the public interest in the outcomes of higher education.

Information from third parties (such as your parent, or your provider if you’re in further study) might be used to complete sections of the surveys if you can’t be contacted. The surveys may be undertaken by ECC or by an organisation contracted for that purpose.

Graduate outcomes survey

We will hold your contact details after you graduate in order for you to be contacted to complete a graduate outcomes survey. Your contact details may be passed to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) and/or an organisation contracted to undertake a graduate outcomes survey. The survey contractor will only use your contact details for the survey and will delete them when the survey is closed.

HESA may hold your contact details for further graduate outcomes surveys where these are in the public interest.

Surveys after you graduate

You might be included in a sample of leavers who are surveyed again a few years after they 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.