HESA student record

Brian Harrison made this Freedom of Information request to Higher Education Statistics Agency
This authority is not subject to FOI law, so is not legally obliged to respond (details).

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was successful.

Dear Higher Education Statistics Agency,

Which bodies/institutions are able to access data held on an individual's HESA student record? For example, Higher Education Providers are able to submit data to an individual's HESA student record but are they also able to access data already held on the student record HESA database? What data protection is in place with regards personal information on the HESA database?

Yours faithfully,

Brian Harrison

Simon Kemp, Higher Education Statistics Agency

Dear Mr Harrison


The HESA Student record is intended as a statistical dataset and is not
used to look up individuals except in two exceptional circumstances which
I will describe below.


Information about Data Protection and the HESA records is available from
[1]https://www.hesa.ac.uk/data-protection. In particular the Student
Collection Notice at [2]https://www.hesa.ac.uk/fpn describes the purposes
for which data is collected and the recipients of the HESA Student record.


The organisations listed under ‘Purpose 1 – Public functions’ receive the
entire HESA Student record in order to fulfil their funding and regulatory
functions. Higher Education Providers and other researchers can request
statistical extracts from HESA but do not have access to the full HESA
Student record. All statistical extracts are assessed to minimise any risk
of individuals being identified from the data supplied (see Purpose 4).


The two circumstances where an individual may be looked up in the HESA
Student record are:

1.     Fraud detection and prevention – The funding bodies reserve the
right to query the HESA Student record in cases of suspected fraud, for
example fraudulent claims to student finance or other public funds (see
Purpose 3).

2.     Subject Access Requests – Under the Data Protection Act individuals
have the right to know what personal data about themselves is being
processed by any organisation. Only the data subject themselves can make
such a request.


I hope this answers your query. If you have any further questions about
HESA and Data Protection, please don’t hesitate to ask.


For your reference, HESA is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act
as it is an independent company, owned by its members, and not deemed to
be a public authority (see


Kind regards




Simon Kemp
Press Officer and Data Protection Officer
Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA)
95 Promenade, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL50 1HZ
T 01242 211135  F 01242 211122  W [4]www.hesa.ac.uk



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