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University student data

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Source of the personal data

The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) collects personal information on university students(/staff) directly from universities and shares this data with SFC.

HESA is the principal body responsible for collecting and analysing data about the higher education institutions in the UK. More information on how HESA use personal data can be found on the privacy information page of their website.

Data Lab collects personal data of European Social Fund Students on behalf of SFC. Data Lab is an innovation centre within the University of Edinburgh. Please refer to the Data Lab privacy notice for more information.

Categories of personal data collected

SFC collects the following categories of personal data about university students:

  • Demographic information.
  • Information about the course that you undertake.
  • Funding information.
  • Equalities information.
  • Student status.
  • Previous qualifications.
  • Proof of the right to live/work in the UK.

Purposes of processing

SFC processes university student data so far as it is necessary for:

  • Monitoring universities’ educational outcomes.
  • Assessing universities’ financial requirements.
  • Ensuring that universities are promoting equality and diversity.
  • Providing European Social Fund (ESF) funding to universities and to monitor and audit their compliance with ESF requirements.
  • Monitoring institutional sustainability and governance.
  • Evaluate the quality of university education in Scotland.
  • To provide statistical data on university education in Scotland in collaboration with HESA.

Legal basis for processing

SFC processes university student data so far as it is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in SFC.

SFC processes university student special category data so far as it is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest, on the basis of law under:

  • Further and Higher Education (Scotland) Act 1992.
  • Further and Higher Education (Scotland) Act 2005.
  • EU legislation for the provision of the European Social Fund.

Recipients of the data

SFC shares university student data with other public sector bodies to allow them to carry out their tasks in the public interest and to carry out their statutory functions. SFC may share personal data with:

  • The Scottish Government.
  • The European Commission.
  • Universities.
  • NHS Education for Scotland.
  • Colleges in Scotland.

SFC uses third parties for some of its IT systems which are used to hold and process personal data.