The StudentSurvey.ie management and your higher education institution take the anonymity of the students who take the survey very seriously.
We have taken several steps to ensure the anonymity of your responses. But first, what do we actually do with your data?
The survey is conducted by an external survey company that has been contracted by the Higher Education Authority in order to conduct the survey. The company currently contracted to conduct the survey is a company called i-graduate.
Your institution sends securely a small amount of non-sensitive demographic information from your student record to the survey company. This information includes whether you are studying full-time or part-time, what field of study you are programme is in, and your country of domicile (you can see the full list in the Privacy Statement here).
This information also includes your email address so the survey company can send you the invitation to take the survey.
The survey would be pointless without this information because your institution would not know if the feedback was coming from (for example) part-time or full-time students, from first year, final year or taught postgrad students, and they wouldn't be able to give feedback to each faculty or school from their students. And then there could be no action on your valuable feedback.
So what next?
If you start the survey using the individual URL in the email you get inviting you to take the survey, then your responses are automatically linked to your demographic information.
If you access the survey through the link on the website, then the survey company needs an identifier to link your responses to your demographic information. This is why we need your student number and month of birth.
BEFORE sending the responses to StudentSurvey.ie to your institution or the survey management, the survey company replaces your student number with a numerical code (not related to your student number) and deletes your student number, name and date of birth. Your student number, name and date of birth are never in any of the files shared with your institution. This means you cannot be identified by your student number, name or date of birth because they have been deleted.
Even if you accidentally wrote your name in one of your answers, this is deleted by the survey company before they release the results.
Yes... Your institution, the organisation that holds the contract with the survey company (the Higher Education Authority), and the survey company have all signed agreements to protect your anonymity, to respect your data and never to make any attempt to identify an individual from the survey responses.
These are some of the steps we have taken to ensure your data are secure
Agreements to protect your data:
There is a Data Confidentiality Agreement between the Higher Education Authority and the survey company on behalf of the whole project.
There is a Data Processing Agreement between your institution and the survey company.
The survey company carried out a Data Processing Impact Assessment and this shows that all data are processed as securely as possible.
A full review of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) compliance by suitably qualified solicitors verified that all processes related to the survey are GDPR compliant.
Ways you are informed of how your data will be used:
You are informed about the sharing of student data with the survey company for the purposes of the Irish Survey of Student Engagement in the HEA data use notice at registration.
You are informed about the sharing of student data with the survey company for the purposes of the Irish Survey of Student Engagement on your institution's data use notice at registration.
You have access to the StudentSurvey.ie Privacy Statement (in Irish and English) at any time (see below) and you have to indicate you have read it before taking the survey.