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DLHE Longitudinal Survey - 2006/07 cohort

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Version 1.0 2010-08-30

Frequently asked questions for HE leavers 2006/07 survey

What is the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) Survey about?

The Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) Survey is a survey of leavers from Higher Education (HE). It investigates the early career patterns of HE leavers by finding out about what they are doing on particular dates.

The survey is conducted in two parts. The first stage, or Early Survey, asks all leavers what they are doing six months after they qualified from their HE course. It is carried out by HE institutions (universities and colleges), which try to contact all recent leavers six months after leaving and the data collected by institutions is returned to HESA. This data is used to prepare statistics about the destinations of leavers by institution.

The second stage, or Longitudinal Survey, to which these frequently asked questions relate, is a follow-up survey that looks at the destinations of leavers up to three and a half years after they left their institution. This second stage invites all those who completed the Early Survey to take part in the follow-up.

The first full-scale Longitudinal Survey was of leavers who left in 2002/03 and took place in winter 2006/07. A pilot survey of a smaller sample of leavers from 2002/03 was carried out in winter 2005/06. The pilot tested the feasibility of carrying out the survey with a larger sample and on a regular basis. It concluded that it is possible to contact enough leavers three and a half years after they left their institution to gain a good response for analysis. The next full survey took place in November 2008 and leavers from the 2004/05 cohort were surveyed.

A third Longitudinal Survey is taking place over the winter of 2010/11 and leavers from the 2006/07 cohort will be invited to take part.


How did I get to be invited to take part in the follow-up survey?

When you took part in the first stage of the DLHE Survey approximately six months after you left your institution you will have been informed about potentially being a part of the second stage of the survey, the follow-up, three years later.

You will also have been informed that you could opt-out of being part of the follow-up by contacting your institution either at the time of the Early Survey or at any point between the Early Survey and the time that the follow-up would take place (three years later).

This information was made available to you by way of the letter or email that accompanied the Early Survey, or, if you completed the Early Survey by telephone interview by the telephone interviewer. Also there is an opt out tick box at the end of the Early Survey questionnaire where you could indicate that you did not want to be contacted as part of the follow-up.

The letters, emails and the information imparted to you by the telephone interviewers explained that a follow-up survey will take place in three years time, that you would be invited to take part in that follow-up survey and if you are invited to take part your contact details would be passed to a third party undertaking the survey on behalf of HESA. You will have been informed that you can object to being a part of the follow-up survey by contacting your institution or by selecting the tick box at the end of the Early Survey questionnaire.

Only those who completed and returned an Early Survey questionnaire and did not opt out at the time of the Early Survey or at any time since the Early Survey and the time of the follow-up are invited to take part in the follow-up.

Finding out about the activites of as many leavers from higher education as possible is the aim of the survey and it will provide a bigger picture of the activites of leavers over three and a half years.


Who is carrying out this survey?

A contractor will manage and administer the survey centrally on behalf of HESA who already collects information from HE institutions about their students.

IFF Research was appointed to manage the first two surveys in November 2006 and November 2008 and has been appointed to manage and administer the November 2010 survey. In preparation for the survey IFF Research will write to leavers, introducing themselves and explaining what will be involved. You will be able to contact IFF Research with any queries any time during the survey.

For more information about HESA please see Overview.


Why are my contact details needed?

The HE institution you attended will provide the contractor (IFF Research) with your contact details so that they can contact you in order to invite you to take part in the survey.

The contact details provided to IFF Research will be the latest held by your institution (e.g. alumni office or equivalent). IFF Research will not use these details to contact you about anything else. Once the survey is complete, IFF Research will destroy your contact details. No other organisation will receive your contact details and your details will not be used for any purpose other than for the follow-up survey which will be between 23 August 2010 and 31 May 2011. If your contact details have changed, or you provide updated details to IFF Research, these will only be passed back to your institution in order to update its alumni records if you give your permission for them to do so. Your institution will only contact you about your response to this survey if you give permission for them to do so.

The contact details passed from your institution to IFF Research will either be postal address, telephone number(s) and/or email address. Only these will be passed to IFF Research.

For more data protection information please see the Data Protection Homepage.


How will the HE institution I attended use the information I provide?

Within your HE institution the DLHE Survey results will help in reviewing and promoting courses and in giving current and prospective students an insight into career destinations and development.

You will be asked if you would be prepared for your institution to contact you in relation to the data you provide in the survey. Some institutions may wish to do this, in order, for example, to invite alumni to careers events, or to give guest lectures. By default it will be assumed that you do not wish to be contacted in this manner.


Who else will use the data?

HESA will keep the survey data to create time series statistics showing year-by-year changes at sector level.

The following organisations will also have access to the data you provide in order to carry out their statutory functions connected with the funding and monitoring of higher education:

  • The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)
  • Welsh Assembly Government (WAG)
  • Scottish Government (SG)
  • Department for Employment and Learning, Northern Ireland (DEL(NI))
  • Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)
  • Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW)
  • Scottish Further and Higher Education Funding Council (SFC)
  • Research Councils (RCs)

These organisations will not have access to your contact details and so the data you provide cannot be linked to you. The data they are provided with will not be used in any way that could affect you personally. These organisations are known as HESA's Statutory Customers and each receives the data that HESA collects in order to carry out their various functions.

The data is not used by any organsation to identify individuals, neither is it passed to other government agencies for that purpose. The data is only collected for the purpose of producing statistics, which may inform decision-making within these organisations. All organisations to whom data is passed are obliged to abide by the Data Protection Act 1998.


How else will the data be used?

Data will be passed by HESA to the above organisations only to carry out their public functions conencted with education in the UK. The data provided will be linked to other data previously provided to HESA by institutions in order to produce statistical reports. Examples of previous DLHE Longitudinal Survey reports published can be found at

Other uses of the DLHE data are described in the DLHE data collection notice

The survey data will not be used by any organisation in any way that could affect you presonally.


How can I get more information?

More information about HESA’s data protection policy can be found on the Data protection home page.

If you have any concerns about your information being used for these purposes, please contact HESA by any of the means listed below. Under the Data Protection Act 1998, you have the right to a copy of the information HESA holds about you. You will have to pay a small fee for this.

Address: HESA, 95 Promenade, Cheltenham, GL50 1HZ
Email: [email protected]
Tel: 01242 255577
Fax: 01242 211122


Contact Liaison by email or on +44 (0)1242 388 531.