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Linked data

These are our responses and clarifications to issues raised in our consultation around data supply and publications.

The consultation paper hints that the data may be released in an individualised format under some circumstances, but we would welcome more details about how this will work?

We are working with the Department for Education on the legal restrictions placed on this individualised data. More detail will be published throughout the implementation phase.

Could HESA investigate linking data to other sources like the National Pupil Database to provide a more coherent data set around all aspects of graduates’ educational experience for HEPs to work with?

We will continue to keep opportunities for new linked data under review; however we are unlikely to develop new mechanisms for the first year of implementation (2017/18).

At what point in the survey is linked further study data added? Does linked data count as 3rd party response?

Linked data will not be incorporated within the raw survey data dashboards, but incorporated within the publications of the processed data. The STATUS field will be redesigned to take account of the new methodologies.

What will happen where a graduate’s response and the linked data give conflicting information – which will be treated as more authoritative?

As linked data which is provided will be administrative data, this will take priority. However we will avoid duplication of collection by not asking graduates questions in the survey which can be supplied using linked data.

We understand that HESA plan to access salary data without the express permission of the graduate. Are there any concerns that graduates (or other groups) will object to their personal data being accessed in this way?

The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act (2015) allowed for this data linking, for educational evaluations. There are strict restrictions on the uses of this data within that remit.

Now that linked data allows for accurate wage data, and if these are linked to league table measures, will courses that result in less well paid graduates get dropped by institutions?

Salary data is not currently used in league tables. It is at individual university's discretion which courses they run.