Collection and use of personal data

Please read the following information about this data collection and research to make sure you understand what data we are collecting, who can access it, and what will be done with it.
You are being invited to take part in a research project run by Next Steps South West (NSSW) as part of the UniConnect Programme. Our aim is to increase the number of young people in higher education by 2021 by providing information, advice and guidance and support to students. This research will help us to understand in more detail what support works and for whom.

Who are we? Next Steps South West work on behalf of The Office for Students (OfS). Next Steps South West is carrying out the local evaluation for the UniConnect project.

What is the project's purpose? The project will explore outreach activities’ effectiveness in engaging students with higher education (post-18 programmes leading to qualifications above A Level or Level 3 standard) within Devon, Cornwall, and Somerset.

What does the project involve? You will be invited to join in with activities and sessions that will talk about higher education. These may be aimed at explaining more about your post-18 options, target specific skills, or aim to raise confidence or aspiration. 

Activity Evaluation. After some activities, you may be asked to complete a survey or take part in a group or interview-style discussion with a member of the NSSW team. This will help us to understand how useful you found the sessions, if they have changed your thoughts about higher education, and how we can improve them for future groups of students. Your answers will be collected together, and may be used if the research is published, but you will not be identifiable.

What will happen with the information collected? 
  • Your personal data (first name, last name, date of birth and home postcode) will be collected by the Next Steps South West (NSSW) team based at the University of Plymouth.
  • We gather this data so we can register your attendance at our event. We will record it onto a secure database (HEAT - Higher Education Access Tracker) which allows us to track students’ progress onto higher education, and to produce reports monitoring our activities.
  • The data we add to HEAT may be shared with the Department for Education (DfE) and the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).
  • We will handle all data securely in line with the Data Protection Act 2018.
  • You have the right to refuse or to withdraw at any time, without giving a reason. If you do wish to withdraw, all personal information will be destroyed, unless it has already been used within reports.
  • We will not identify you in activity evaluation survey responses.
  • Your school or college may request feedback from the data, but it will not be possible to identify you from this feedback, and no individual responses will be given.
  • NSSW and its partners will not use your personal data in a way that would affect you individually, and will not release data to any unauthorised third parties.
Now click "Next" to watch a short video to explain this a little further.