Data Handling

Purpose

The overall purpose of the Study Environment Survey is to improve the study environment at SDU. The survey is carried out for the purpose of measuring satisfaction with the study environment. We want to use this measurement to gain a better understanding of the study environment and well-being among students and use the results to determine where we can best improve conditions, in order to create an even better study environment. 

The results of the survey will form the basis for specific action plans, which will be initiated within one year of the survey in order to improve the study environment in the areas where it is considered to be most beneficial. Additional analyses of the survey results will be carried out for this purpose. The analyses will be carried out by key persons (persons who have special access to data) at faculties and in Central Administration, and data from the SES will be merged with other data with a view to gain a better understanding of the students and the study environment. If a demand for data from public authorities where SMU is considered to be the sole source arises, this will be provided with reference to the University Act

Data management and accessibility

The overall results will be published when the survey has been completed, and action plans will be prepared to improve the study environment accordingly. The results will only be displayed in aggregated form via statistical breakdowns and categorised (processed) free text fields. All published data will be displayed at a level with a certain minimum number so that the personal response always remains confidential. 

There will be some designated employees with work functions who will have special access to data within their areas of responsibility. Key persons are designated employees with work functions that are closely linked to the area they receive data about. It is expected that by using their specialised knowledge, they will be able analyse the data provided in context, thereby ensuring the best possible interpretation of the results of the survey, and what has been derived hereof, providing action plans or new knowledge that could best improve the study environment. Delivery of data is differentiated in order to avoid the delivery of too much data. Key persons who will work with data to improve the study environment will be divided into one of three categories. The fourth category is for all employees and students at SDU (see table at bottom of page). All key persons have a duty of confidentiality and have consented to the fact that all data must be treated as confidential.

The invitation to the survey is personal and certain background data has been extracted from our student study administrative system STADS. Only key persons belonging to category 1 will have full access to this data. Key persons belonging to category 2 will not have access to background data but will have access to all responses within their area. Since these key persons include Heads of Studies etc., it cannot be excluded that they will be able to recognise certain people's responses via this data (particularly if there are not that many students on the programme). Key persons belonging to category 3 will include persons who typically work in Central Administration and perform tasks within a specific theme (e.g. IT), where they will have access to read all free text fields within their area. Anyone who works with your answer has a duty of confidentiality and is not permitted to disclose your personal response. You will be not contacted in connection with your personal response, as naturally, you must be able to respond with complete freedom without any follow-up on this. Your answer is thus treated confidentially, but anonymity to the key persons cannot be guaranteed. 

Categorisation of data access

 

Category 1

Category 2

Category 3

Category 4

Data access

Raw data (responses and background variables) within key persons’ areas of responsibility. All background variables will be included (names and civil registration numbers will also be included).

Free text fields broken down by programme. Full access to a database showing all closed response breakdowns for all programmes. Personal data in background variables is removed (i.e. no names, civil registration numbers or similar are accessible).

Free text fields - themes. Delivered according to demand.

Report. Database, where at least 5 responses at programme level are included. Certain personally sensitive questions are not displayed in the database (e.g. type of offensive behaviour).

Persons/departments with access

Persons who work with analyses in the analysis departments of Student Services and the Vice-Chancellor's Office. The faculties have appointed one to two key persons who have full access to work with data for analyses within their own faculty.

Heads of Studies, study coordinators or similar are provided with access to free text fields within their own areas of responsibility/programmes. Each programme has been assigned to one key person. The database is accessible to all key persons in category 1, as well as Heads of Studies, study coordinators and similar selected in category 2.

Persons in Central Administration with areas of responsibility within the relevant theme. For example, key persons within IT Services can access free text fields for IT; Planning and Construction (Plan og byg) are provided with the opportunity to read the equivalent about physical conditions; General Study Counselling is provided with the opportunity to read the equivalent about well-being etc.

All employees and students at SDU.

Data can be used for

Analyses of SES data and merging with other data sources to provide a better understanding of the students and the study environment at SDU.

Analyses of SES data for the specific purpose of action plans for programmes.

Analyses of specific themes at SDU for the purpose of action plans within these themes.

General information about the study environment evaluation of full-time students at SDU.

Specific measures

Responses containing personally sensitive questions are sent separately to the key person at each faculty in order to ensure local follow-up.

Responses containing personally sensitive questions are sent in parallel to one designated key person.

 

 

Your personal response will not be transferred to external persons and data will be deleted when the analyses are complete. However, SDU is subject to § 8 of the Danish University Act, which stipulates that SDU must deliver data about the students if an authority makes an application to SDU. We do not know the extent of enquiries from authorities that may request general information about students, so we cannot prepare in advance for, or account for, expected enquiries. All management of data will be consistent with the data protection law principles at SDU, which you can read more about here

If you have any questions regarding the purpose and/or data management, you are welcome to send an e-mail to smu@sdu.dk for more information.

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