Data protection at the DZHW

The following information relates to data protection in the context of the DZHW's general activity. You can find statements on data protection in the context of the DZHW's website here.

A high level of data protection: Your data are safe with us

Collection, processing and use of personal data in the context of the DZHW's research

As an international competence centre for higher education research and science studies, the German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW) carries out data collection in the form of surveys. Although neither names nor addresses of respondents are collected, the answers given may be so specific that it would be possible to identify individual survey participants. Therefore all DZHW survey data are protected in accordance with the personal data protection rules of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the German Data Protection Act (BDSG).

The collection of personal data in the context of survey projects by the DZHW alone or jointly with collaborating partners is carried out solely for the purposes of scientific research. The data collected are subject to the specific purpose that respondents were informed of when their consent to the data collection was requested. If data are to be transmitted to third parties, respondents are informed of this in advance.

The basic provision that applies for data collected in the context of survey projects is that all information that could directly identify an individual (name, address, email) is separated from the other survey data immediately on receipt of the latter. As soon as the address data are no longer required (usually after the final survey has been carried out) or if consent is withdrawn, these data are irrevocably deleted.

Respondents to DZHW surveys are selected by a random procedure; participation is always voluntary. Non-participation does not entail any disadvantages for respondents. Surveys are often carried out anonymously, so that we deliberately abstain from collecting name and address data. If the project design entails repeated surveys of respondents, they are always informed of this fact and requested to make the address data available solely for the purpose explained.

All information in the context of DZHW surveys is evaluated in compliance with the applicable data protection regulations and in accordance with purely scientific considerations. Findings are published in such a way that it is impossible to draw inferences about individuals.

In so far as the survey data enable individual respondents to be identified, these persons have the following rights:

  • The right to disclosure of which of their personal data are stored
  • The right to rectification of inaccurate personal data
  • The right to restrict the purposes for which the data are used
  • The right to withdraw their consent for the future
  • The right to obtain a copy of stored personal data
  • The right to lodge a complaint with the supervisory authority (Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information, Graurheindorfer Str. 153, 53117 Bonn, ).

Some surveys may contain questions about third parties (e.g. education and profession of the respondent's parents). In so far as these data enable these third parties to be identified, the DZHW publishes relevant explanations on its website to inform the third parties about data collection and exercising their rights.

Most survey data are made available in anonymised form to the scientific community (research and teaching) by the DZHW Research Data Centre (FDZ). The transmission of the anonymised data is restricted to known scientific institutions. Under no circumstances are the data made available for any purposes other than scientific purposes.

The DZHW implements technological and organisational security measures to protect personal data made available to us against misuse. Data gathered in survey projects are processed in an internal network that is technologically separate from the Internet. Within the institute, the only staff who have access to project data are those staff who are commissioned to implement the project. The security measures are continuously modified in line with technological developments.