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Privacy Policy

This is the Privacy Policy for the Irish National Digital Experience (INDEx) Survey coordinated by The National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning. This document should be read in tandem with the National Forum’s own privacy statement.

  1. What we collect and how

The INDEx Survey aims to gather quantitative and qualitative data from students and those who teach in Irish higher education institutions (HEIs) about their digital experience, engagement and expectations. The web-based INDEx surveys are designed to be completed anonymously, and respondents are reminded not to enter personal details in any fields. The INDEx Survey will be conducted using the Jisc online surveys platform (BOS)[1]. Data gathered in the survey will reside on the BOS server. The data gathered will be jointly owned by the National Forum and each participating institution (with each institution having access to its own dataset only). Upon the close of the survey period, any personal data that may have been entered into the survey will be permanently deleted, irreversibly preventing identification of the individual to whom it related.

  1. Why we collect

The anonymised survey data will be analysed by researchers at the participants own institution and at the National Forum. The findings will be used to help to inform and prioritise strategic and investment decisions about digital resources and professional development.

  1. How will we use your data

A summary of institution-level findings of the survey will be shared with all staff at your institution in spring 2020. In addition, national-level findings of the student survey and the survey of those who teach will be shared by the National Forum in reports, presentations, peer-reviewed articles and/or other communications. No individual institution will be identified in the national reports/publications/communications produced.

  1. How long will we keep your data

The national dataset will be stored for a minimum of 2.5 and a maximum of 7 years, at which point it will be deleted from the server.

  1. How secure is the data in your possession

The INDEx Survey integrates data protection by design and by default (Data Protection Commission, 2019), i.e. the survey is designed not to collect personal data in three ways: generalisation, risk minimisation and anonymisation. Data storage will be in accordance with British Educational Research Association (BERA) Ethical Guidelines for Educational Research (2018) and the Data Protection Act (2018). While the survey is live, data will be stored on the Jisc online surveys server (BOS), i.e. an Amazon Web Services (AWS) server located in Dublin. The information security of AWS is managed in conformance with the requirements of ISO 27001. All survey responses are collected over encrypted SSL (TLS) connection; SSL is the standard technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser, ensuring that data can be transmitted securely.  Jisc online surveys’ data stores are backed up daily and backups are held for three months; after three months the backups are deleted and destroyed. Recent backups are also stored for 14 days in AWS S3 storage.

Within the National Forum, INDEx Survey data will be stored on a password-protected folder on our server. At no time will INDEx Survey data be stored on portable data storage devices (e.g. USB sticks), and all computers used to access data will be password-protected. Within the National Forum, the INDEx Survey dataset will be accessible only by members of the INDEx Survey research team, or other employees of the National Forum approved by the Director.

  1. Clarify your respondents’ rights

Respondents’ data will not become part of the dataset for the study until they click YES on the final consent form. No responses will be saved until this final step, so respondents may withdraw at any point before this final step in the process. Survey respondents will have up to three weeks from the time they receive the survey and related information to complete the survey.

  1. Who to contact

The data protection officer is the Director of the National Forum, Dr. Terry Maguire.

National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning, c/o 19 Dawson Street

Dublin 2, Republic of Ireland. email:

[1] Jisc’s BOS server is ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certified and is located in Dublin.