Data Protection

 

Thank you for your participation

 

RWTH always strives to use your personal data carefully and confidentially.  The survey process was reviewed and amended by RWTH's Data Protection Officer.  If you would like more clarification on this matter, please feel free to contact us.

 

FAQ - Data Protection

1. What is my address info used for?

None of the saved address data will be used for purposes other than to invite you to take part in the graduate survey.  Address data will only be processed by employees of the university.  All employees who have access to personal data during the project are subject to current data protection laws.  In this context, providing address data to third parties is strictly prohibited.  This also applies to employees no longer working for the university.

2. Why is the university allowed to use my address data for this graduate survey?

Address information may be transferred and processed within the university for the purpose of science and research or to fulfill tasks of the university. Both conditions are met within the framework of this graduate survey:

  1. The graduate survey is part of a nationwide scientific research project of 50 universities funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and coordinated by the Institute for Applied Statistics, ISTAT for short. In the Study Conditions and Professional Success project, ISTAT will create a complete dataset including the answers of all participating graduates and analyzes the anonymized data exclusively for scientific purposes in the field of higher education and graduate research.
  2. The results of the survey will be used in the participating universities for the purpose of research and quality management in teaching and study.
  3. None of the saved address data will be used for purposes other than to invite you to take part in the graduate survey. Address data will only be processed by employees of the university.
  4. All employees who have access to personal data during the project are subject to current data protection laws.  In this context, providing address data to third parties is strictly prohibited.  This also applies to employees no longer working for the university.

3. When will my address information be deleted?

The evaluation regulation on the implementation of quality assessment processes in teaching and learning stipulates which personal data can be used for which instrument. Here it states that personal data must be deleted after six years at the latest. This also applies to RWTH’s graduate survey.

4. Where does the university get my address data from?

The addresses are collected from RWTHonline’s database to conduct the annual survey of one graduating class at RWTH. The enrollment regulations of RWTH Aachen University form the basis for this. The address data is exclusively used for this graduate survey. The data is updated with the help of regioIT, a company based in Aachen.

5. How secure is the program used to conduct the online survey?

A web server from the University of Kassel is used to conduct the online survey. During the survey phase, your answers will temporarily be stored on a server of the University of Kassel’s IT Center. After completing the survey, ISTAT will process your data and then forward it to RWTH Aachen University. All data provided by participants in the online survey is transmitted in encrypted form. The personal access code adds a further security layer to this process. We will send this code to you by postal mail and also by email. It is not possible to participate in the survey without the access code.

6. What exactly is the process of the survey?

The addresses are collected from RWTHonline’s database to conduct the annual survey of one graduating class at RWTH.  The enrollment regulations of RWTH Aachen University form the basis for this. The address data is exclusively used for this graduate survey. To participate in the survey, graduates have to register online using their anonymous access code.  During the survey, your answers will be saved on a server from the University of Kassel’s IT Center without any reference to the participant's name or address.  Survey data is transferred via an unencrypted connection.  At the end of the actual survey, you will be asked about the following matters:

  1. whether you are willing to participate in a follow up-study;
  2. whether you are interested in a report of the research results;
  3. whether you are interested in information from the RWTH Alumni Network or the Alumni magazine.

If you show interest in at least one of the above, you will be asked to enter your address information.  This is not saved on the same server from the University of Kassel Computing Center, but rather via an encrypted transfer to a server directly with ISTAT.  Thanks to the access code, address information is never saved in the same file as the survey data.  As a result, the survey data is anonymous at every single stage.  Once you have completed the survey, ISTAT processes the data.

7. Does ISTAT use the data from the RWTH graduate survey?

ISTAT will create a complete dataset including the answers of graduates at all participating universities.  Addresses are not included in this dataset.  The anonymous data is analyzed exclusively for scientific purposes in the field of higher education and graduate research. The results from these findings will then be published.  It is impossible to deduce a connection to any of the individual universities or individual participants from the information in ISTAT’s publications.

8. How is anonymity guaranteed?

The access code is randomly generated and assigned to each graduate. Participants then register anonymously using this code. The survey data is stored on a server of the University of Kassel and does not contain any personal information such as your name or address. Only after completing the survey can participants indicate whether they would like to receive a report of the findings. For this purpose, it is necessary to enter your address, which is stored on a second server at ISTAT that is independent of the survey data. This ensures that the anonymous survey data is always stored separately from the personal data and that no connection can be established between the two. All results from the surveys are also published in aggregated form, therefore it is not possible to draw any conclusions about individuals from this data.

9. Is it possible to connect me to my data through a combination of characteristics, for example subject area and institution?

All results from the surveys are published in aggregated form and therefore it is impossible to deduce a connection to any of the individual participants. For example, if there is only one female graduate in a given subject area, the results for this subject area are not shown separately by gender. As a general rule, RWTH Aachen University does not report results either internally or externally if fewer than ten students took part in a given course of study.