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Notes on data protection and privacy

This section contains answers to frequently asked questions on data protection and privacy when surveys of students are conducted.

If this information does not fully answer your questions, please feel free to contact Irmela Blüthmann (Arbeitsstelle Lehr- und Studienqualität) by e-mail at lsq@fu-berlin.de or phone at 030 / 838-75421.

How does Freie Universität Berlin guarantee that the data of survey participants are protected and kept private?

The evaluation takes place anonymously. The security of personal information is ensured since no analyses or reports that allow for identification of individual persons are generated.

The basis for conducting surveys of students is Sec. 6 (1) No. 4 and Sec. 8a of the Higher Education Act for the State of Berlin. In keeping with the evaluation guidelines of Freie Universität Berlin, the university-wide evaluation software Unizensus from Blubbsoft is used for all student surveys. This means that the data protection and privacy provisions stipulated in the IT procedures for the Unizensus software apply to the survey of students enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs. The software is subject to the requirements on data protection and privacy set out in the Berlin Data Protection Act.

In addition, the evaluation processes used by Arbeitsstelle Lehr- und Studienqualität have been coordinated with the data protection officer of Freie Universität Berlin.

All employees of Arbeitsstelle Lehr- und Studienqualität who are involved in the evaluation process have received comprehensive information on the provisions of data protection and privacy law and are obligated to comply with them.

For what purposes are personal data collected?

To be able to depict the heterogeneity of the student body at Freie Universität Berlin and take it appropriately into account when interpreting the results, personal information (e.g. age, sex, number of children, immigration and educational background, job status) is collected as part of the survey, along with value judgments regarding the study offerings and study conditions. This information is used to help draw conclusions regarding specific groups and do things like identify areas where certain groups of students need particular support.

 What happens to the data?

Survey respondents’ answers are stored on a central server of Freie Universität Berlin and undergo statistical analysis by Arbeitsstelle Lehr- und Studienqualität. The only parties who have access to the raw survey data are the employees of Arbeitsstelle Lehr- und Studienqualität. Based on these analyses, Arbeitsstelle Lehr- und Studienqualität prepares a university-wide overall report and, if response rates are sufficient, individual reports on the results for the departments and study programs.

The data are only analyzed statistically. No analyses that could be used to identify individuals are prepared.

Freie Universität Berlin will not share the survey data with third parties, and they will be used exclusively for the purposes of the university's internal quality development and to answer research questions associated with this.

How are the needs of employees of Freie Universität Berlin for data protection and privacy taken into account?

When the questionnaire was drafted, the team refrained from including any questions that would result in value judgments regarding individual persons or could be used to identify individual persons. If respondents give the names of employees or instructors in their responses to open-ended questions, these names are anonymized during analysis.

Participation in the raffle

The raffle takes place after the end of the survey period. Winners are chosen at random by the Unizensus software. If you wish to participate in the raffle, please provide an e-mail address where we can reach you if you win after you complete and submit the survey. Your e-mail address will be stored separately from your survey data, of course. The raffle process has been reviewed and determined to be in compliance with data protection and privacy guidelines.