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Guidelines for the disclosure of student data and email addresses

Overall principles

AU receives many requests from institutions, groups and individuals who wish to use the university’s students as research or study subjects. Among other things, the university receives requests for permission to send surveys to the students’ email addresses as well as access to data on students from AU’s databases.

In the spring of 2016, the Education Committee ruled that such requests will not be granted,  in line with the policies of the rest of the universities in Denmark.

There are several reasons for this restrictive approach. First and foremost, the policy is intended to protect students from excessive requests to participate in surveys which have no direct relation to AU. As a result, the policy also contributes to ensuring that AU can achieve high response rates on the university’s own standard surveys (such as the study environment survey). In connection with data from AU’s databases, the policy prioritises the efficient use of scant administrative resources, and that data must be used for the purpose for which it was collected.

However, the university may grant requests to post invitations to students to participate in surveys on students.au.dk as well as on subject-specific sites. Contact the Rector's Office for more information.

 

Exceptions

These guidelines do not apply to surveys and data related to the university’s activities regarding quality assurance and development of its degree programmes, for example teaching evaluations, figures from the directors of studies and established surveys. This means that vice-deans, directors of studies, boards of studies and course organisers can continue to receive the usual data and reports from AU Student Administration and Services.

Access to data on the university’s public website is not restricted by these guidelines either. Journalists and other external partners can still access all public material and get the accustomed assistance in navigating AU’s websites and PURE from Communication and Press.

In exceptional cases, the Education Committee may decide to grant a request to use students’ email addresses and data in connection with surveys which the committee determines will provide a unique contribution to the university’s educational quality assurance activities, and which are in line with the university’s strategic priorities in relation to education.  Such requests should be brought before the Education Committee by the vice-dean for education at the faculty in question, accompanied by a statement of the specific reasons an exemption from the guidelines is sought.

General information

  • Requests to send advertisements or other forms of marketing to AU’s students, in addition to requests to use data about AU’s students from AU’s databases in connection with sales, jobs, political initiatives or the like, will always be denied.
  • Enquiries from the press should be directed to Communication and Press. Enquiries from the press should be directed to Communication and Press.
  • Enquiries from student organisations should be directed to boards of study, department/school management teams, websites, Facebook groups or other relevant sources of information about AU’s students and academic staff.
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