• Technology, cyber security and data sharing are all having a major impact on the evolution of Universities’ service delivery. Our technology and data privacy specialist lawyers, Elizabeth Dunford and Ben Pumphrey and Rachel Soundy, corporate partner in our higher education team, discussed the latest trends, legal guidance and best practice in the higher education sector.

    Areas of discussion included:

    • Cyber security – With 92% of Higher education institutions having identified breaches or attacks in the past 12 months according to cyber security breaches survey 2022 we discussed some of the latest cyber security guidance, requirements and trends, and their practical implications.
    • AI and big data – key trends and developments we are seeing in the sector such as opportunities for Universities to use learner analytics to monitor and optimise student engagement, as well as support student wellbeing. Our panel explored a number of legal issues arising from this development which need careful navigation, especially at a time when Universities are under increasing scrutiny to ensure they process students’ personal data correctly.
    • Data sharing including:
      • International data sharing and transfer risk assessment - particularly important with the increase in international collaborations.
      • Data sharing in harassment cases – Elizabeth Dunford, who helped write the Universities UK guidance on this, shared some of her insights and expertise. She covered the sensitive and evolving area of managing harassment cases and in particular, what personal data should be shared and when.
      • Sharing data with third parties and agencies for marketing purposes – including marketing, bundling of data sharing consents and the key trips to be wary of.

    This session will be of interest to anyone with responsibility for data compliance, technology development and procurement, cyber security in higher education.

    This was the first session in our higher education spring #WednesdayWebinar series that we are hosting throughout March 2023, covering a range of different topics across the higher education sector.

    Our higher education specialists will be hosting our other #WednesdayWebinars from 12-1pm on 8, 15 and 22 March.

    Other events in the HE Spring Webinar series include:

    Employment and immigration issues affecting higher education in 2023 - 8 March 2023

    New obligations for building and fire safety coming in 2023 - 15 March 2023

    Dealing with allegations of sexual misconduct involving students - 22 March 2023


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