Secure and reliable use of education data

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Action plan

Using education data with care for privacy and security

The Secure and reliable use of education data zone (previously named the Learning Analytics zone) aims to achieve a number of things. First of all, it wants to create the (infrastructural) conditions that enable institutions to manage the storage and analysis of study data, with attention to privacy and security. In addition, the members of the zone help and inspire each other to use study data to gain insight into the quality of their education and into the progress of their studies. The zone also contributes to the (further) development of facilities that are also useful for other institutions. There’s also a clear link with the Evidence-based educational innovation with IT zone, in which research is conducted into the effectiveness of the use of study data.

Our motto for 2021 is ‘Building on trust and connection’. Our goal for 2021 is to further increase team member ownership of team sub-projects and accelerate our national impact. Below you can find the summary of the action plan. Do you want the complete version? Send an e-mail to

The plan

Plans for 2021

Impact at local and national level

TheĀ  zone aims to be a facilitator and innovator for the other zones. In terms of content, we will make a link in our subprojects with the other zones, the strategic themes of the Acceleration Plan and the Strategic Agenda for Higher Education.

In early 2021, the zone will launch the platform for learning analytics, which will not only contain all the zone’s products, but also information about the strategic possibilities of study data and the associated preconditions. A course in data science will contribute to the content by having participants work on assignments from their own institutions, thus linking knowledge development to concrete study data issues within our sector. Finally, we will place the theme of study data on the administrative agendas of the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VH) and the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU). Special attention will be paid to the projects Reference Framework and National Cohort Study (NCO).

In addition, in 2021 the zone wants to accelerate the local projects of the zone members and increase the impact of our zone nationally. The goal is to achieve more concrete project deliverables at the local and national level. Nationally, we want to increase the impact of education data.

Preconditions for success

Ownership and concrete products

We work on success factors on both national level and within our institutions, by working on trust and realising hands-on results.

National level

  • Strategy & communication – Development of a strategic vision of the potential and necessity of learning analytics for support, renewal, or transformation of education, guidance and services in higher education; development of a common conceptual framework; effective communication materials.
  • Connection – Connection with the ambitions and plans of other zones and the Higher Education Strategic Agenda; cooperation and coordination with current initiatives in higher education (SURF in particular); connection with VH and VSNU.
  • Team & preconditions – Good cooperation between team members; ownership of subprojects by the team members; outsourcing of subprojects to external parties to ensure quick results and extra execution power. Enough time for participation by the team members; a well-functioning core team; coordination of activities and end products.
  • Successes – Concrete short-term successes, in particular a position paper, national Code of Practice Privacy & Ethics and a pilot with the Flexibilisation zone.

Local level within institutions

  • Strategy – Linking with current issues in the educational institutions that can be improved using education data.
  • Connection – Support and sponsorship by higher management of institutions and bottom-up support from students and lecturers.
  • Team & preconditions – Sufficient resources and time. A balanced development of preconditions for education data for sustainable development in the long term (see the explanation for the Business Maturity Model).
  • Successes – Concrete successes in the short term on local projects.