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Privacy for agencies

Annual Report

Purpose
: To determine eligibility for student loans and/or allowance by verifying students' study results.

MSD StudyLink disclosure to MoE: StudyLink provides MoE with the student's name(s) (in abbreviated form), date of birth, IRD number, study start and end dates, known education provider(s) used by this student and student ID number.

MoE disclosure to MSD StudyLink: MoE returns to StudyLink information showing all providers and courses used by the student, course dates, course equivalent full-time student rating and course completion code.

Compliance: Minor technical issue.

When the file is moved within StudyLink's Student Allowance and Loan system, a copy is left behind on a staging system that the file is moved across.  MSD will manually delete these copies, once system testing is completed, until an automated deletion function can be set up. 

Technical information

Information matching provisions Education Act 1989, s.307D
Year authorised 2006
Year commenced 2006 (allowances), 2010 (loans)
Programme type Confirming eligibility
Unique identifiers Student ID number
Tax File number
Student ID
Online transfers Yes

System description
The process is called the Results of Study (RoS) programme. 

Tertiary education institutions (TEIs) are required to send students’ results of study information to the MoE as part of the ‘course completion’ component of their electronic single data returns. This is usually done three times during the year. By accessing the data from the Ministry of Education rather than directly from each TEI StudyLink gains the efficiency of dealing with a single agency and avoids imposing a double reporting burden on the TEIs.

StudyLink loads a daily file of requests for RoS records to the Verification of Study[1] secure website. The file is downloaded by MoE and matched against the single data returns submitted by institutions. Response files for each request are electronically returned to StudyLink using the same secure website. 

New eligibility criteria for student loans took effect during 2010/2011. 

Recent activity

Allowance applications 2011/12 2012/13  2013/14  2014/15 2015/16
Records sent for matching (including repeat requests) 106,996 103,062 103,214 100,186 97,814
Individual applications involved in matching 76,754 71,342 72,369 69,706 68,389
Notices of adverse action sent out 5,949 5,613 6,438 6,515 9,295
Successful challenges 2,278 2,257 2,067 3,025 2,008

Matching requests for allowance applications are repeated if necessary.

Loan applications 2011/12 2012/13  2013/14  2014/15 2015/16
Records sent for matching 14,454 14,639 9,183 14,002 16,028
Notices of adverse action sent out 1,015 1,164 1,611 2,077 1,741
Successful challenges 205 181 319 335 349

Challenges to adverse action notices are usually resolved by the applicant providing clarification or updated information when contacted.  "Successful challenges" include those cases that are not eligible based on the initial match results, but are determined by Studylink to be eligible after further investigation.  In these cases, no adverse action letter is sent.

Individuals may make more than one application for loans and/or allowances in a year.  Notices of adverse action are sent when Studylink cannot satisfactorily match the information supplied, or when the record indicated eligibility criteria have not been met.  More than one adverse action letter may be sent for an application (for example a notification letter and a letter subsequently declining their application).  The application may be reinstated if the student provides additional information about their study history, or successfully applies for an exemption.  This is recorded as a successful challenge.


[1] See the Educational Institutions/MSD Loans and Allowances Programme.