Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, Third International Conference on Higher Education Advances

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Embedding Information Rights into Higher Education in the UK
Deborah Alison Adshead

Last modified: 30-05-2017


Estimates suggest that a data breach costs an organisation over $4 million and that the total global cost of breaches will soon exceed $2 trillion. Hacking is part of the problem but errors in processing by individuals are still the most reported reasons for data breaches in the UK. With predictions of more jobs involving data processing in the future and the exponential growth in accessible personal data, it is increasingly important that this problem is taken more seriously.

This Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) sponsored research constitutes stage one of a study into the teaching of Information Rights (IR) in HE across the UK including depth interviews with professional bodies and Pro Vice-Chancellors, and an online survey aimed at Heads of Departments.

Though not widespread, the research found instances of IR being taught but some barriers to embedding it across relevant subjects do exist, including:

tutor expertise;

development and consistency of materials; and

competing curriculum development drivers.

Most respondents recognised the increasing importance of IR and welcomed ICO support with this but also felt that despite the proposal of accreditation as a motivator to improve the situation buy-in would be more likely if it was part of overall management strategy.

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