Can Gen Z students trust UK Universities with their personal data in 2018?

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If you think that Gen Z appear ambivalent about their PII (personally identifiable information) - don't be fooled by these digital natives.

They entrust you with their PII throughout their student recruitment journey, so if you put one foot wrong all that hard-earned trust could evaporate in a heartbeat.

Only the trusted universities will prosper

Student trust is earned by helping each student understand how and why you are putting their interests first. These data subjects are in control. An uncomfortable reality perhaps, but for those UK universities who are embracing GDPR as a new opportunity to build trust and gain a competitive advantage, this is an exciting journey.

In the past 4 months I have spoken (confidentially) with so many UK universities about the issues they are facing with building GDPR into their student recruitment processes.

These are the top 5 areas of concern I deal with on a daily basis:

  1. Data protection controls - how can our Data Protection Officer and their team all benefit from more robust GDPR controls, processes and stored communications evidence?
  2. Stored evidence - how can we rely upon a detailed audit trail stored against each student to support fast CMA and GDPR issue resolution?
  3. Safe marketing communications - how can we continue to send out our recruitment campaigns after 25 May 2018?
  4. Getting consent - how should we get, store and update appropriate consent throughout the student journey?
  5. Dealing with the new rights - how do we handle every single data subject right exercised without a huge new team of experts on hand?

Of each of these, I think #3 is my favourite:

"how can we continue to send out our recruitment campaigns after 25 May 2018?"

I explain how they can empower their marketing and recruitment teams to continue sending creative mar-comms from within a safe framework. To prevent what I call 'cautious recoil' (where marketers freeze in the headlights, preferring to do nothing rather than do something that might be or go wrong) their university must remove any inhibitions.

And then I show them why students trust the universities who use our UK-based solution - Student CRM.


At the time of publication of this post, Student CRM is still the only HE student recruitment solution to have built and launched its GDPR and CMA compliance services. It is built into every web form that collects data (in) and into every automatic touchpoint and campaign that sends consent compliant comms (out).