The HEQCIS database stores all the information for each person, who is studying or has studied, in one place. That means that each student has one record and all of the information for that student is stored there, regardless of how many different institutions they are or have been enrolled at. The database does not keep separate information for each student at each institution. (Technically: there is a person table that stores the details for each person as a single record.)
If a person who already has a qualification (or part of a qualification) enrolls for further study at another institution, and that institution sends new information about the person to the HEQCIS, the details that are stored for that person will be updated if the new information is more recent. If, however, there are concerns about the quality of the new information, then the old information will be retained.
Each individual can be identified in a number of ways – for example by their national ID number, their passport number or by their student number. (And, for someone who has studied at different institutions, they will have different student numbers for each institution.) Because of the importance of these identifying numbers, they are never updated. If new identifying numbers are submitted, all of these will be saved. Student numbers are stored along with information about the provider so that it is clear which student numbers belong to which provider.
(Technically: the HEQCIS database has a separate table that stores the data values used to identify the person. If new identifying information is received for a person, the new student number and any other identifying values will be inserted into this table. Student numbers are saved together with the provider that issued the student number, making student numbers unique on a national level.)
Identifying enrolled students:
Each time a person enrolls for a particular programme, the database links them with a specific qualification code. (Qualification codes are specific to a provider and a provider may not use the qualification code of another provider.) The database has a record of every qualification that this person has ever been enrolled for.
(Technically: the HEQCIS database has a table that saves the details of a person enrolling on a qualification. This table stores student identifying information and the qualification code. Each time a student enrolls in another qualification, another record is added to this table. That way the database has a record of each enrolment.)