Student data privacy statement
When you apply to the University of Westminster, either through a UCAS, UKPASS route, or directly to us, and take up an offer to study, the following data protection privacy statement applies.
The University of Westminster takes its data protection obligations very seriously. Access to any personal information you give us when making an application or enrolling and studying with us is subject to a staff confidentiality agreement. Access to and use of your personal information is limited in any specific circumstance to only those staff and administrators who need that access to manage and respond to your application, enrolment, studies and related processes and use of our services.
Student Personal Data and ‘Special Category’ Personal Data
The University will receive personal data about you either from UCAS or UCAS Postgraduate, for which specific terms and conditions will apply, see https://www.ucas.com/about-us/policies/privacy-policies-and-declarations, or directly from you or your authorised agent.
This information will include personal data about you, contact details, your education and qualifications, personal statements, supporting statements, and if you live outside the European Union (EU), passport and visa details. It will include financial data and information relating to any fees, payments and funding.
This data will be used to assess your application to study with us and we may contact you to ensure we have all the information we need, and to give you opportunities to let us know more details that will help us consider your application.
Where appropriate, we will record explicit consent to use ‘special category’ personal data related to your application and any subsequent enrolment and studies with us. (See the University’s Personal Data Protection Policy for details on applicable law and ‘special category data’)
Alongside your personal details, your studies will generate personal data relating to your courses, attendance, assessments, research, examinations, qualifications, disciplinary issues, complaints and use of our services. Please see below for more on the use of this personal data.
Use of Your Personal Data
The data we receive will be used to contact you, assess your application and consider making you an offer to study. It will be used to create your unique University record if you enrol with us, and to manage and record the results of your studies or research, manage your financial obligations with the University, scholarships and other awards as applicable, your use of our services and your involvement in any required University processes and procedures. Once you leave, it will be used to create an Alumni record.
Where appropriate, often in relation to our use of your ‘special category’ information, explicit consent will be collected alongside a specific Privacy Statement, for example with our disability services. Where we have recorded and used your explicit consent, you will also be informed of how that consent can be withdrawn.
The main uses of your personal information will include the following:
- To facilitate and deliver your education or chosen course of study, record the details of your studies and attendance (including any placement with external organisations), engagement and determine and record any course work, assignments and any examinations you undertake.
- To administer the financial aspects of your relationship with us and any related funders.
- To manage your use of facilities and participation at events (eg building access, computing services, libraries, accommodation, functions, graduation, etc.)
- To enable effective communications with you or those you authorise us to communicate with on your behalf.
- To enlist participation in student surveys and student feedback reporting.
- To operate security, disciplinary, complaint and quality assurance processes and arrangements.
- To support your student union membership, health, safety, welfare and wellbeing whilst with us.
- To support your requirements for training and development.
- For the provision of your Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR).
- To support internal research and the gathering of statistics with the purpose of improving our services and facilities and meeting statutory reporting obligations.
- To deliver our Alumni services.
- To monitor our responsibilities under equality legislation.
Our Legal Basis for Processing Your Data
Generally, the University is processing your personal information because the processing is necessary for you to enter into an agreement with us, (your application) or for the performance of the agreement you have entered into with us, (when you enrol on a course of study or research).
See our student terms and conditions.
As mentioned above, we will, in specific circumstances, record your explicit consent to some limited use of special category information.
We also process some information when necessary in relation to our legal obligations, for example to meet the requirements of UK Visa and Immigration regulations.
The University also, as a public authority, will process personal data in relation to its educational and research tasks in the public interest, to measure and improve our institutional performance and efficiency, and to assist central government and their agencies in monitoring our performance and achievements.
Very occasionally, we may use your personal information in an emergency situation, to protect your or another’s vital interests, where we cannot obtain explicit consent. It is important for you to keep your emergency contact details up-to-date.
And in very specific circumstances, for example in some of our direct mailing and in some of our fund raising activities, we will process personal data where we believe the University has a legitimate interest, carefully documenting our considerations and reasoning.
Sharing of Your Personal Data
TAs mentioned above, the University will legally share your personal data in a number of circumstances with third parties:
- Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). See details relating to these disclosures
- Your funders and/or sponsors
- The providers of any external learning or training placements
- Relevant Government Departments (eg Home Office, including UK Visas and Immigration, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Department of Health. Department of Education, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
- Relevant executive agencies or non-departmental public bodies (eg HM Revenue and Customs, Health and Safety Executive)
- Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), UCAS Postgraduate
- Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA)
- University of Westminster Student Union
- Organisations running student experience surveys, including Student Module Evaluation (SME), National Student Survey (NSS) - Office for Students, NSS Privacy Statement – Ipsos MORI, the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES), the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) and Graduate Outcomes
- Providers of anti-plagiarism software.
- Providers of HEAR services
- Student Loans Company (SLC)
- Relevant professional or statutory regulatory bodies (General Medical Council, British Computing Society, etc)
- Local Authorities. (Specifically, we will assist local authorities when requested with the correct administration of Council Tax and for the purpose of electoral registration.)
- The police and other law enforcement agencies.
- Companies or organisations providing specific services on behalf of the University of Westminster.
The University of Westminster will not make your examination results publicly available and will require your consent to make these available to external enquirers or organisations.
Your University email address will be made internally available through our internal online directory lookup facility.
We will not normally disclose any other personal information about you to other external enquirers and organisations without your consent unless it is in your vital interests to do so.
Data Transfers to Third Party Countries
Sometimes your personal data, depending on the provision of a service or processing reason, may need to be shared with or held by another organisation based in the European Union (EU) or if outside the EU, in a country with a comparable level of personal data protection.
When your personal data is shared outside the EU, the University will ensure there are adequate levels of data safeguards in place
If you reside outside the EU in a country where there is no adequate level of data protection recognised by UK law, and wish to study with the University of Westminster, or wish to study with an institution that is outside the EU whilst you are with us, and alternative safeguards for data transfers are not available, we will transfer the personal data which is necessary for you to enter into an agreement to study with us, or another institution, or which is necessary for the performance of any such agreement, only with your consent and at your request.
Otherwise, we will not transfer your data outside the EU without ensuring adequate levels of protection are in place.
Whilst a student with us, you will have password protected access to some of your personal information held in various University systems, and are expected to keep your personal details, including contact details, up-to-date.
Under the Data Protection Act 2018 and General Data Protection Regulations, you have the right, subject to some exemptions, to access the personal information that is held about you.
For more information about accessing your personal information using the Subject Access Request procedure and other information rights you have, please see our Data Protection web pages.
For any personal data issues, please contact the University Information Compliance Team at [email protected].
Retention and disposal of your personal information
All student personal data is retained in accordance with the University’s Student Records Retention Schedule.
Use of your personal information after graduation
After you have graduated from the University, a core record of your studies is retained indefinitely so that the details of your academic achievements can be confirmed. These details are also used for statistical and historical research.
Additionally, when you have ended your studies, your contact and core personal details are shared with our Alumni Team and added to our alumni records.
When you end your studies, you will receive more information about our Alumni services. Please see our Alumni web pages for our alumni data protection statement.
The Information Commissioner’s Office
You can also contact the ICO with any concerns or issues relating to the processing of your personal information.
This page was last updated in September 2018.