Student data privacy statement
The University of Westminster collects personal information from individuals for a range of purposes. We collect and process personal information in order to process applications to study with us. And for those who join us, we process your information to facilitate your education and deliver and improve services and facilities. We report to statutory authorities on performance, and for our alumni, we offer a range of services and opportunities. This page gives further details on how we use your personal information to these ends.
Student Personal Information
Any information relating to an identified or identifiable person (data subject) is personal information or personal data. This can be quite wide-ranging and can include information like names and related direct personal information to more indirect information, like an identification number or online identifier.
Use of Student Personal Student Data
This page relates to the use, sharing and disclosure of student personal information at the University of Westminster. Please note that the University of Westminster is a separate entity to the University of Westminster Students Union, and the Students Union should be able to provide information on how it uses, shares or discloses your personal information that it holds in relation to its activities.
University of Westminster Use of Student Information
Your personal information is captured, created, stored, managed and transmitted securely by the University of Westminster in a variety of paper and electronic formats, including databases that are available to our Faculties and various departments. Access to your personal information is limited to authorised staff, contractors or agents who have a legitimate interest in using your personal information for a business purpose related to their contractual duties.
Your personal information is used as permitted or required by law for a range of academic and business purposes, including 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) 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.
Some personal information used for the above purposes will be ‘sensitive personal data’ also known as ‘special categories of personal data’ under the new General Data Protection Regulations. These can include race and ethnicity for the monitoring of our equalities responsibilities for example, or medical information relating to the delivery of necessary learning support. Access to and the sharing of this kind of ‘special category’ personal information is controlled very carefully. You will be given more details about our use of such data when we ask to collect it from you.
The Sharing of Student Personal Data
The University will not share your personal information with third parties or a parent or guardian without obtaining your specific consent.
However, your personal information may be disclosed and shared as permitted or as required by law, on a considered and confidential basis, in relation to a limited specific purpose, with a number of external organisations, including the following:
- 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)
- Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)
- Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS)
- Office for Fair Access (OFFA)
- Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA)
- University of Westminster Student Union
- Organisations running student experience surveys, including the Student Experience Survey (SES), National Student Survey (NSS), the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES), the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) and the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey (DLHE)
- 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 (eg an emergency situation).
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 out 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.
Accessing your personal information
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 1998 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.
Retention and disposal of your personal information
All student personal data is retained in accordance with the University’s Student Records Retention Schedule.
Data Protection Registration
Currently, the University maintains a data protection registration with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the independent authority which oversees compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998.
The University’s registration number is: Z8450604. See the ICO’s website for registration details.
Further information and contact details
For further information on the Data Protection Act 1998, General Data Protection Regulations and other information compliance issues, please see our Data Protection pages.
If you need further assistance, please contact the Information Compliance Team at [email protected]
This page was last updated in November 2016 and is under review.