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UCL General Student Privacy Notice

Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA): UCL General Student Privacy Notice

What is 'personal data'?

'Personal data' means any information which identifies you as an individual. It may include your name but it may also be other information such as your course, date of birth, nationality and gender which when combined identify you.

This statement and UCL’s data protection obligations

When you applied to become a student you were told that UCL would use your personal data to process your application and for other purposes connected to that. In accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 “(the DPA”) UCL is a Data Controller and this means that we are legally responsible for the personal data we collect and hold about you. One of our responsibilities is to tell you about the different ways in which we use your personal data. This statement provides further details about these uses now that you are a UCL student. In addition to the information in this statement, you may be given further information about the uses of your personal data when you use specific services and facilities offered by the UCL.

How is my personal information used while I'm a student at UCL?

UCL will process your personal data for purposes connected with your studies, your health and safety whilst on the premises (including the capture of images by the use of CCTV) and for any other legitimate reason. We may also potentially capture your image and/or voice recordings as part of your learning as a result of our use of Lecture Cast in specified teaching locations across the UCL campus. After you leave UCL your data are retained as a permanent archival record for research purposes.

Some of your personal data will be shared with UCLU to enable it to manage your membership by communicating with you.  UCLU will only use this information for running the Union, for example communications regarding your membership rights, including for example, notice of general meetings, referenda and election of trustees, as well as information about the Union's activities. Similarly the Union will share some of your data with the University; this will be to allow your achievements via the Union to be accredited, for example by inclusion in the Higher Education Achievement Report

Access to your personal information is limited to staff who have a legitimate need to see it for the purpose of carrying out their job at UCL. Your personal information is used as permitted or required by law and for a range of academic and administrative purposes, including the following:

  • To facilitate your education, record the details of your academic studies (including any placements with external organisations) and determine your examination achievements
  • To administer the financial aspects of your relationship with us and any funders
  • To manage your use of facilities and participation at events (e.g. computing, libraries, accommodation, functions, graduation)
  • To enable effective communications with you
  • To operate security, disciplinary, complaint, and quality assurance processes and arrangements
  • To support your training, health, safety and welfare requirements, including sharing necessary information with appropriate third parties such as your family or the police in circumstances where it is in your vital interests..
  • To produce statistics and research for internal and statutory reporting purposes
  • To monitor our responsibilities under equalities legislation

Some of the personal data used for the above purposes is classed as 'sensitive personal data' under the DPA, such as information relating to your ethnicity or your medical history. This is collected to monitor our equalities responsibilities and disability information will be shared with relevant UCL staff in order to provide you with the best possible support for your studies. Access to, and the sharing of, this information is controlled very carefully. You will be given more details about our use of any sensitive personal data when we collect it from you.

If you apply to attend a graduation ceremony your first name, initials, surname and degree title will be printed in the souvenir programme. It may also appear on some UCL merchandise. You must inform the Student Support and Events Team in writing before the ticket application deadline if you wish to opt out of this (grad_ceremonies@ucl.ac.uk)

Your basic contact details will be made available through the UCL online directory service, unless you opt out of this. See 'How to become ex-directory' for details.

We will not normally disclose any other personal information about you to other external enquirers or organisations without your consent unless it is in your vital interests to do so (e.g. in an emergency situation).

Who is my personal information shared with?

Your personal data may be disclosed to other organisations as required by law, for crime prevention or detection purposes, or in order to comply with our obligations as a sponsor of migrants by the Home Office. 

Your personal data is also disclosed as permitted or required by law to a range of external organisations, including the following:

Disclosures may also be made by UCL as outlined below:

  • To sponsors, government agencies and present or potential employers. One such body is the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA); further information about the uses for which HESA processes personal data can be found on the HESA website.
  • Your contact details may also be passed to the Higher Education Funding Council (HEFCE) or its agents for the purpose of administering the national student survey, and to UCL's agents for the purpose of administering our own surveys
  • Where a programme of study leads to a qualification recognised by a professional body UCL will disclose relevant information to that body (e.g. General Medical Council).
  • Statements of student status will be provided on request to Council Tax Registration Officers
  • To the Student Loans Company
  • To debt collection agencies acting on behalf of UCL in the event that you owe money to UCL
  • Release of results to former schools/colleges
  • If you decide to make on-line payments to UCL, limited information (date of birth and student numbers) will be disclosed to UCL's service provider for validation purposes
  • To the Office for Fair Access (OFFA).
  • To the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA).
  • Providers of anti-plagiarism software.
  • As a College of the University of London, UCL provides student personal data to the University for administration of examinations and for the award of degrees.
  • To NHS services in circumstances relating to your vital interests or with explicit consent
  • If you undertake a placement or complete a period of study with a third party organisation or institution in the UK or in another country personal data relating to you may be shared with the partner organisation/institution for the purposes of administering the placement. Sensitive personal data relating to your health or a disability will not be shared without your consent unless required by law or in your vital interests in an emergency situation.

And if you are an Undergraduate Degree Student;

  • To GradIntel, the service through which the Higher Education Achievement Record will be delivered
  • If you do not complete your programme, to the organisers of the "Back on Course" scheme - the Open University and UCAS.
  • From the 2016/17 academic year UCL along with a consortium of other universities is participating in a ‘Learning Gain’ project sponsored by HEFCE. Your level of work experience and self-evaluation about how prepared you are for your future career will be passed to HEFCE to allow them to conduct further research into learning gain, including combining with data from similar work at other Universities and Colleges. These data may be linked to other data that they hold about you including prior, current or future educational records and records on earnings and employment. These data will not be used in any way that will affect you personally and any analysis published will take steps to ensure that you cannot be identified from it. If you have any questions about the use of your data for this purpose please email foi@hefce.ac.uk or learninggain@hefce.ac.uk.

How is my personal information used after I graduate?

Your personal data will be used by the Development and Alumni Relations Office to keep you in touch with UCL and the Alumni Network, and a snapshot of your data may also be used for training purposes.  Further details about the Development and Alumni Relations Office may use your information can be viewed on the Development and Alumni Relations Office website.

How can I access my personal information?

Under the DPA you have the right, subject to certain exemptions, to access the personal data that is held about you. Details are set out on the University's DPA webpages.

Who regulates the use of my personal information?

The University maintains a data protection registration with the Information Commissioner's Office, the independent authority which oversees compliance with the DPA. The University's registration number is Z6364106 and sets out, in very general terms, the full range of purposes for which we use student, staff and all other personal information. The the Information Commissioners Office website for details. 

Who do I contact with questions?

If you have any questions about how your personal data is used, please consult the University's data protection webpages. UCL’s Data Protection Policy can be found on the website. If you need further assistance, please contact the University Data Protection Officer: data-protection@ucl.ac.uk