Data Protection Information for Students

How we use your information


The purpose of this notice is to tell you how the University will process your personal data whilst you are a student. This notice also tells you which third parties the University may share your personal data with.

By accepting an Offer to study at the University, you are consenting to the University processing your personal data (including sensitive personal data), for the purposes and in the manner set out in this notice and for other legitimate purposes connected with your education and enrolment as a student of the University.

The University of Exeter (the University) is a data controller and will only process your personal data in accordance with the University’s data protection notice and in accordance with the current Data Protection legislation (which includes the Data Protection Act 1998 or, from the date it comes into force, the General Data Protection Regulation). The University’s Data Protection Officer is Rhiannon Platt, Information Governance Manager, who can be contacted by emailing

Given the complexity and variety of the relationships that the University has with its students, it is not possible to set out an exhaustive list of all the ways in which your personal data may be processed by the University. However the University takes it duties and responsibilities under the Legislation extremely seriously and will only keep your data for as long as necessary, bearing in mind the purposes for which your personal data is collected. Further information on how long the University will keep your data is available on the University Retention Schedule.

This notice may be updated from time to time to ensure continued compliance with current legislation and to reflect best practice.

What information is being collected about you

The type of personal data and sensitive personal data the University may process about you includes:

  • Your name and your student number;
  • Any student photograph;
  • Your  permanent and term time addresses  and your contact details including email and other electronic identifiers;
  • Your date of birth;
  • Your nationality and your ethnic origin;
  • Details regarding your next of kin;
  • Your academic record including your previous qualifications and your academic record whilst at the University;
  • Your attendance at the University (including any suspension or exclusion information);
  • Any disability or other medical information that has been provided to the University;
  • How your studies are funded, including fee information and any sponsorship details.

How and why information it is collected

Your personal data is collected by the University to enable the University to fulfil its contractual obligations to you in the delivery of your studies. It may also be collected to fulfil legal obligations and /or regulatory duties that it owes to its regulators and to other third parties.

The University collects your personal data from the following sources:

  • The information contained on your application form and on enrolment;
  • Information provided by you whilst at the University and in relation to your studies;
  • Information collected during the use of University support and services (for example accommodation, Wellbeing and the library);
  • The information provided to the University by a third party in relation to your admission/ enrolment and/ or your subsequent study at the University (for example information provided by UCAS, any reference that is provided and any information provided to the University from your previous place of study or work, eg a reference);
  • Information provided by the Home Office or other third party in relation to your status as a home or international student;
  • The information provided by a third party in relation to your funding (for example the student loans company, your sponsor etc);

How will your personal data be used

Here are some of the ways we will use your personal data, this is not exhaustive, but is intended to provide you with an idea of the things that we may need to do throughout your programme of study.

  • The administration and delivery of your studies (teaching, learning, research etc) including the delivery of teaching, administration of exams, the issue of your results, the recording of academic and other relevant achievements (which may include extra-curricular activities)
  • We collect and hold data about your attendance, your achievements, your performance and your engagement with University systems. In addition to the obvious uses of this data (including sharing this information with third parties like any sponsor or the Home Office) we may analyse this information to help support your time as a student where you have provided consent.
  • Medical certificates supplied to your College will be kept on your student record throughout your programme of study and may be used in applications for mitigating circumstances

This processing is necessary for the:

  • performance of the contract in place between you and the University for the administration and delivery of your studies;
  • performance of the contract between you and University to enable you to use University services (for example accommodation, Welfare and sport facilities);
  • University’s compliance with any legal obligation imposed on the University; and/ or
  • to protect the vital interests of the data subject or another person.

Under the Legislation you can request that such processing should not occur.  If you do not consent to the processing of your personal data where it is required for the purpose of the administration of and/ or delivery of your course, this may mean that you cannot continue as a student of the University, as the University may be unable to carry out its delivery of education to you. In this instance, the University would advise you of this for your consideration. 

Sensitive Personal Data

Some of the personal data the University processes about you will be “sensitive personal data”. This category of personal data will be subject to additional protections. Sensitive personal data is defined as information about your racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or similar beliefs, trade union membership, physical or mental health or condition, sexual life, or commission of or proceedings for any offence committed or alleged to have been committed by you.

This information may be processed for one of the reasons set out above.

Information concerning your physical or mental health may be disclosed within the University so that a proper level of care and facilities may be provided. It will only be sent to people who need to know this information to support you. Wellbeing Services will contact all students declaring a disability to confidentially discuss available help.

In addition, this sensitive personal data may be collected to meet government requirements, to monitor our equal opportunities policies and to ensure that under-represented groups receive appropriate support.  This information may also be collected and retained for statistical purposes.

Who may personal data be shared with

In processing your personal data and/ or sensitive personal data, the University may have reason to share your personal data and/ or sensitive personal data with a third party, some of these circumstances are as follows:

  • If you are studying abroad, involved in exchange programmes, joint/double degrees or Doctoral Training Partnerships we will release personal data to these institutions or related organisations as required to facilitate your studies. 
  • International students should be aware that personal information including information about your enrolment, attendance and progress at this establishment may be passed to the Home Office for purposes connected with immigration
  • In exceptional circumstances where we are concerned about your safety/wellbeing or consider you to be a risk to yourself or others we may share limited information both internally and with relevant third parties (for example Ambulance, Police, NHS trusts etc) to ensure appropriate support is available. 
  • We will disclose limited information in connection with your academic progress to sponsors, loan organisations and Scholarship schemes to enable such organisations to establish eligibility for the sponsorship/loan/award.
  • We will disclose some personal information regarding Undergraduates and most Postgraduate taught students to GradIntel, the service through which the Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR) will be delivered, this will enable access to your HEAR.
  • Should you fall into arrears of payment to the University, we may disclose your personal data to a third party (e.g. solicitors, debt recovery agents, Courts) to help pursue and recover the debt.
  • Teaching and events in University rooms may be recorded and made accessible to relevant students and relevant staff.
  • Some of your personal data will be passed to the Students’ Guild and/or the Falmouth and Exeter Students’ Union (FXU) to enable the provision of membership services.
  • We may confidentially and securely share your personal information with third parties who are contracted to provide IT services for the University. Such information will only be used to provide the contracted services, and in accordance with the terms of the agreements with the University.
  • We may securely share your personal information with Falmouth Exeter Plus (FXPlus) to enable the provision of services and facilities at our Falmouth and Truro Campuses.
  • We may share personal data with our provider Keypath Education to enable the provision of online study. Online students should ensure they are aware of Keypath privacy policy
  • We may disclose details of full-time registered students to the relevant Council so that liability for Council Tax may be established.  We disclose limited personal information of all students to the Electoral Registration Officer at the relevant Council.
  • Information relating to your attendance record may be disclosed within references to a relevant third party requesting such information
  • Certain, limited personal data may be sent to the Higher Education Statistics Agency for Statistical Analysis, Higher Education Funding Council for England, Government Education Departments, Funding Councils, Student Loan Company, the UK Visa’s and Immigration Authority, grant awarding bodies, course relevant professional standards and registration bodies, government agencies and local authorities and emergency services for legitimate purposes. Data may also be checked for accuracy against external data sources. Contact details (including phone numbers) of finalists will be sent to HEFCE for the National Student Survey. See: for full details. The University may also invite you to participate in surveys.
  • Personal data may be disclosed to the Student Health Centre.

What happens after you graduate

On conclusion of your studies, the University will retain a certain amount of personal data which will form part of the student records archive.  This data is retained in order to provide a record of your registration as a student and your achievements at the University, to allow the University to respond to requests for information from graduates and other leavers, and to report on performance or any other relevant aspect of the student body either at course, school or university level. Details on how long the University with retain this data is available in the University Retention Schedule.

Some information may be retained for statistical purposes.

On graduation, you will also automatically become a member of the University’s Alumni.  Some personal data from your student record will be transferred to the Alumni database for the University. Details on how this information will be used is available on the Alumni Data Protection notice which also provides details if you do not want to receive this information and/ or do not wish to continue to be a member of the University’s Alumni Association

As a member of the University’s Alumni, you will have access to various benefits and services as set out on our Alumni website

As part of your membership, the University may contact you and provide you with information relevant to the Alumni Association. This may include sending you a copy of the [Alumni Magazine] and providing you with details of reunion events, professional lectures and other career- related opportunities.  You may also be contacted in connection with the University’s fundraising activities.

Your right to access your personal data

You have a number of rights in relation to your personal data. Information about what these rights are and how to exercise them is available at

What can you do if you are unhappy with the way your data is being handled

The University will endeavour to be transparent about its processing of your personal data. However, should you have any queries about the University’s processing of your personal data, further information may be obtained from the Information Governance Manager by emailing or at

If you think that any of your personal data held by the University is incorrect (for example if you move address and the University has your old address), please let us know so that we can update our records accordingly. You have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner ( if you have any concerns in respect of the handling of your personal data by the University.

Updated: August 2017