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Student Privacy Statement

Staffordshire University of College Road, Stoke-on-Trent ST4 2DE is the data controller for personal data relating to you that it processes. Staffordshire University gathers and uses personal data about you if you ask for information or apply to join us, while you are a current student and after you leave the University and become one of our alumni. It is necessary for us to do this to be able to perform the contract for your education or to consider entering into such a contract with you, and also so that we can discharge our legal obligations.

This Privacy Statement tells you what personal data we collect about you, how we use the data, the legal justification for using it and who might see it. Please note that we may have to amend this Statement from time to time to reflect changes in how we use personal data or to keep up with best practice, but we will only do this in line with the underlying principle on which this Statement is based –  transparency and respect for your personal data. The current version of this Statement can be found on the University website.

Although this Statement is primarily intended for current and former students of the University, we also retain information relating to all applications. We do this for audit and statistical purposes and in case we receive a complaint or appeal.

Staffordshire University takes seriously its responsibilities under the law governing data protection in the United Kingdom. You can see our current Data Protection Policy on the University website. You can also see our entry on the Data Protection Register on the website of the Information Commissioner’s Office. Our registration number is Z6548391.

The types of personal data we hold

The information we hold includes the details provided by you on application and enrolment, together with data which is collected during and after your studies and personal data which we receive from third parties such as the application details provided by UCAS or immigration details from UKVI. The definition of ‘personal data’ is in the Appendix at the end of this statement.

The University is likely to hold the following information about you:

  • Your name, address and contact details, including your telephone number and email address
  • Your date and place of birth
  • Your gender 
  • Your sexual orientation
  • Your religion
  • Your nationality and any other information about your ethnicity or immigration status
  • Your qualifications and other academic records, including records of your academic performance, progress and achievement
  • Records of any appeals or submissions you make relating to extenuating circumstances
  • Any disabilities or other medical information which you disclose to the University
  • Information relating to fees and any sponsorships relevant to your studies
  • Your attendance record and the use you make of University facilities such as the virtual learning environment (Blackboard) the library or any of our other services.
  • Details of any disciplinary action which is taken against you or in which you are involved or of any complaints made by you or in which you are involved

The University will also have a digital photograph of you, which is used to produce your student card.

The purposes for which we hold and process your personal data and the legal basis for doing this

The table below contains illustrations of the typical reasons why we hold and process your personal data and the legal justification for these activities.

PurposeLegal basis
Assessing eligibility to undertake our programmes  Consent and/or processing is necessary for the purposes of taking steps prior to entering into a contract with us.
Provision of academic programmes and related services (including IT and library services)  Contractual necessity i.e. to provide your chosen academic programme
Assessment of academic progress and performance (including attendance)  Contractual necessity.
Administration of complaints, grievances and appeals . Contractual necessity
Immigration matters  Necessary for us to comply with our legal obligations in relation to Student visas.
Making reasonable adjustments for disabilities and providing relevant support to students with ill health.  Consent. 
Regulating the University’s community (including dealing with misconduct under our procedures for academic and other misconduct)  Contractual necessity and the public interest in maintaining academic standards.
Obtaining payment of fees  Contractual necessity.
Providing appropriate I.T. and other infrastructure facilities e.g. providing intranet facilities  Contractual necessity
Communicating with you   Contractual necessity. 
Provision of residential accommodation   Contractual necessity 
Using our campus facilities, including the libraries, sports facilities and other services Contractual necessity relating to the terms governing access to and use of the facilities and services

There may be other processing in addition to the above, for example, when you access our website which uses cookies or when we take photos of our events and publish them. This is done on the basis of our policies and we will inform you about such processing at the time when the data is obtained or as soon as reasonably possible thereafter.

Sharing your personal data

Staffordshire University is committed to respecting and protecting your personal data. Data is not normally voluntarily shared with anyone outside the University. This includes your spouse or partner, parents, or other family members, unless you give us your permission to share it or because, in exceptional circumstances, we have reason to believe that your health or safety or the health and safety of a third party is at risk.

If data is to be shared with overseas organisations which are not subject to broadly similar rights to those you have in the United Kingdom/ EEA, the University will first take all reasonable steps to establish that appropriate safeguards are in place at the recipient organisation We do share limited data with the Staffordshire University Students’ Union since all our students are automatically members of it (unless they notify us that they are exercising their right to opt out of membership) and certain information is needed to enable the Union to contact you about the services it offers.

You should be aware that we do from time to time use outside agencies to act on our behalf to communicate with people, including via social media. We only use reputable organisations who adhere to strict data protection principles and only the minimum   data necessary for the purpose is shared with these agencies.

Please be aware that if you are logged in on a social network during a visit to the University website or a University app, the social network might add visit information to your profile on its network based on your privacy settings. If you would like to prevent this type of data transfer you should log out of your social network account before visiting the University website or app, or change the privacy setting of the app if possible. You should read the privacy policy of your social network for more details, including details of your rights and how you can manage your privacy settings.

Also be aware that there are some circumstances in which we are required by law to disclose the information we have about you to external organisations. These organisations include the Office for Students; the Higher Education Statistics Agency (whose Student Collection Notice can be found here ); the Student Loans Company; Local Authorities; the police and other bodies with enforcement powers where disclosure is necessary for the prevention or detection of crime; the Disclosure and Barring Service; the UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI); and to professional regulators.

If you are receiving a sponsorship or scholarship or other type of funding, it may be necessary to disclose information about your progress to the person or body supporting you.

If your course requires you to spend time at another institution, or if you are with us as a visitor from another institution, we may need to share some information about you with the other institution to allow it to fulfil its contractual duties.

Filming, Recording and Photography

Where filming, recording or photography is carried out by or for the University, the University will take reasonable steps to ensure that students are aware that this is taking place so that they have the opportunity not to participate.

After you leave the University

After you leave us, the University will continue to maintain information about you for historical and statistical purposes. This will include your academic record so that we can provide confirmation of your qualifications. Some information will be kept permanently, other information will eventually be destroyed in accordance with the University’s Record Retention Policy. The current version of the Retention of Records Policy can be found on the University website.

The University would like to maintain contact with you as one of our Alumni and to send you communications about various activities and events which may interest you, and information about how you might be able to help us with our fundraising to support the University into the future.

Your Data Protection Rights

You have the following main rights:

  1. To be informed about how and why we gather your personal information, how we keep it and what we do with it.
  2. To access the personal data we hold about you.
  3. To have the information rectified if it is inaccurate or where appropriate, given the purposes for which your personal data is processed, to have incomplete data completed.
  4. To have your information removed from our records. This is a limited right which applies, among other circumstances if there is no longer any justification for us to keep it or where consent has been withdrawn. There are also exceptions to this right, such as when the processing is required by law or is done in the public interest.
  5. To object to the processing of your personal data for direct marketing purposes without your consent.
  6. To request that your data be copied or transferred to another organisation in certain circumstances.
  7. To restrict the processing of your personal data. This is a limited right which will apply in specific circumstances and for a limited period.
  8. To obtain a copy of your data in a commonly used electronic form if the data is processed by automated means and the processing is based on your consent or contractual necessity.
  9. To complain to us and/or to the Information Commissioner’s Office if your information is being used unlawfully.
  10. Where we are relying on your consent to use your personal data, you have the right to withdraw that consent at any time.

Further information and contacts

If you:

  • wish to access the personal data held by the University about you;
  • wish to up-date your information, including your address and preferred contact details, or, where we are relying on your consent to process your personal data, if you wish to withdraw or change your preferences relating to any consents you have given
  • require more information about how the University manages personal data generally, please contact the University’s Data Protection Officer at the following address:

    Data Protection Officer
    University House
    Staffordshire University
    ST4 2DE

Concerns and Complaints

If you wish to raise a concern or make a complaint about the way in which the University processes your personal data, you should in the first instance contact the Data Protection Officer with full details using the contact details above. If you do believe that your complaint has been satisfactorily resolved by the Data Protection Officer, you may contact the Information Commissioner at the following address:

Information Commissioners Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane

Appendix: The definition of ‘personal data.’

“Personal data” refers to information relating to a living, identifiable individual. It can also include "special categories of data", which is information about your racial or ethnic origin, religious or other beliefs, and physical or mental health, the processing of which is subject to strict requirements. Similarly, information about criminal convictions and offences is also subject to strict requirements.