Statement concerning the processing of sensitive data relating to students

The University needs to collect and use certain data which are defined as “sensitive personal data” under section 2 of the Data Protection Act 1998. The data which may be collected, and the purposes for which they may be used, are listed below. These purposes fall within the conditions for processing personal data which are set out in Schedule 2 of the Act and, more particularly, are covered by one or more of the conditions for processing sensitive personal data contained in Schedule 3 of the Act. Data will not be disclosed or processed for any other purposes without the specific consent of the data subject.

  1. Race and ethnic origin: Information is collected electronically from UCAS in the case of undergraduates and at the registration stage in the case of postgraduates. It is used to ensure that the University complies with its equal opportunities policies and with Equal Opportunities and Race Relations legislation. The data, in an anonymised form, is also passed to the Higher Education Statistics Agency and other such bodies when requested. AU Residential Services records nationality for use in its planning of students’ room allocations.

  2. Trade Union membership: Information regarding membership of the Student Union is maintained by the Guild of Students. This data is used for administrative purposes.

  3. Physical or mental health or medical condition: Data which falls into this category is maintained in order that medical conditions can be taken into account throughout the educational process and that appropriate arrangements can be made for disabilities or those with specific learning differences. It is also recorded in order that support and help can be offered to students and that specific needs can be identified. The University also requires information in relation to compliance with health and safety legislation and in its continuing efforts to maintain a safe working and living environment.

    • The data includes medical questionnaires, medical certificates, medical notes and correspondence, forms and documentation regarding disability, specific learning differences or preferences. This data is retained by the Student Wellness Centre and also by academic departments where appropriate.
    • Information regarding disability or specific learning differences is kept by Accessibility Services.
    • Specific data relating to student needs may also be held by Residential Services and by Information Services in order to enable these service areas to respond more effectively to the particular domestic and educational requirements of the student.
    • Data relating to students may also be kept by the Health and Safety Officer, particularly when an accident has been reported and the relevant forms completed.
    • Where students have enrolled for personal training or for sports therapy as members of the Sports Centre, health related data is held in order to design appropriate programmes and treatment.


  4. Criminal records: The University requests that prospective students provide the institution with information relating to particular categories of criminal convictions in order that adequate consideration can be given as to whether the individual should be admitted. All such documentation is destroyed within 6 months of a decision on admission, whether the individual is admitted or not.

  5. Internal disciplinary records:The University maintains personal data in relation to any activities which have breached its internal rules and regulations and which have resulted in disciplinary action. This data is held in order that investigations can be conducted and any patterns of behaviour identified, and that details of any penalties can be recorded. Depending upon the circumstances, data relating to disciplinary matters may be held by:

    • The Senior Tutor
    • The Academic Office
    • The Academic Departments
    • The Sports Centre
    • Hall Wardens


  6. More than one category of sensitive data: In cases where students have consulted counsellors employed by the Student Union, data relating to a range of sensitive data categories may be recorded including all of those listed above.