Data Protection Information for Student Support Services

Student Support Services at Aberystwyth University is committed to protecting your privacy through compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Data Protection Act, other related legislation and best practice.

This page is your guide to how we record, safeguard and use the information we hold on you. If you have any queries, please contact student-support@aber.ac.uk or 01970 621761/622087.

For further information on the University’s Data Protection Policy and guidance, together with the contact details of the University’s Data Protection and Copyright Manager, please see the link below:

https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/infocompliance/dp/

How we collect information

We have access to student names, degree scheme, modules, exam results, date of birth, emergency and GP contact details and personal contact details via the University’s student records system (AStRA).  In addition, we may collect these details from information you give us direct when you use or register for our services.

We may also receive information about you from third parties, for example from our shared Study Needs Assessment Centre with Bangor University, or from a friend, relative or member of University staff or external agency (such as the police, social services or your funding body) who may be concerned about you, or who may be trying to get in touch with you, or who may be delivering a service or support to you.

What information we collect

The personal information we will collect will include name, date of birth, contact details (including email address and mobile number) and we will also have access to your student record, attendance monitoring record and to certain information contained in records of contact with your personal tutor.

The information we collect might also include details of any disability, health condition or impairment, or other sensitive information about your personal circumstances such as your financial status, support needs or whether you have been in care, are caring for someone or are estranged from your parents or family.  Some of this information may fall within the ‘special categories’ as defined by the GDPR.  This information may be provided direct by you when you use our services or may be given to us from third parties as referred to above.

How we use your information

We will use your personal information:

  • to provide you with any services/support you have requested;
  • for administration purposes;
  • to manage any perceived personal risk to yourself or others
  • to facilitate compliance with statutory duties such as the Prevent or Equality Duties

We may also analyse the personal information we collect to create a profile of our service users so that we can develop our services in the most appropriate way and with the most relevant information. We may also use your data to help us work with external colleagues such as GP practices or the Health Board for the purposes of planning/providing delivery of services. 

Further details about data sharing are given below, including how information is stored and the systems we use to store it.  Information may be stored both in paper format (e.g. Hardship Fund applications) or stored electronically using Maximizer Software; Sharepoint or a joint Aberystwyth and Bangor University Assessment Centre database depending on the type of service/support you access.

 

Your choices

We will not contact you if you have indicated that you do not wish to be contacted unless we perceive there to be a significant risk of harm to yourself or others. You can change your contact preferences at any time by contacting us on student-support@aber.ac.uk or 01970 621761/622087.

If your personal details change, we would be grateful if you could help us to keep your information and preferences up to date by notifying us at the contact details above AND by updating relevant sections of your student record.

Requests for removal from Student Support Services databases

Data protection legislation, in some circumstances, allows for the right to have information about you deleted.  In most cases, however, if Student Support has interacted with you, it will need to maintain a record of its actions and communications, for a period of time consistent with established retention schedules, for contractual purposes and to show that it has fulfilled its duty of care. 

How we protect personal information

Your data is stored in secure central databases, managed by the Department in accordance with the University’s data protection and information security policies. Our main database is hosted by an external supplier (JISoftware/Bristol Online Survey) under an agreement with the University. Appropriate security measures are employed and the data is held on servers in the UK.  Particularly sensitive information is available only to senior staff who have been granted specific permission to access the information.

We operate a Study Needs Assessment in partnership with Bangor University. Data in respect of this service is available to named staff at both Bangor and Aberystwyth Universities.

We take appropriate measures to ensure that the personal information disclosed to us is kept secure, accurate and up to date and kept only for so long as is necessary for the purposes for which it is used and is thereafter securely destroyed or permanently deleted.

Retention of Data

We retain data in line with the JISC model retention scheme.  Such data includes for example, financial data, medical evidence and records of our contact with you.

Disclosure of your information to outside parties

Where appropriate we may pass on your information, securely, to external service providers as outlined previously or service partners. We always make sure there are appropriate controls in place first; the service provider will never use your data for any additional purposes and will securely destroy data after it has been used. Some examples of this include providing information to the police or mental health services where there is a perceived and significant risk to your health and safety or to the health and safety of others, or if required by law (for example, to government bodies and law enforcement agencies) or if we have your permission to do so.

 

 

Data we may receive from outside parties

For the purposes of providing you with support and for compliance with our statutory duties we may receive information about you from the following:

  • Statutory bodies, such as police, social services
  • UCAS
  • Bangor Assessment Centre

This information will be for specific and relevant purposes and kept securely in a format which ensures against unlawful or unauthorised processing and against loss, destruction or damage.

Your consent

By providing us with your personal data, you consent to the collection and use of this information in accordance with the purposes described above and this privacy statement. Particularly sensitive information is available only to senior staff within the department who have been granted specific permission to access the information.

By providing us with your personal data in circumstances where we require consent, you also consent to us transferring your information to countries or jurisdictions outside the UK if necessary for the above purposes. This would usually only take place in exceptional circumstances and you would normally be informed of this. These countries may not provide the same level of data protection as the UK. If we do make such a transfer, we will put appropriate controls in place to ensure your information is protected.

Right of access and other rights

All data collected through Student Support Services is stored and processed securely in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act. You have the right to ask for a copy of the information we hold about you and to have any inaccuracies in your information corrected. You can request a copy of your information from student-support@aber.ac.uk. You will be asked to formally prove your ID before your data can be released/removed.  Other data subject rights are detailed here: https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/infocompliance/policies/dp/data-subject-rights/

Website Links

Our website may include links to websites run by other organisations. Aberystwyth University is not responsible for the privacy practices of these other websites so you should read their privacy policies carefully.

Using text and images

If we post images or text, we are usually happy for you to share this with others and we will append copyright notices and statements to content which we have not generated personally. We would be grateful if you could contact us at before re-publishing information from our website. We may have more updated information, or may have a reason for it not being shared on another platform.

Social media platforms

We sometimes use social media accounts to engage with students and to distribute University messages and materials. We do not store information about you on social media, other than data you yourself may have posted. The following accounts are officially associated with Student Support Services:

Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/Aberunistudentsupport

Changes to our statement

We may change the terms of this statement. If we do so, we will post the changes here so please check from time to time. By continuing to use our services, you will be deemed to have accepted such changes.