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Lancaster University’s Data Protection Statement

General information

The University undertakes to maintain personal data in secure conditions and to process and disclose data only within the terms of its Data Protection notification. The details below indicate the nature of this notification but are not exhaustive.

The University seeks in particular to ensure that all staff and students who process data are aware of their obligations, and that data subjects are made aware of the purposes for which the University processes their data, and of their rights as laid out in the Act.

If you have any questions about data protection at  Lancaster, please contact the Compliance Team in the Secretariat via

Student record keeping and data processing

The University processes your information in order to maintain your student record, manage day-today operations, and deal with relevant external organisations including the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).

Please note that we are reliant on you for much of the data we hold: help us keep your record up-to date by notifying us of any changes to personal details and or course enrolments.

University departments/staff with a justified operational need will have access to your information. Our general policy is not to disclose the personal information of students to third parties and external organisations (other than those listed below) without permission.

Disclosure of student information to external organisations and other third parties

Subject to suitable security checks, the University routinely provides access to student information to various third parties, notably:

  • students’ sponsors (including LEAs, the Student Loan Company, and funding councils)
  • relevant government departments including HESA (see
  • Lancaster City Council
  • professional associations
  • IPSOS (the survey agency that conducts the annual National Student Survey).
  • organisations contracted by Lancaster University to develop or host information systems or to host data on behalf of Lancaster University.
  • Lancaster University Students Union
  • current or potential employers of, and providers of education to, our students.

NB. Disclosures to organisations not listed above will be made in specific, legitimate circumstances only. These are relatively rare. Consent will be sought where necessary and you will be kept informed of such disclosures unless exceptional circumstances apply.

If you gave us permission at registration, we may disclose your outstanding fees to parents/guardians/other callers. This is to enable others to make payment on your behalf.

Third Party Information Service Provision

Lancaster University contracts third parties to provide some of its information services to students and staff. In some cases this requires third party processing of the minimum required personal data to provide these services. All such processing meets the standards required by the Data Protection Act 1998. Examples of services include:

  • Student email system
  • Email communication services
  • Cloud based file storage

Further information about privacy can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice.

Purposes for Processing Student Data

The University will use student data for a variety of purposes. These include:

  • maintenance of the student record
  • maintenance of academic and University discipline
  • the management of colleges and residences
  • the marketing and management of social events
  • alumni operations, including fund-raising
  • the operation of ancillary services
  • the provision of advice and support to students
  • internal research, including monitoring quality and performance.
  • confirmation of student details/data to relevant external organisations (including HESA)
  • Facilitating students' democratic right to vote


International Study

Where students are registered to study outside of the UK for part or all of their programme Lancaster will share data with the overseas institution securely and fairly.


Your right of access

Under the terms of the Data Protection Act 1998 data subjects have a right to see the personal information held about them by the University. Please follow the Subject Access Requests link for details of procedures relating to your right of access. The University has up to 40 days to respond, and a search fee of £10 will be charged.

Personal data processed by students as part of their studies

The Data Protection Act places obligations on all those who process personal data. If you process personal data as part of your studies (e.g. as part of a research project) you should seek advice about your data protection obligations from your programme director in the first instance.

Information Commissioner's Office Registration

Lancaster University is registered as a data controller under the terms of the Data Protection Act, 1998. Our registration number is Z6328653, and details of our registration can be viewed on the Register of Data Controllers, at the Information Commissioner's Office website.


This page was last edited on: 10/7/2016 3:42 PM