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Information Compliance


This page provides information about the use of personal information while you are a student at the University of Cambridge.

1. What is ‘personal information’?

‘Personal information’ means any information which relates to or identifies you as an individual.

2. How does this webpage relate to other information about data protection?

When you applied to become a student you were told how the University and any relevant College(s) would use your personal information to process your application and for related purposes (see You were referred to this webpage for a fuller statement of the uses we make of your personal information while you are a student at Cambridge. In addition to the information published here, when you use specific services and facilities offered by the University, you will be told about any other uses of your personal information. For example, there are separate statements for students who engage with the Student Support Department or the Accessibility and Disability Resource Centre, and individual Departments, Institutes and Research Centres/Units may supplement this webpage with more specific information for their students.

3. Who will process my personal information?

The information published here applies to the use, sharing and disclosure of your personal information by the University of Cambridge (, including its Departments, Institutes and Research Centres/Units. Each of the 31 Cambridge Colleges ( is a separate legal entity for these purposes. The University and the individual Colleges work together closely and share your personal information for a variety of academic, administrative and statistical purposes in accordance with agreed protocols. Your College (if you have one) will provide you with its own statement setting out how it will use, share and disclose your personal information while you are a student.

4. What personal information will be processed?

The University will keep a record of the details you provided on your application form, any supporting documents requested as part of your admission and additional details provided by any referees and recorded following any interview process. We will also maintain records about your studies at Cambridge, and about your use of the academic and non-academic facilities and services that we offer. This personal information will include data such as your name, home address, date of birth, course studied, fee payments, and information about your examinations, assessments and results.

Your personal information is created, stored and transmitted securely in a variety of paper and electronic formats, including databases that are shared between the University and the Colleges (such as the main student records database, CamSIS, or the system used by most University and College libraries). Access to your personal information is limited to University or College staff who have a legitimate interest in it for the purpose of carrying out their contractual duties, and our use of your personal information will not be excessive.

In addition to this, the University may process some information about you that is classed as ‘sensitive’ or ‘special category’ personal data, and which requires additional protections. This includes information concerning your ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious beliefs or health/disability that we use for planning and monitoring purposes, or in order to provide care, help or suitable adjustments. For certain courses of study, other sensitive information may be processed, such as information about past criminal convictions, working with children or vulnerable adults, and your fitness to practise in certain regulated professions. Access to, and the sharing of, your ‘sensitive’ personal data are controlled very carefully. You will normally be given further details about our use of any such data when we collect it from you.

5. What is the purpose and legal basis of the processing?

The University will process your personal information for a range of contractual, statutory or public interest purposes, including the following:

  • To deliver and administer your education, record the details of your studies (including any placements with external organisations), and determine/confirm your academic achievements (e.g. results, prizes).

  • Where relevant (e.g. for PhD students), to monitor, evaluate and support your research activity.

  • To administer the financial aspects of your relationship with us and any funders.

  • To deliver IT facilities to you (see the further information published at; in addition, some IT services will supply you with extra service-specific information). Some of these IT services are specific to an educational context (e.g. the use of lecture capture facilities, anti-plagiarism software or online learning environments).

  • To deliver facilities and services to you (e.g. sport, libraries, accommodation, careers).

  • To enable your participation at events (e.g. functions, graduation).

  • To communicate effectively with you by post, email and phone, including the distribution of relevant newsletters and circulars.

  • To operate security (including CCTV), governance, disciplinary (including plagiarism and academic misconduct), complaint, audit and quality assurance processes and arrangements. Note that information collected for a different purpose may be re-used for disciplinary purposes, including to identify you, where this is proportionate and necessary (e.g. IT logs showing your network/computer access and use, or CCTV images/photos of you).

  • To support your training, medical, safety, welfare and religious requirements.

  • To compile statistics and conduct surveys and research for internal, statutory reporting, or public or legitimate interest purposes.

  • To fulfil and monitor our responsibilities under equalities, immigration and public safety legislation.

  • To enable us to contact others in the event of an emergency (we will assume that you have checked with the individuals before you supply their contact details to us).

We consider the processing of your personal information for these purposes to be either necessary for the performance of our contractual obligations with you (e.g. to manage your education, student experience and welfare while studying at Cambridge), or necessary for compliance with a legal obligation (e.g. visa monitoring), or necessary for the performance of tasks we carry out in the public interest (e.g. teaching and research), or necessary for the pursuit of the legitimate interests of the University or an external organisation (e.g. to enable your access to external services). We require you to provide us with any information we reasonably ask for to enable us to administer your student contract. If we require your consent for any specific use of your personal information, we will collect it at the appropriate time and you can withdraw this at any time. Where we ask for any sensitive information, such as that concerning your ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious beliefs or health/disability, you will normally have the option to refuse your consent by not supplying it. We will not use your personal information to carry out any wholly automated decision-making that affects you.

6. Who will my personal information be shared with?

As described above, your personal information is shared with relevant staff at the Cambridge Colleges as required. In addition, it is shared as permitted or required by law, on a considered and confidential basis, with a range of external organisations, including the following:

  • The Higher Education Statistics Agency, which forms part of Jisc (see their statement published at about the uses they make of your personal information).

  • Your funders and/or sponsors (e.g., as relevant, the Student Loans Company, the Gates Cambridge Trust, the Cambridge Commonwealth, European and International Trust, Research Councils, consortium partners, the funders of any awards or prizes).

  • The providers of any external/collaborative learning and training placements or fieldwork opportunities.

  • External examiners and assessors, and external individuals involved in relevant University committees or procedures.

  • Relevant Government Departments (e.g. Department for Education, Home Office, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Department of Health).

  • Relevant executive agencies or non-departmental public bodies (e.g. UK Visas and Immigration, HM Revenue and Customs, the Health and Safety Executive).

  • Relevant Higher Education bodies (e.g. Office for Students, UK Research and Innovation, Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, Office of the Independent Adjudicator, the organisation(s) running the National Student Survey and other student and leaver surveys).

  • Any relevant professional or statutory regulatory bodies (e.g. General Medical Council).

  • Cambridge SU (the students' union) and student clubs and societies, in order to facilitate your membership of those bodies.

  • Local authorities (in particular, we pass lists of students to Cambridge City Council on an annual basis to assist with the administration of students’ exemption from Council Tax, and we provide similar lists on request to Electoral Registration Officers to facilitate the electoral registration of students).

  • On occasion and where necessary, the police and other law enforcement agencies.

  • On occasion and where necessary, auditors, insurers and professional advisors.

  • On occasion and where necessary and expedient, subsidiary companies of the University (e.g. Cambridge Enterprise).

  • Companies or organisations providing specific services to, or on behalf of, the University and/or one or more Colleges.

You are able to control how external enquirers or organisations access details of your results and degrees awarded. We will normally provide references to third parties. Your name and the type of degree awarded will be published in the relevant graduation programme and in the Reporter.

We will include your basic contact details in our internal online directory, Lookup, though you can opt out of this ( You may also choose to include your email address in our external online directory, Jackdaw (

On occasion, the above types of sharing may involve the transfer of your personal information outside the UK (e.g. to facilitate your participation in an exchange visit or to report to an overseas funding provider). Such transfers usually are necessary in order to meet our contractual obligations with you, and are carried out with appropriate safeguards in place to ensure the confidentiality and security of your personal information.

Other than as set out above, we will not normally publish or disclose any personal information about you to other external enquirers or organisations unless you have requested it or consented to it, or unless it is in your vital interests to do so (e.g. in an emergency situation).

7. How is my personal information used after I graduate?

After you graduate a core record of your studies is retained indefinitely so that the details of your academic achievements can be confirmed and for statistical or historical research. Your contact and core personal details are passed to the Development and Alumni Relations office while you are still a student so that you can be added to the alumni database. A statement for alumni and supporters setting out how their personal information is used by the University is published at; you will receive more details at the appropriate time.

8. How can I access my personal information?

You have the right to access the personal information that is held about you by the University. Further details are published at

You also have the right to ask us to correct any inaccurate personal information we hold about you, to delete personal information, or otherwise restrict our processing, or to object to processing (including the receipt of direct marketing) or to receive an electronic copy of the personal information you provided to us. Please note that all of these rights are qualified in various ways.

9. How long is my information kept?

We store your personal information as part of your student record for the duration of your studies (and it may be used as part of our assessment of any future application you make for further studies at Cambridge). Information about how long different types of information are retained by the University is published at (For students of courses in certain regulated professions, such as medicine, longer retention periods may apply.)

10. Who can I contact?

If you have any questions about how your personal information is used, or wish to exercise any of your rights, please consult the University’s data protection webpages at If you need further assistance, please contact the University’s data protection team ( or its Data Protection Officer (

11. How do I complain?

If you are not happy with the way your information is being handled, or with the response received from us, you have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, SK9 5AF (

12. Are changes made to this webpage?

This webpage was last updated in March 2023. It is reviewed when necessary and at least annually. Any changes will be published here and you will be notified via this webpage and/or by email.