Privacy Notice

The terms ‘We’, ‘Us’ ‘Our’ or ‘the University’ refer to the Alumni Relations and Philanthropy offices of the University of Essex (collectively known as the Advancement Office or Advancement Team), and to the University of Essex as a whole.

What data do we collect and why?

We collect information including, but not limited to, name; postal address; phone number(s); email address(es); date of birth; title and post-nominal letters; degree information (where you are a former student of this University); employer’s name and job title; information needed to process donations and ticket sales including card or bank details; and information related to your hobbies and interests, including student clubs and societies joined, University events attended, and University fundraising appeals supported.

We collect this information directly from the University’s student record system at the point of graduation; via registration forms for Alumni and donor information and services; via donation forms and Gift Aid declarations; and via event registrations and ticket purchases; as well as via other areas of the University with whom you may engage, including but not limited to, Employability and Careers, Research and Enterprise Office, the Arts Office (including the Lakeside Theatre), and University Departments. We also occasionally collect additional information from within the public domain.

What do we do with the information?

We use the personal information collected to:

  • Communicate with alumni, friends, partners and supporters of the University, to inform them of news and developments at the University which we believe will be of interest to them;
  • Offer alumni services such as JSTOR access, careers support, networking and reunion opportunities, and exclusive experiences (like trips to Parliament and the London Eye);
  • Request volunteers for speaking engagements, student mentoring, focus groups, recruitment fairs, and for case studies for publications and promotional literature like our Essex Heroes project and University prospectuses;
  • Invite you to events and process event registrations and ticket purchases where applicable;
  • Request and process donations, including those processes relating to the administration of direct debits and Gift Aid declarations which are required by law, and keep you updated on how your gift has helped the University;
  • On occasion we carry out research on alumni and supporters in key industries or roles to gain a greater understanding of them and their interests. This enables us to make our communications to them more relevant, and to offer a more tailored package of engagement or support. This research only ever uses information freely available in the public domain and is carried out internally by University employees. In rare and exceptional circumstances we may employ another company to undertake this research for us. If, on the basis of this research, we believe there to be genuine and legitimate mutual interest in discussing a particular development or area of work at the University, then we may attempt to contact you regarding it, whether or not you have opted-in to receiving communications from us. You will always have the opportunity to decline further contact, and we will only attempt to contact you once. We will only communicate with individuals on the basis of mutual legitimate interest not more than once per year.

We communicate with you via email and post. The majority of our regular communications are sent via email, and those not subscribed to receive email will miss most of our event invitations, updates and careers and volunteering opportunities. We do not currently, but may offer in the future, the opportunity to communicate via SMS. We occasionally also communicate via telephone, but a maximum of twice per year and never year-on-year. We also inform all those we intend to phone, by post or email, of our intention to call at least four days in advance, and offer the opportunity to opt-out of receiving a call.

We store the information collected on our own secure database, which is hosted on the University’s own secure internal servers. Any information stored for the purposes of processing regular gifts or one-off transactions is held securely and in a manner fully compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.

We only send marketing information to those who have agreed to receive it; and using the channels they have agreed to receive it by. If you wish to receive marketing information from the Advancement Office but have not yet opted-in, please contact advancement@essex.ac.uk, or call +44 (0)1206 873372 (9am-5pm, Monday-Friday). All our email communications contain links to opt out of future communications, should you change your mind – but please also use the contact details above to let us know if you wish to change how, or if, you hear from us. You may also update your preferences at any time via your profile on the alumni website (alumni.essex.ac.uk).

Unless you tell us otherwise, and due to the resources available in our small Advancement Team, we will assume you continue to consent to us communicating with you for five years from the date you opt-in to our communications. We will seek confirmation that you are happy to continue to receive communications from us every five years. Should you not confirm you are happy to continue to receive communications from us by the end of this period, we will remove your details from our contact lists. We will inform you of this. You will of course be able to opt-in again at any time, using any of the methods outlined above.

Sharing your information

We only share personal information if:

  • Legally required to do so;
  • We believe it necessary to protect or defend our rights, property or personal safety of our staff, volunteers or visitors to our campuses or websites;
  • We are working with a very carefully-selected partner undertaking contracted work on our behalf. These partners include mailing houses contracted by our in-house printing service Print Essex; HESA (the Higher Education Statistics Agency), to facilitate the annual DLHE (Destination of Leavers of Higher Education) survey, or specialist research companies. We do not routinely screen our data using external companies, but for international contacts that make in-house research difficult to undertake we do occasionally contract Gnosis (gnosis.com.sg) to undertake research based on public domain information available in-country. We only share information with these partners once they have signed a contract that requires them to abide by the Data Protection Act, treat your information as securely as we do, only use the information for the purposes for which it was supplied, and that allows us to check these conditions are being carried out.

We never sell or share your information with anyone to use for their own purposes.

Your rights

Under the Data Protection Act, you have a number of rights over your personal data and the way(s) in which we use it. These include:

  • The right to have inaccurate personal data rectified or erased;
  • The right to prevent your data being used for direct marketing
  • The right to access a copy of the information we hold about you (known as a Subject Access Request)

If you wish to exercise any of these rights please use our Subject Access Request Form, or contact the Information Assurance Manager by emailing infoman@essex.ac.uk

For more information regarding your rights under the Data Protection Act, please visit the website of the Information Commissioner’s Office ico.org.uk