Alumni Privacy Statement

1. About this Privacy Notice
This statement explains how 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 will process your personal data. The term ‘You’ refers to alumni, friends, partners and supporters of the University. The term ‘Marketing’ refers to any communication regarding the objectives or activities of the Advancement Office and/or the University of Essex as a whole.

Please read this notice alongside our overarching privacy notice: Privacy Hub

It is important that you read and retain this notice, together with any other privacy notice we may provide on specific occasions when we are collecting or processing personal data about you, so that you are aware of how and why we are using such information and what your rights are under the data protection legislation.

The University of Essex is the controller for the purpose of data protection law.

2. What type of information we collect about you
We may collect the following information from you when you enrolled as a student, register for our programmes, complete surveys, or application forms, contact us for support or offer help.

  • Personal information we record and process may include:
  • Biographical information (e.g. name, salutation, DOB, gender)
  • Postal Addresses
  • Phone Numbers
  • E-mail addresses
  • Information about your time at the University, and other education history
  • Your current and past professional activities (e.g. organisation name, position, industry)
  • Membership of groups
  • Current Interests (e.g. interests in supporting particular areas of the University)
  • Media coverage (e.g. news articles, blogs)
  • Family and spouse/partner details
  • Relationship to other alumni, donors and friends
  • Volunteering activities and expression of interest in volunteering
  • Registration and attendance at events
  • Donation details (e.g. donation amount, donation date)
  • Donor status, research and fundraiser reports/briefings and wealth assessment information, indicators of your interest in giving, ethical and reputational risk analysis
  • Records of communications, meetings and marketing activities by the University
  • Gift Aid information
  • Bank details, only if you have a standing order or direct debit with us

We do not store any credit/debit card details within our database.

2.1 Research and Wealth Screening
The University of Essex was founded with the help of philanthropy, and philanthropy continues to make an enormous impact at our university. As we are a fundraising institution, we may gather information about you from publicly available sources, to help us to understand more about you as an individual and your interest in supporting the University, in kind through volunteering, or through a financial donation. The research is carried out internally by University employees, and gathers information including job details, media coverage and contact information available in the public domain or via subscription services like LexisNexis or LinkedIn that aggregate publicly available information.

On very rare occasions, and in circumstances where carrying out this research would be difficult in-house (for example where there are language issues or limited access to in-country media), we may carry out wealth screening, where trusted third-party partners conduct this work on our behalf. Those partners use biographical information supplied by us to find additional publicly available information on things like occupation, interests and previous giving, and use them to provide an estimated potential level of giving. This is only done once the partner has signed a contract that requires them to work in accordance with the strict instructions of the University and meet data protection standards.

By doing this research, we can focus conversations we have with you about fundraising and volunteering in the most effective way, and ensure that we provide you with an experience as an alumnus/a, donor or potential donor which is appropriate for you. You have rights over the personal data that we collect (see below).

We also use publicly available sources to carry out due diligence on donors in line with the University’s Gift Acceptance Policy and to meet money laundering regulations.

3. Why we use your data – and our legal basis for doing so
The mission of the Advancement Team at the University of Essex is to keep in touch with University alumni, friends and supporters, providing benefits and services to them and engaging in relationships with potential and current supporters. We use the personal data collected for alumni relations.

Occasionally, we conduct alumni telephone fundraising campaigns. We also call our most recent graduates once per year, to introduce alumni benefits and offer careers support if required. We 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 will never call you if your telephone number has been registered with the Telephone Preference Service or the Fundraising Preference Service and you have not consented to receive such a call. We do not use automated calling systems.

When we collect or otherwise process your personal data, we need both a purpose (i.e. a reason) and a legal basis. Under the UK General Data Protection Regulation there are several legal bases. We generally rely on the following legal bases when processing your personal data.

3.1 Table 1 – Other legal basis for processing your data


Legal Basis

For application and registration purposes prior to participating in an event, programme or activity

Necessary to enter into or perform a contract we have with you.

To support, deliver and administer our services, events and activities and to update or inform you about them

Necessary to enter into or perform a contract we have with you.

For processing orders that you have submitted and payments

Necessary to enter into or perform a contract we have with you.

Administration of Alumni relations

Legitimate interests. We need to process your personal data for our legitimate interest of allowing us to manage and carry out our operations as an education provider.

Record keeping in relation to Alumni

Legitimate interests. We need to process your personal data for our legitimate interest of allowing us to manage and carry out our operations as an education provider.

To monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of our programmes, events, and activities, through data tracking, research, statistical analysis, and surveys

Legitimate interests. We need to process your personal data for our legitimate interest of allowing us to manage and carry out our operations as an education provider.

Communicating with you to inform of news and developments at the University which we believe will be of interest to you


Offering alumni services and membership benefits such as JSTOR access, careers support, discounts on further study, networking and reunion opportunities, and exclusive experiences (like trips to Parliament and the London Eye)


Requesting volunteers for speaking engagements, student mentoring, focus groups, recruitment fairs, and for case studies for publications and promotional literature such as our Essex Heroes project and University prospectuses


When you have consented by completing the relevant field on our web forms, event registration forms, programme application forms and/or evaluation forms as appropriate


Inviting you to events and processing event registrations and ticket purchases where applicable


To seek your views or comments on our services


To take photographs, audio and video footage at our events, programmes, and activities for use in digital and printed materials, communications, publications, and social media sites to promote the benefits of our services.


Where we are required by law to process data or to meet a legal obligation, e.g. . the Higher Educational Survey Agency (HESA) to conduct the Graduate Outcomes survey.

Legal obligation

We may also use your personal information in the following situations, which are likely to be rare:

  • where we need to protect your interests (or someone else's interests);
  •  where it is needed in the public interest or for official purposes.

3.2 Control of your data and communication preferences
You have a choice about whether you want to receive information about the University, our progress or fundraising activities, and by which methods of communication. You can also request that we remove your contact details from our database or change the way we process your individual details.

If you want to update your contact preferences, or personal data, please contact advancement@essex.ac.uk, or call +44 (0)1206 873372 (9am-5pm, Monday-Friday). You can also contact the Data Protection Officer by emailing dataprotectionofficer@essex.ac.uk.
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).

4. Where the data we hold comes from
We collect some of this information directly from the University’s student record system at the point of completion of studies. Some of the information recorded will have been obtained directly from you (for example through a registration form for an event, alumni update form, or donation form).
We may record special category data which is sensitive data that you provide directly to us for a specific purpose e.g. about a disability you disclose to us to ensure we have appropriate facilities in place at our events. We might also record special category data about publicly available criminal records if we believe this information could affect the reputation and present an ethical risk to the University of Essex.

5. Whom we share your data with
We may share your data with external agents contracted by us directly for purposes benefiting the University or its alumni and friends. This may include organisations such as mailing houses and fundraising agencies.

We only share information with these partners once they have signed a data processing agreement that requires them to meet UK data protection legislation standards, 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 will never sell your details or share with anyone else for non-University of Essex purposes.

We are committed to ensuring that your personal information is held securely. In order to prevent unauthorised access or disclosure, we have in place suitable physical, electronic and managerial processes to safeguard and secure the information we collect. Our website is maintained on a secure server. All our suppliers meet the standards required under data protection legislation. Staff training is undertaken regularly, and checks are made by IT staff to ensure that data quality is maintained.

The University may facilitate communication between two individuals on request, but in doing so we will never release personal contact details without prior consent.

We are also required to share alumni details with the Higher Educational Survey Agency (HESA) to conduct the Graduate Outcomes survey.

6. Where we keep your data and how long we keep it for
We have retention schedules that set out how long we keep information of all types. Our retention schedules are available here: https://www.essex.ac.uk/information/freedom-of-information/retention-schedule-academic-section

7. Changes to this Privacy Notice
This privacy notice was published on 22 February 2022. We may change this privacy notice from time to time.
If you have any queries or comments about it, please contact the Advancement Office at advancement@essex.ac.uk or call 01206873372.

Last revised 22 February 2022.