Privacy notice

Read about how we process personal data and find out about your rights.

This notice outlines the University’s processing activities relating to improving access and participation in Higher Education and covers the following:

  • Overview
  • The basis of processing your personal data
  • Personal data we collect about you and how we use it
  • Retention of personal data
  • Disclosure of personal data
  • Your rights including access to your data
  • How to contact us


The University of Sussex is registered as a data controller with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Our registration reference is Z6428144.

You can refer to the University’s Data Protection Policy for more information about our commitment to processing personal data in a way that is compliant with data protection legislation, including the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018.

The Data Protection Officer for the University of Sussex is Alexandra Elliott, Head of Information Management and Compliance. If you have any queries concerning your personal data and how it is processed, you can contact the Data Protection Officer at

The basis for processing your personal data

We process personal information to enable us to improve access and participation in Higher Education. Our activities are focused on ensuring that there are equal opportunities for individuals to access and succeed in Higher Education, including the degree outcomes that students achieve and their success in employment.

The University has a duty to improve the equality of opportunity for groups that are usually underrepresented in Higher Education and our Access and Participation Plan documents how we will support those individuals to access, succeed in and progress from Higher Education. To provide our activities we need to use the personal information of individuals in underrepresented groups and we also need to use personal information for those individuals alongside all of our students to measure the success of our activities. The data relates to all stages of their journey, and can include data before and after their time at university.

When we process personal data, there needs to be a legal basis for doing so and, if we process special categories of data, we need to meet additional conditions too. Further information can be found on the ICO’s website.

The University will sometimes process your personal data on the basis that it is necessary for the performance of our tasks carried out in the public interest. The purpose of the University is to advance learning and knowledge by teaching and research to the benefit of the wider community and the Widening Participation team’s function within that purpose is to monitor and evaluate the participation in, and effectiveness and impact of, our activities as part of government policy to widen participation in higher education.

The University will also process your personal data on the basis of our legal obligation to improve equality of opportunity in access to and success in Higher Education and to have an Access and Participation Plan in place. Sometimes we will be processing your personal data on the basis of your consent. We may also process personal data where we consider there is a legitimate interest, of the University or another party, to do so but only where those interests are not overridden by your rights.

Where we process special categories of data, such as ethnicity or disability, it is because we have your consent to do so or because it is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest related to equality of opportunity.

Personal data we collect about you and how we use it

We will collect the following personal data about you:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Contact details
  • Demographic information (including gender, ethnicity, disability)
  • Widening participation data (including care experience, family higher education history, estranged status, free school meal / pupil premium eligibility, service personnel status)

We will use the personal data in the following ways:

  • Determining eligibility to participate in programmes
  • Monitoring participation in events
  • Recording data on the Higher Education Access Tracker database
  • Tracking student access to, success in, and progress after higher education
  • Evaluating the impact of Widening Participation programmes
  • For reporting and evaluation purposes
  • For Academic research purposes

For more general information about how we use personal data at the University, see our University Privacy Notice.

Retention of personal data

The University will only keep your personal data for as long as is necessary for the purpose for which it is processed.

Data relating to our access activities, i.e. before individuals start at a Higher Education institution, will be kept for ten years to cover the student life cycle.

Data we collect and process during your University course will be kept for the duration of your course. Data we collect after you leave University, in relation to your employment or future studies will be kept for three years.

The data that we use to monitor and evaluate our performance against our Access and Participation Plan (‘APP’) will be kept for ten years to cover the five-year APP.

Information about how long data is held by the Higher Education Access Tracker can be found in their Data Privacy information for participants.

Disclosure of personal data

We often work with third parties to support our access and participation activities and we will disclose your personal data to them only where it is necessary and where we have appropriate arrangements in place with regard to data sharing, including the security of your data. Third parties might include regulatory bodies, Universities and College Admissions Service, partner schools and colleges, and online activity platforms such as Unibuddy and Abintegro.

We will also share personal data with the Higher Education Access Tracker. We need to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of our activities and the Higher Education Access Tracker is a tracking tool that allows us to do that. Further detail about how the Higher Education Access Tracker complies with data protection requirements can be found here.

Your rights including access to your data

You have a number of rights under the Data Protection legislation, including the right:

  • to rectify inaccuracies in personal data that we hold about you
  • to be forgotten in some circumstances, that is your details to be removed from systems that we use to process your personal data
  • to restrict the processing of your personal data in certain ways
  • to obtain a copy of your data in a commonly used electronic form
  • to withdraw consent where that is the legal basis of our processing and
  • to object to certain processing of your personal data by us.

Further information about your rights can be found on the ICO’s website. You may also contact the Data Protection Officer for further information.

You also have the right to ask to see what personal data we hold about you, known as a subject access request. For more information, refer to our Data Protection pages for guidance on how to submit subject access requests.

You have a right to complain to the ICO about the way in which we process your personal data and information on how to report concerns to the ICO can be found on their webpages here.

How to contact us

If you have any questions about this privacy notice or the information we hold about you, you can contact the University’s Data Protection Officer by email at or you can write to Alexandra Elliott, Data Protection Officer, University of Sussex, Sussex House, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9RH.

You can also find more information about data protection on our webpages here.