Alumni and Supporter Privacy Notice

Alumni and Supporter Privacy Notice

Updated February 2021


The UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (and, where applicable, the EU GDPR) govern the way that organisations use personal data. Personal data is information relating to an identifiable living individual.

Transparency is a key element of the data protection legislation and this Privacy Notice is designed to inform you:

  • how and why the University uses your personal data,
  • what your rights are under data protection legislation, and,
  • how to contact us so that you can exercise those rights.

We keep our privacy notice under regular review.  Any changes we make to our privacy policy in the future will be posted on this page and, where appropriate, notified to you by email or post.

Please check back frequently to see any updates or changes to our privacy policy.

This Privacy Notice relates to:

  1. Alumni (former students and recent graduates) of Sheffield Hallam University and its precursor institutions (the Polytechnic and our founding colleges) and recipients of honorary awards.
  2. Supporters – individuals or partners who are not graduates of the university but are donating or volunteering to support our programmes.

For Privacy Notices for other university stakeholders, please see our privacy notices page.

Alumni continue their relationship with the University after receiving an award from Sheffield Hallam University, and this continues throughout their lifetime whether this is as someone who continues to access services and support provided by the University, volunteers their time to support students or makes donations to support the University’s charitable aims.

The core purpose of maintaining contact records for alumni is to ensure the University can keep alumni connected, informed and engaged with the University beyond receiving an award. Alumni can choose to amend their contact preferences with the University at any time.

Why are we processing your personal data?

It is necessary for the University to process your personal data in order to meet our public tasks or for a task carried out in the public interest (which includes awarding degrees and qualifications):

  • To record and report on former students who successfully obtain qualifications from the University and become alumni after receiving an award, including employment destination and progression after graduation.
  • To produce reports and returns for funding agencies, government departments and public bodies and to facilitate student and graduate participation in national surveys where the University is required to do so (for example, the Graduate Outcomes Survey).
  • To offer replacement award certificates, results transcripts, degree verifications, course syllabus breakdowns and references.
  • To support the verification of awards conferred by the University
  • To provide a record of donation history.

It is necessary for the University to process your personal data in order to fulfil all aspects of our contract with you:

  • To facilitate Graduation ceremonies. For more information on how personal data is processed for Graduation, please see our graduation privacy notice.
  • To inform you of alumni and supporter programmes and other services including careers and enterprise support, access to Library Services and further study discounts.
  • To process payments (e.g. ticket sales, merchandise or donations).

It is in the legitimate interest of the University to process your data for the following reasons:

Alumni relations

  • To analyse the progression of alumni from graduation into employment and, where appropriate, follow your career beyond university. This may include desk-based research drawing on publicly available information (e.g. company websites, media and press releases, or publicly accessible social media platforms).
  • To send news, information and updates about the University, your former academic departments and the lifetime alumni offer.
  • To provide information on the range of alumni benefits and services available to you.
  • To re-engage alumni who have lost contact with the University This can be via referral from other alumni, members of staff within the University or through data shared in public sources (e.g. company websites, media and press releases, or publicly accessible social media platforms).
  • To promote and facilitate mentoring opportunities between alumni and students, and opportunities for alumni to mentor other alumni.
  • To send information relating to career and employability programmes This includes access to coaching, job search support, graduate internship opportunities and advice on starting your own business.
  • To identify and manage the alumni volunteering programmes (e.g. alumni as mentors or who give career talks in their former department) and to recruit potential volunteers and alumni ambassadors.
  • To invite you to University events.
  • To undertake market research surveys which inform the development of alumni related programmes in the future and allow evaluation reporting of existing programmes within the University.
  • To allow the University to tailor our communications to you through segmentation by considering your engagement history with our services and programmes, (e.g. attending an event or completing a survey).

Supporter relations and fundraising

Under its charitable objectives the University has a legitimate interest to conduct and manage fundraising programmes which secure additional financial support for students and academic research within the University. This may involve fundraising campaigns via direct mail, email, telephone, face to face or online.

It is in the legitimate interest of the University to process your data in relation to fundraising for the following reasons:

  • To keep you up to date on the impact of your donation through ongoing stewardship.
  • To support peer to peer or reunion fundraising.
  • To produce management information as part of the governance of the University to report on activities of donor programmes.
  • To undertake appropriate due diligence before soliciting and accepting donations to ensure they fit within our ethical guidelines as a university.
  • To ensure that all fundraising is conducted appropriately and in line with our knowledge about your engagement with us and your preferences and interests. To do this we may draw on personal data held in the alumni office as well as information available through publicly available sources. This may include wealth screening conducted in house or via a third party using publicly available information to identify those few individuals with the likely financial resources to be able to provide significant support from a large pool of alumni and potential supporters.
  • To keep the data we hold for you as up to date and accurate as possible. This includes screening against the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) to ensure that phone numbers registered with the University are not contacted (unless you have updated your personal details directly with the university).

We may also ask for your consent to use your personal data for other purposes when you:

  • register with our online alumni communities.
  • register for a University event, both digitally or in person (on or off campus).
  • submit or work with us to produce a profile, case study, video and/or photography, participate in an event which will be broadcast through our channels.
  • make a donation and we may wish to publish donor listings within our communications as part of a campaign.

You will be given additional information for each purpose and have the right to withdraw your consent at any time

Where we process sensitive personal data, we will rely on the conditions in Article 9 of the GDPR: explicit consent, vital interests, legal claims, substantial public interest, archiving/research.

Which Personal Data do we Collect and Use?

In order to provide our services we need to collect and use your personal data. Below is a list of what this may include:

* - denotes information which may contain data classified as special category personal data under the UK GDPR or as more sensitive data and as such is subject to a greater level of control and protection.
V - denotes information which you provide on a voluntary basis or where you are given the option of “prefer not to say”.

a) Contact information and personal details

  • Student ID
  • HESA/Jisc ID
  • Alumni ID
  • Name(s) - including former names
  • Address(es)
  • Telephone number(s)
  • Email address(es)
  • Dietary requirements (stored and processed solely for the facilitation of event access) (V)  
  • Gender
  • Country of birth/Country of domicile
  • Age/Date of Birth
  • Social media account URLs
  • Spouse/partner name (V)
  • Marital status (V)
  • Ongoing links to Colleges or academic Departments, other professional service departments (e.g. Careers & Employability) or services in the University
  • Activity relating to appointments booked, services accesses or events.
  • Links to fellow alumni/family who are alumni  
  • Extra-curricular activities (SU governance role, club/society leadership, course/department rep, mentoring, Hallam Awards etc.)
  • Equality monitoring*V

b) Your academic and award records

  • Course details
  • Mode of study (FT/PT/Distance etc.)
  • Dates of attendance, award and graduation
  • Collaborative partner institution
  • Student interests  
  • Bursary/scholarship information
  • Use of and engagement with University services, activities and events (e.g. Careers & Employability, Venture Matrix, Graduation)

c) Information relating to your career, employment and post-University life

  • Employment status  
  • Employer details  
  • Job title  
  • Income  
  • Industry and profession  
  • Dates of employment  
  • Curriculum Vitae  
  • Company/business profile
  • Location (address/city/country)
  • Voluntary roles/Charity roles
  • Directorships/Trusteeships
  • Further study (SHU or non-SHU)
  • Honours, awards and fellowships (e.g. OBE)
  • Academic/professional memberships (e.g. MRICS)
  • Press/media (e.g. press releases or broadcast appearances)
  • Indication of high financial net worth *

d) Information relating to your disability

  • Reasonable adjustments (stored and processed solely for the facilitation of event access)* (V)

e) Information relating to your engagement with the University since graduation

  • Online alumni community registration
  • Online Mentoring Programme  
  • Survey/update form responses  
  • Enquiry details (emails, telephone calls, letters to SHU)
  • Event registration and attendance  
  • Telephone call responses Fundraising responses (including donations) *
  • Quotations within alumni profiles (v)
  • Photograph(s) (V)
  • Video(s) (V)
  • Completion of the Graduate Outcomes or similar career destination surveys
  • Engagement/response to communications sent to you (opens, clicks etc.)
  • Mentoring scheme participation
  • Contact preferences  
  • Engagement with the Careers and Employability Service (e.g. graduate support programme)
  • Engagement with the University’s Enterprise Team (e.g. business start-up advice and access to I-Lab)


Relevant information from your student record will form the basis of your alumni record which will be managed by the Development & Alumni Relations Office after graduation.

Most of the data that we hold is collected directly from you as the data subject, either during your time as a student or after graduation (via online community profile(s), updates from you via our alumni update forms etc.). Other sources of personal data may include:

  • Graduate Outcomes surveys.
  • areas of the University where you may have links and who update your details with your central alumni record e.g. academic departments or partner educational institutions who we collaborate with.
  • graduation booklets (historical).
  • online and print media (publicly available).
  • company or charity commission websites (publicly available).
  • honours lists (publicly available).
  • publicly shared social media.
  • prospect research activities either in house or via a third party using publicly available information to assess your likely inclination to provide financial or non-financial support.

Who do we share your data with?

You should be aware that in order to provide our services we may need to share your personal data within the organisation or outside Sheffield Hallam University. The privacy of your personal data is paramount and will not be disclosed unless there is a justified purpose for doing so.

The University NEVER sells personal data to third parties. Your data may be shared with:

  • University staff who process the information for administrative, research, and student experience enhancement purposes (e.g. inviting alumni back as guest speakers, sourcing alumni profiles for recruitment purposes). In the case of international alumni, this includes staff in our overseas offices.
  • Contractors and suppliers, where the University uses external services or has outsourced work which involves the use of alumni personal data on our behalf. The University will ensure that appropriate contracts and/or data sharing agreements are in place and that the contractors and suppliers process personal data in accordance with data protection legislation. Examples of types of suppliers include IT services/providers, mailing services, alumni relations and/or fundraising consultants, photographers, copywriters. If we need to transfer your personal information to another organisation for processing in countries that aren’t listed as 'adequate' by the UK government and/or European Commission, we’ll only do so if we have model contracts or other appropriate safeguards (protection) in place. If you wish to see a list of current contract and suppliers we work with, please e-mail
  • The University shares data with a number of organisations to facilitate academic, financial, and administrative functions as a result of your student contract with us:
    • validating and professional bodies in connection with registration and awards where graduate destination must be reported
    • collaborating organisations that provide teaching, assessment or student support for a University course or apprenticeship (only for relevant alumni)
  • The University is also required to provide information to a number of government and public bodies to assist with their public tasks:
    • the police and/or other organisations responsible for safeguarding or investigating a crime where alumni may be involved
    • funding agencies, government departments and public bodies to produce reports and returns to facilitate graduate participation in national surveys, where the University is required to do so (e.g. Graduate Outcomes)


The University takes a robust approach to protecting the information it holds. This includes the installation and use of technical measures including firewalls and intrusion detection and prevention tools on the University network and segregation of different types of device; the use of tools on University computers to detect and remove malicious software and regular assessment of the technical security of University systems. University staff monitor systems and respond to suspicious activity.

Alongside these technical measures there are comprehensive and effective policies and processes in place to ensure that users and administrators of University information are aware of their obligations and responsibilities for the data they have access to. By default, people are only granted access to the information they require to perform their duties. Training is provided to new staff joining the University and existing staff have training and expert advice available if needed.


Due to the lifelong nature of your relationship with us as your awarding institution, the University has a need to retain your core student record on a permanent basis.

You may choose to switch on and off your contact with the University at any time after receiving your award by managing your contact preferences with the Development & Alumni Relations Office.

Additional alumni data, including details of services you have accessed or used, events attended, contact details and communication preferences etc. is held until you withdraw consent for us to hold this data.

The retention of data is regularly reviewed by the University. We take into consideration the legal obligations and, in the case of alumni who are donors, the tax and accounting rules, when determining how long to retain data.

Data Subject Rights

One of the aims of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is to empower individuals and give them control over their personal data.
The GDPR gives you the following rights:

  • The right to be informed
  • The right of access
  • The right to rectification
  • The right to erase 
  • The right to restrict processing
  • The right to data portability
  • The right to object
  • Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling
  • The right to complain to the Information Commissioner

For more information about these rights please see our data subject rights.

Contact Us

You should contact the Development and Alumni Office if you have a query about how your data is used by the Development and Alumni Office

Development and Alumni Relations Office
Bryan Nicholson Building
Sheffield Hallam University
Howard Street 
S1 1WB
Telephone: 0114 225 4454

You should contact the Data Protection Officer if:

  • you would like to request copies of your personal data held by the University - please see our info about SARs (a subject access request)
  • you would like to exercise your other rights (e.g. to have inaccurate data rectified, to restrict or object to processing)
  • you have a query about how your data is used by the University
  • you would like to report a data security breach (e.g. if you think your personal data has been lost or disclosed inappropriately)
  • you would like to complain about how the University has used your personal data

Data Protection Officer
Governance, Legal and Sector Regulation
City Campus
Howard Street
S1 1WB

Telephone: 0114 225 5555

Further Information and Support

Please see more information about how the University uses personal data on our freedom of information page.

The Information Commissioner is the regulator for GDPR. The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has a website with information and guidance for members of the public.

The Information Commissioner's Office operates a telephone helpline, live chat facility and email enquiry service. You can also report concerns online. For more information please see the Contact Us page of their website.

The University is required to provide data to HESA for regulatory and analytical purposes. Please see the HESA/Jisc privacy notices.