The information below is intended for those applying in 2022 for a place on a Graduate Access Programme at the University of Oxford.
In the course of completing the Graduate Access Programmes application form, you have provided information about yourself (‘personal data’). We (the University of Oxford) are the ‘data controller’ for this information, which means we decide how to use it and are responsible for looking after it in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation and associated data protection legislation.
How we use your personal data
We will use the personal data you have provided (which may include sensitive or "special category" data such as health data, or data revealing racial or ethnic origin) to process and assess your Graduate Access Programmes application. This will involve sharing your data with assessors in University departments and Oxford colleges that are participating in the University's Graduate Access Programmes.
We will add some of your data to the Higher Education Access Tracker database (HEAT), which we use to record information about our outreach activities and those who take part in them. HEAT is a shared database used by a variety of organisations to identify which activities are most helpful in preparing students for higher education and progressing to employment. Users include the University, its colleges, student organisations, educational charities and relevant public bodies (eg UCAS). The data added to HEAT comprises your personal details (name, gender, date of birth, postcode and school) and the events or activities in which you have participated. You can read further details about how your data on HEAT is used in the HEAT privacy notice.
We will use your personal data to monitor the uptake and/or effectiveness of our Graduate Access Programmes and may share your data with our programme sponsors (listed under the section 'Who has access to your data?' below) for these same purposes. To achieve this objective, we may use your contact details in the future to request details of whether you applied to graduate study and/or details of your employment. We may also compare any data you have provided with user account data from our Graduate Application Form and the HEAT database to understand how many applicants/participants subsequently go on to make an application for, or enrol in postgraduate study.
We need to process your data for these purposes in order to meet our legitimate interests in admitting candidates to our graduate access programmes, and promoting access for postgraduate study at the University. This is known as our legal basis for processing personal data under data protection law.
We will only use your data for the purposes for which we collected it, unless we reasonably consider that we need to use it for another related reason and that reason is compatible with the original purpose. If we need to use your data for an unrelated purpose, we will seek your consent to use it for that new purpose.
Special category data and criminal conviction data
Special category data and criminal conviction data require a higher level of protection. Listed below are examples of processing activities that we regularly undertake in respect of these types of data. In addition to the activities listed below, it may sometimes be necessary to process this sort of information for exceptional reasons, for example, because it is necessary to protect your vital interests or those of another person.
We will process data about any disability in order to make any arrangements or adjustments required in relation to your application and participation in the programme and/or to monitor equal opportunities. This processing is necessary to meet our legal obligations.
Data about certain unspent criminal convictions, including whether or not you have such a conviction, is gathered from candidates who have been offered a place on graduate access programmes. Data about barring decisions will only be collected if you have applied for and been accepted onto certain projects, and where we are legally required to do so. Processing of this nature is carried out in order to protect our legitimate interests, including to protect members of the University community from a foreseeable risk of harm. For certain projects this processing is also necessary to meet our legal obligations. Such processing will be subject to suitable safeguards.
Racial or ethnic origin
Data about your racial and ethnic origin will only be processed where you have volunteered it, in order to identify your eligibility for positive action measures in accordance with our legitimate interests, and where we need to process it in order to meet our statutory obligations under equalities and other legislation. This processing is considered to meet a substantial public interest.
Who has access to your data?
Access to your data will be provided to those within the University and Oxford colleges who need to view it as part of their work in carrying out the purposes described above.
We may share your data with companies who provide services to us, such as: the provision, testing and maintenance of the Graduate Access Programme Application forms; our enquiry management systems; email sending services; and online survey functionality. These companies are required to take appropriate security measures to protect your data in line with our policies. We do not allow them to use your data for their own purposes. We permit them to process your data only for specified purposes and in accordance with our instructions.
We may also share your data with our programme sponsors, for the purposes of monitoring and improving the uptake and/or effectiveness of our Graduate Access Programmes, or enabling them to send you surveys or communications that are relevant to objectives and aims of Oxford’s graduate access programmes. These sponsors include:
- Economic and Social Research Council;
- Wellcome Trust; and
- other sponsors listed on the UNIQ+ webpage.
For these purposes, our programme sponsors may be provided with: your contact details, institution attended for undergraduate degree, gender, age, race and ethnicity, and socio-economic diversity information.
Where we share your data with a third party, we will seek to share the minimum amount necessary, and unless your contact details are necessary for communication purposes (as described above) the information will be shared in an anonymised form.
Retaining your data
We will only retain your data for as long as we need it to meet our purposes, including any relating to legal, accounting, or reporting requirements. Details of the retention periods for different types of student and applicant data can be found in the University’s student records data retention policy.
Your data will be held securely in accordance with the University’s policies and procedures. Further information is available on the University’s Information Security website.
Where we store and use your data
We store and use your data on University premises, in both a manual and electronic form. Your data may also be stored in both a manual and electronic form at the premises of:
- Oxford colleges participating in the University of Oxford’s Graduate Access Programmes; and
- Sponsors of the University of Oxford’s Graduate Access Programmes.
Electronic data may be transferred to, and stored at, a destination outside the European Economic Area ("EEA"), for example, when we, an Oxford college, or a sponsor organisation communicate with you using a cloud based service provider that operates outside the EEA such as a provider of email, video conferencing or survey services.
Such transfers will only take place if one of the following applies:
- the country receiving the data is considered by the EU to provide an adequate level of data protection;
- the organisation receiving the data is covered by an arrangement recognised by the EU as providing an adequate standard of data protection eg transfers to companies that are certified under the EU US Privacy Shield;
- the transfer is governed by approved contractual clauses;
- the transfer has your consent;
- the transfer is necessary for the performance of a contract with you or to take steps requested by you prior to entering into that contract; or
- the transfer is necessary for the performance of a contract with another person, which is in your interests.
You have certain rights with respect to your personal data. These include being able to request access to it, correction of any mistakes in it, deletion of it, restriction of its use, as well as being able to object to any processing of it (ie any use of it), or request that it be transferred elsewhere. Information on your rights in relation to your personal data are explained on the Individual rights page of our Compliance website.
However, depending on the circumstances, we may have grounds for not complying with your request, for example, where we consider that deleting your information would seriously harm the research or where we need to process your data for the performance of a task in the public interest
Keeping your data up-to-date
It is important that the data we hold about you is accurate and current. Please keep us informed of any changes after you submit your application.
If you wish to raise any queries or concerns about our use of your data to assess your application, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to exercise any of your rights mentioned above or if, for any reason, you are not happy with the way that we have handled your data, please contact the University’s Information Compliance Team at email@example.com. The same address can be used to contact the University’s Data Protection Officer.
If you are still not happy, you have the right to make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office.