Alumni and friends

Alumni Privacy Policy

Wonderful things continue to happen at the University of Surrey – many of which happen because our friends and alumni support students and research at Surrey through their engagement, volunteering and philanthropic giving.

To ensure that wonderful things continue to happen at Surrey, Advancement enables and cultivates a culture of continuity and engagement, keeping in touch with all Surrey alumni and friends and focusing on relationships with potential and existing donors. This statement explains how the University (the Data Controller) handles and uses the data we collect about our alumni, friends and current and future supporters.

What personal data do we collect and how we do collect it?


If you are an alumnus/a, the following data is transferred from your student record to the University Advancement database:

Name, address, email, telephone numbers, date of birth, degree, subject and dates started and completed with final class of degree. If you were a prize winner or scholarship recipient, we may also include this information.

The following data, which will also be held within the Advancement database may have been provided by you during interactions (eg when registering for an event, volunteering and when making a donation to Surrey) with us:

Updated contact details, details about your job (position and organisation details), dietary and mobility requirements, options that you have selected to be of interest to you (whether you wish to volunteer, donate, support in some way) and bank details.

Further information, which may also be stored within the Advancement database might be gathered from social media (eg LinkedIn, Facebook) or other publicly available sources.

How do we use the information we collect?

The information you provide and we acquire from other sources is used by the University to communicate with you for its marketing, promotional and fundraising purposes. These may include:

  • Providing you with the services and information you have requested
  • Processing your donation including Gift Aid
  • Keeping a record of your relationship with Surrey
  • Ensuring we know how you prefer to be contacted
  • Promoting the benefits and services available to alumni and friends
  • Inviting you to Surrey events and reunions
  • Keeping you up to date with university news (eg alumni magazines, newsletters, annual reports)
  • Asking you to support a fundraising initiative by email, direct mail, telephone and in meetings with you
  • Asking you to support in a non-financial capacity (eg offering professional training year placements, submit profiles, careers advice, help with student recruitment)

Building profiles of supporters and targeting communications

Advancement uses profiling and screening techniques to ensure communications are relevant and timely, and to provide an improved experience for our audience. Profiling also allows us to target our resources effectively, which donors consistently tell us is a key priority for them. It enhances our understanding of the background of people who support Surrey and helps us to make appropriate requests to supporters. Importantly, it enables us to engage the right people with the right activity to raise more funds sooner in the most cost-effective way.

When building a profile we may analyse geographic, demographic and other information relating to you in order to better understand your interests and preferences in order to contact you with the most relevant communications. In doing this, we may use additional information from third-party sources when it is available. Such information is compiled using publicly available data about you; for example addresses, listed directorships or typical earnings in a given area.

We will also contact you by post and on the phone to engage you with some of our fundraising activities. Should you not wish to receive this sort of communication, please just let us know on 01483 683143 or alumni@surrey.ac.uk.

These data gathering and processing purposes are not part of the University’s public functions but are necessary to advance the legitimate interests of the institution.

Direct marketing

With your consent, we will contact you to let you know about the progress we are making and to ask for donations or other support. If you don’t want to hear from us, that’s fine. Just let us know when you provide your data or contact us on 01483 683143 or alumni@surrey.ac.uk.

We do not sell or share personal details to third parties for the purposes of marketing or any other purpose.

Sharing your story

Some people choose to tell us about their time at Surrey and their life since graduating as this helps current and prospective students understand what other Surrey graduates have gone onto achieve after their studies here. Alumni and friends may take on a role as an ambassador or volunteer and take part in various activities asked of them, including sharing their profile which are words submitted by them or written by us and approved by the individual. We may use this information, which may include details related to their family life in addition to their biographical and contact information in University communications.

How do we keep your data safe and who has access?

Personal data of alumni and friends are held in the Advancement database. We ensure that there are appropriate technical controls in place to protect your personal details both when they are stored and when you update them. For example our online forms are always encrypted and our network is protected and routinely monitored.

We undertake regular reviews of who has access to information that we hold to ensure that your 

information is only accessible by appropriately trained staff, volunteers and contractors, all of whom will have contractual responsibility to maintain confidentiality.

We use external companies to collect or process personal data on our behalf (eg mailing houses and events venues) however we will only share personal data that is relevant and proportionate. We do comprehensive checks on these companies before we work with them, and put a contract in place that sets out our expectations and requirements, especially regarding how they manage the personal data they have access to or collect.

We may need to disclose your details if required to the police, regulatory bodies or legal advisers. The University is required to disclose some personal data of graduates to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) for the purpose of a survey of new graduates.

We will only ever share your data in other circumstances if we have your explicit and informed consent.

Keeping your information up to date

Where possible we use publicly available sources to keep your records up to date; for example, we update information from Royal Mail address files, BT phone directories, reviewing job information that you have made available on LinkedIn, newspaper articles, company websites and other publically available sources.

Surrey considers the relationship with our alumni and friends to be lifelong. This means that we will maintain a stakeholder record for you until such time you tell us that you no longer wish us to keep in touch. In this instance we will delete the majority of your personal data but maintain basic personal data to ensure we do not inadvertently create a new record in the future.

We really appreciate it if you let us know when your contact details change.

Your right to know what we know about you, make changes or ask us to stop using your data

You have a right to ask us to limit or stop processing your personal data we will do so. You can also ask us to erase you from our database if you wish to do so. For either of these request, please contact us on 01483 683143 or alumni@surrey.ac.uk

You have a right to ask for a copy of the information we hold about you, although we may charge £10 to cover the costs involved. If there are any discrepancies in the information we provide, please let us know and we will correct them.

If you want to access your information, send a description of the information you want to see and proof of your identity by post to Information Compliance Unit, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH. We do not accept these requests by email so we can ensure that we only provide personal data to the right person. If you have any questions please send these to James Newby, Data Protection Officer at alumni@surrey.ac.uk and for further information see the Information Commissioner's guidance.

Changes to this Policy

We may change this Privacy Policy from time to time. If we make any significant changes in the way we treat your personal information we will make this clear on the University of Surrey website or by contacting you directly.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please let us know by contacting the Information Compliance Unit, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XH or email alumni@surrey.ac.uk.

Contact us

Email: alumni@surrey.ac.uk

Phone: 01483 683143