Alumni privacy notice

This Notice tells you how the University of Leeds’ Advancement team will collect and use your personal data.

1. Purpose of this notice

This Notice explains how the University, through its Advancement team, Departments, Schools and Faculties, will collect and use your personal data for alumni and development activities.

Throughout this Notice, "University" "we", "our" and "us" refers to the University of Leeds. "You" and "your" refers to University alumni, together with other individuals involved in alumni and development activity.

We are the data controller for personal data that we process about you.

2. Legal basis for processing your data under UK GDPR

We will process your personal data in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (or UK GDPR for short).

This Notice complies with requirements under both the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) and UK GDPR.

The University will sometimes process your data based upon your consent.

The University has made a contractual commitment to students, as lifetime members of the University, to provide services and activities for alumni. Therefore the University will also be processing data often on the basis that it is necessary to enable it to meet its contractual commitments to alumni.

The University believes that, by supporting University alumni and other development activities, it is conducting something in the public interest. In particular, it is supporting the University’s charitable object of education and the benefits to society that flow from that.

Sometimes the University will be processing your data because you have clearly made it publicly available.

Finally, the University believes that its activities are necessary for the purposes of the legitimate interest of the University and other third parties. These interests are not overridden by the interests and fundamental rights or the freedoms of the data subjects concerned.

Legitimate interests of the University and third parties focus around supporting educational activities and ongoing developmental activities for University alumni and others.

It is recognised that some of these grounds will overlap and that the University could rely on multiple grounds justifying its lawful processing.

3. Anything you are not clear about

If there is anything you are unclear about, please contact our Data Protection Officer, who will be happy to answer any queries you may have concerning this Notice or the way in which we process your personal data.

The Data Protection Officer's contact details are provided at the end of this Notice (see section 18. Concerns and contact details).

4. The University's commitment to alumni

Where you are a student of the University, you automatically become a member of the University and normally become a member of the University alumni community.

The University promises to provide alumni services to University alumni and this promise is now part of the student contract. The University regards these services as an important and integral part of the University's long term commitment to its students.

A member of the University alumni community is someone who:

  • was a student for more than a year at the University, or
  • was on a recognised study abroad programme of one semester or more, or
  • is a member of the University for life and retains access to some of its services, or
  • is an individual who has, on an ad hoc basis, been granted access to alumni services.

Please visit the alumni website for more information.

5. Where does the University get your personal data from?

We obtain your personal data from the following sources:

The University

  • via a transfer from the University's student central and local databases (if you were a student) to the alumni database upon graduation, or if you are in receipt of a scholarship and the money has been raised via the Advancement team, your data is transferred when your scholarship is allocated for administrative purposes

Data you provided when you:

  • you have registered with our old website (Leeds Alumni Online), in the past
  • provided information through one of our websites (for example, via The Leeds Network, newsletter competitions, volunteering discussions or donations)
  • completed and returned surveys or response forms such as contact preference forms, Gift Aid forms (by mail, email or via a University website)
  • discussed it with University representatives (for example, with our Footsteps Fund student caller team)
  • registered to attend an alumni-related event

Third party sources

  • organisations that assist us with pursuing our purposes, media articles, company and charity filings, social networking posts or other public sources, for example, the world wide web.

6. Categories of personal data we process

We will collect and process personal data about you. Personal data may contain "sensitive personal data" as described under the DPA and "special categories of data" as described under UK GDPR.

Such "sensitive personal data" or "special categories of data" is information about your racial or ethnic origin, religious beliefs or other beliefs, physical or mental health or, in relation to DPA only, other conditions and information concerning any criminal offences or criminal proceedings.

This data would only be used if:

  1. you have directly provided it yourself (with your consent), for example, during one-to-one conversations with our representatives or collected for event management purposes, eg for assessing access requirements arising from a disability, or
  2. it has been sourced from information that we believe you have clearly made public, for example, details of patrons/trustees/supporters on charity/society websites.

The data we may process includes:

  • your title, name (including former name or alias), gender, date of birth
  • your education record (ie year of study and degree details) but we do not retain transcripts. We may also hold qualifications from other universities. The Student Services Centre holds transcripts.
  • the University accommodation where you lived
  • the Union societies and clubs that you joined
  • your contact information (address, telephone, email, social media)
  • your business details including positions, organisation, professional memberships and qualifications
  • your career highlights and other lifetime achievements
  • your outside interests and membership of groups
  • information about your wealth
  • information from articles in the media about you
  • your family details, including spouse or partner, and relationships with other alumni, supporters and potential supporters
  • events you have been invited to and whether or not you have responded or attended
  • your donations of time, expertise or money
  • whether or not you have opened University emails or clicked on any links. This could be for future reference or to help tailor further communications with you
  • general information that you have decided to share with us
  • information on you as a scholar and information scholars are required to complete eg progress reports
  • information contained within students' Higher Education Achievement Report’ (HEAR) records

As with most websites, certain actions you take will be recorded anonymously as cookies by the University's websites. See the University's privacy and cookies policy for more information.

7. The purposes for which we process your personal data

We will use your data to help us maintain an engaged alumni community. We may also process your personal data for the following purposes:


  • to verify an account and provide a personalised experience for you when you register for the Leeds Alumni Online website
  • to process a gift you have given (and any Gift Aid claims)
  • event registration
  • to process and organise any volunteering activity you have agreed to undertake
  • to process information you provide for use on other University websites, for example, Leeds Network or the Donor Roll of Honour
  • to keep a record of communications between you and us

Fundraising and volunteering

Fundraising supports:

  • schemes to encourage people to enter higher education
  • scholarships for our students
  • University research
  • improvements to the University's structure and facilities
  • student activities
  • arts and cultural activities

Volunteering supports:

  • student recruitment activity in the UK and overseas
  • mentoring
  • internships
  • careers support for students and graduates

Sharing memories

When meeting with alumni, we sometimes share 'pass lists' which detail the first name, surname, degree and classification for other individuals who graduated from the same course in the same year. These lists are used to remind alumni about their student days; enabling them to reminisce.

The information can also help the University to make contact with alumni we may have lost touch with. Individuals with whom the lists are shared are asked if they are in touch with anyone on the list and, if appropriate, asked to approach these individuals to establish if they would like to receive communications from the University.


On occasion, members of the alumni community host reunions. To help the organiser establish who to invite, the University provides some information.

The University provides organisers with details of alumni from a selected year group and course, as requested by the organiser.

Details provided include first name and surname (as it appears on the University’s alumni database), degree, course and year of graduation.

Details usually indicate who the University is in contact with and who is deceased. 

If you would prefer for us not to use your data for reunions, please email the Advancement team at or call the Advancement team on +44 (0)113 343 2499.


To ensure that we do not make inappropriate requests in our fundraising and volunteering communications, we may carry out research to assess your likely ability and willingness to make gifts to or volunteer for the University.

This research may include collecting and storing data relating to you that is in the public domain (such as career history, directorships, shareholdings and remuneration) as well as data that has been provided by you, including your interests, and University activity you have previously been involved with (donations, volunteering, event attendance, etc).

This research is sometimes known as prospect research or wealth profiling.

If you would prefer for us not to do this, please email the Advancement team at or call the Advancement team on +44 (0)113 343 2499.

Wealth screening

In addition to conducting this research in-house, we may use approved third party analysts to carry out what is known as wealth screening.

Drawing entirely on data held in the public domain, wealth screening companies are used to identify those high net worth individuals who may be interested in supporting the University with a significant philanthropic gift. This process allows the Advancement team to use its resources efficiently and guard against unnecessary contact.

If we are using a third-party data analyst the company's analysts are allowed to use your data only in accordance with the strict instructions of the University.

The data must be held confidentially and securely and only used for the approved wealth screening activity. Your data will only be kept for as long as necessary and will then be destroyed.

If you would prefer for us not to use your data for wealth screening, please email the Advancement team at or call the Advancement team on +44 (0)113 343 2499.

Profiling and planning

We use your data (such as your postcode, subject of study, age, gender and level of engagement with the University) to help us plan our activities, and determine if we should contact you with certain communications, or information about particular activities. It helps us identify how our alumni are involved with the University, and which alumni activities are most popular.

This research helps ensure our communications (including fundraising or volunteering requests) are relevant and of interest to you.

If you would prefer for us not to use your data for planning our activities, please email the Advancement team at or call the Advancement team on +44 (0)113 343 2499.

Automated decision making

The Advancement team uses various modelling tools that will automatically process your data to assess the likelihood of you being able to make a donation to the University or of becoming involved in alumni activities.

However, we believe this does not produce a legal effect concerning you or similarly significant affect upon you in terms of article 22 paragraph 1 of UK GDPR.

If you would prefer for us not to use your data for automated decision making, please email the Advancement team at or call the Advancement team on +44 (0)113 343 2499.

8. Anonymised data

Your data may, when anonymised and no longer constituting personal data, be used to support alumni activities.

9. Due diligence

Please note that if you wish to make a gift to the University, we may process your personal data, including information from the public domain, for due diligence purposes, in accordance with our Gift Acceptance and Naming Policy.

10. Keeping your data up to date

We will update the data we hold on you from time to time. For example, if you provide us with new contact details or change your details on websites managed by the University, The Leeds Network or social media sites such as LinkedIn. We will respond to your request for your data to be updated.

If you would like your data to be updated, please either email the Advancement team at, call the Advancement team on +44 (0)113 343 2499, or use the update my details form.

We may update your contact details by using third party sources/services such as Royal Mail NCOA (National Change of Address). We also use these services to check if there are people we should no longer contact (for example, if someone has died).

Where third parties provide these services to us, they are only allowed to use your data in accordance with the strict instructions of the University.

The third party is required to hold the data confidentially and securely and will not use your data in any other way. Your data will only be kept for as long as necessary and will then be destroyed.

If you would prefer for us not to use third party sources to update your data, please email the Advancement team at or call the Advancement team on +44 (0)113 343 2499.

11. Who can see your data?

Your data is held securely within the University. Access is strictly controlled and staff receive training on data protection.

In addition to third parties helping us keep your data up to date, in order to boost functionality and efficiency, we may employ IT experts from outside of the University to aid with the development of our systems. They may have access to information which is necessary to complete the specific task for which they are appointed.

These experts will provide their services in accordance with the strict instructions of the University. In particular they must respect confidentiality and to the extent they do need to temporarily hold any data, that data must be held securely, strictly used only for the agreed purpose, kept for only as long as necessary and then destroyed.

We also facilitate communications between individual alumni but, in doing so, we do not release personal contact details without prior permission.

We will not sell or share your data to third parties for their commercial purposes.

12. Higher Education Statistics Agency

All UK universities are obliged to give contact details for a sample of recent graduates to The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) in order to conduct a survey of graduate destinations.

Graduates will be contacted 15 months after graduation with the “Graduate Outcomes” survey. See HESA’s student collection notices for more information about how HESA process your data.

The Graduate Outcomes Survey helps to inform government policy. It is also used in calculations for university league tables and by the universities themselves to assess the longer-term impact of the student experience.

The data is provided to HESA strictly and solely for this purpose. All recent graduates to whom this applies will be given the option to opt out of the survey when they are first contacted.

13. Graduate surveys by third parties

Sometimes third parties who are facilitating alumni surveys, which feed into university league tables and rankings, ask the University to share graduates' contact information with them. These include, but are not limited to: Financial Times, The Economist, QS and Times Higher Education/Wall Street Journal rankings.

When we need to share your contact details with these third parties, we will give you prior notice and the option to opt out of the survey when we first contact you.

14. Communications

We may send communications to you by post, telephone or electronic means (principally by email, but also SMS, messaging apps and services), depending on the contact details we hold, the consent that you have provided, and the preferences expressed by you about the types of communications you wish to receive. In particular, we will regularly communicate with you for the following purposes:

  • to share news about the University (including its research and services) and our alumni (including promotion of discounts and services for alumni)
  • to invite you to events and reunions
  • to invite you to support our fundraising activity
  • to invite you to volunteer for the University. This includes providing advice and guidance to students and University representatives and giving support to students during their time at University and in their career.

If you would prefer for us not to use your personal data for any or all of these purposes, please email the Advancement team at or call the Advancement team on +44 (0)113 343 2499.

To manage your communication preferences online visit our update my details page.

If the telephone number we have for you is registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) we would only contact you on that number for administrative purposes unless you have given us permission to contact you on this number for other purposes. If you have opted not to receive communications from us via the Fundraising Preference Service we will follow your wishes.

If you are unsuccessful in unsubscribing from our communications and/or have any concerns, please contact our Data Protection Officer (see section 18. Concerns and contact details).

15. Sharing your data outside the UK

Sometimes, to achieve the purposes for which we are processing your personal data, we may need to share your personal data with other organisations based within the European Union or, if outside the European Union, based in countries that have comparable levels of protection.

When we need to share your data with organisations outside of the European Union, we will ensure that there are appropriate safeguards in place.

16. Retention

We see being a member of the University and part of the alumni community as a lifelong relationship. Generally, the University will look to retain University alumni personal data until the individual asks us to remove it from our records. We will routinely remind you of your right to have us remove your personal data.

If you decide that you no longer wish to receive communications from the University, please be aware that we still need to retain a minimal amount of personal data so that we can keep a record that you have asked us not to contact you.

If you are not a member of the University alumni community, any personal data held will be deleted should you not respond to our attempts to contact you, or state that you have no interest in forming a relationship with the University.

17. Your rights as a data subject

Under UK GDPR you have the right to:

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

Please see the Information Commissioner's Office website for further information on your rights as a data subject. You may also contact the Data Protection Officer for further information (see section 18. Concerns and contact details).

The University is committed to fundraising in a transparent, responsible and honest way. We are registered with the Fundraising Regulator and have committed to follow the associated Code of Practice.

18. Concerns and contact details

If you have any concerns regarding the way your personal data is being processed or have a query about this Notice, please email our Data Protection Officer, Rebecca Messenger-Clark at

Our general postal address is University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK.

Phone the University of Leeds switchboard on +44 (0)113 243 1751.

Our data controller registration number provided by the Information Commissioner's Office is Z553814X.