The Data Protection Act 1998: Admissions and Student Records


To assist the College to comply with its legal obligations under the Data Protection Act 1998, this document sets out the main purposes for which the College holds, processes and discloses personal data. Full details of the College’s notification to the Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC) can be obtained from the Tutor as the College’s Data Protection Officer or from the OIC directly. Please would you sign at the end of the form to indicate your consent to the College processing your personal data for the specified purposes. If you object to any of the processing indicated then you should indicate this and your objection will be considered. The College’s data protection policy is available here which contains further guidelines and individuals’ obligations. If you have any queries, you should raise them with the Tutor.

The College processes personal data to assist in the admissions process, to enable the provision of education and welfare services to its students, to facilitate the administration of student accommodation, to provide up to date academic records, to assist in the administration and collection of fees and charges, to comply with legal and other obligations (e.g. health & safety), to facilitate communications and mailings, to enable the provision of references, to assist with fund-raising by the College and the University, for alumni activities and for research and archive purposes.

Information is provided by the applicants and students themselves (by way of application forms and other means) and also by third parties such as schools, local authorities and examination boards.

In order to ensure the proper functioning of the College as an institution in the higher education sector, the College may, from time to time, consider it appropriate to disclose relevant personal data about applicants and students within the College to other members of staff, committees and organisations (such as the Junior Parlour and the Graduate Parlour), and also to various external bodies, including the College Visitor, appropriate members of staff of the University of Cambridge, other Cambridge Colleges, inter-collegiate bodies, other educational institutions, employers and potential employers, professional bodies, funding bodies, local authorities and other governmental and regulatory bodies. The College may or may not seek further consent to specific disclosures depending upon the intended disclosure.

To assist in inter-collegiate and University activities, it is the College’s policy to:

  • to publish a list of new resident members (surname and initials) in the annual Pembroke College Cambridge Society Gazette and the names of students (surname and initials) who have distinguished themselves;
  • to provide the room number of students and their email address to bona fide members of the University of Cambridge upon enquiry, but not to others. Students should inform visitors accordingly. If students wish such details not be given out in these circumstances then they should inform the Data Protection Officer in writing accordingly.

In addition, the College may need to process certain categories of “sensitive personal data” and your signature on this form indicates your explicit consent to the processing of sensitive personal data as set out below:

Medical records and data – to assist in providing healthcare and student welfare, to assist in meeting the needs of students with disabilities, to assist with any dietary and accommodation requirements, and to provide appropriate educational services. Any medical information provided to the College nurse by, or about a student, shall be held in accordance with the principles of medical confidentiality.

The applicant/student hereby gives explicit consent for any information which he/she provides to the College or a member of College staff about his/her medical condition to be disclosed to the College Nurse and the Tutor (and other members of College staff as the Tutor considers necessary), but such personal data shall not be disclosed outside the College, except with the student’s explicit consent to the proposed disclosure or in other circumstances required or permitted by law (for example, to protect the vital interests of the student or another person). The College may inform the student’s “emergency contact” of necessary medical information in such circumstances.

Ethnic Origin – the College may also process information provided by a student about his/her ethnic origin for the purposes of equal opportunity monitoring, but only in an anonymous form, and may disclose such statistics to external bodies. The College shall not otherwise disclose any information about a student’s ethnic origin without the explicit consent of the student to the proposed disclosure or as otherwise required or permitted by law.

Criminal Records – to protect other members of the College Community and the University, to operate a proper disciplinary procedure, to assist with the provision of references and to comply with any legal obligations. The College may receive information about a student’s criminal record or allegations of a criminal offence from the student or from external sources, such as the police or the Criminal Records Bureau.

Subject to the requirements of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and the prior specific authorisation of the College Data Protection Officer, the applicant/student hereby gives his/her explicit consent to the disclosure of information about his/her criminal offences or allegations of criminal offences to appropriate staff within the College, to appropriate staff or officers of the University of Cambridge and to appropriate staff or officers of other Colleges within the University of Cambridge.

The College may also be obliged by law to disclose information about a student’s criminal offences or allegations of criminal offences to other external bodies, such as the police, in certain circumstances. The College may also be permitted by law to disclose such information to other external bodies without the student’s explicit consent in other circumstances (for example where the proposed disclosure is necessary to protect the vital interests of another person).