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Alumni, supporters and friends privacy notice

1. Introduction

Solent University wishes to maintain and grow a lifelong, mutually beneficial relationship between the University and its alumni, supporters and friends. Graduates of Solent University and its precursor institutions, Southampton Solent University, the Southampton College of Technology, Southampton College of Higher Education and the Southampton Institute of Higher Education, are all members of the Solent University alumni community. Supporters are individuals or organisations who have pledged or fulfilled a donation of money or ‘in-kind’ services and/or property along with key stakeholders for the university. Friends are any individuals, mainly members of public, who have attended a university event or engaged with us.

2. What does this document cover?

This privacy notice applies specifically to data held about alumni, supporters and friends. For alumni, this privacy notice is supplementary to the University’s student privacy notice which is provided annually at enrolment.

Solent University is the controller of your personal data and complies with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679.

This privacy notice sets out how we manage and use your data to enable us to keep you informed about the University and provide opportunities for you to continue to be involved in the life and activities of the University. This includes providing you with services you have requested, for administration purposes, and to further our charitable and educational aims including fundraising, volunteering and other activities. Your data is stored securely and in accordance with EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Where this document refers to “the University”, “we”, “our”, or “us” it refers to Solent University, unless it states otherwise. Where the document refers to “you” or “your” it refers to alumni, supporters and friends of Solent University.

3. What personal data do we collect about you?

3.1 The following describes the data we collect about you.

  • Biographical information including names, titles, gender, date of birth, and contact details such as address, email and phone number
  • Information about your time at Solent and any precursor institutions including education details, prizes, scholarships
  • Employment details and employment history
  • Your relationships including partner/spouse and friends if they are also alumni of Solent University
  • Donations to the University including gift aid status and whether donations are made by Direct Debit – we do not store credit or debit card numbers
  • Records of communications with and from the University
  • Registration, booking details and attendance at events
  • Records of volunteering with the University and any volunteering interests
  • Career biographies or alumni profiles
  • Appended information from publicly available sources
  • Future fundraising and engagement plans including details of planned financial and non-financial asks for support, projects of potential interest and indicators of your volunteering/giving potential and wealth
  • Communication preferences
  • Hobbies and interests if provided by you in order to streamline alumni communications
  • Dietary and mobility/access requirements if provided by you for alumni events

We aim to keep your data up to date and accurate. We welcome any updates to your details which you may wish to provide using this link. Should you object to the holding of your data by the University or wish to have it removed, please see section 10.

3.2 Data collected by our websites and emails

The University web server automatically collects standard information, including your IP address, browser type, operating system and access times when you visit our websites.

We may use cookies to monitor visitor traffic and to customise web page content based on your browser type, IP address or other anonymous information. Cookies are text files that identify your computer to our server; cookies themselves do not identify the individual user, just the computer used.

The link below contains information about the University’s use of cookies and gives information on how you can opt out.


Our website uses Google Analytics to analyse how users use the site. The link below contains information about Google Analytics and gives information on how you can opt out (see the ‘Privacy Controls’ section of this Google Analytics link).

Google Analytics - Safeguarding your data

When you interact with an email that we send to you, we may collect information about those interactions. This may include details of your operating system, location, if you opened the email, if you clicked on a link, and other information about how you interacted with the email. We may collect this information as a part of log files as well as through the use of cookies or other tracking technologies.

We use this information to help improve the website or monitor the performance of our campaigns.

4. Where we get your data

At the point of graduation, your name, degree, basic biographical information (as defined in Section 3) and contact details from the University student system are used to create a record for you in the alumni database in accordance with the University’s Student Privacy Notice which was presented to you on enrolment; the latest version can be found by contacting We also create a record for any donors and friends of the University who are not alumni and who wish to receive our information.

Much of the data we hold comes directly from you: this includes information you gave to us when you were a student or information that you have provided subsequently, for example when enquiring about our services, registering for activities, making a donation or completing an update your details form.

We may also update your record with information that is publicly available. We use targeted internet searches and may search the following websites (either directly or using search engines), where relevant in order to obtain and maintain the accuracy of the data listed above:

  • Research into publicly available sources for profiling and address updates, for example, LinkedIn, Companies House, Thomson World Check, and other similar sources.
  • From a third party with which you have interacted on behalf of the University, for example: Eventbrite. The receipt of data is subject to the third party's own Privacy Policy. The University will treat this data as set out in this Privacy Notice.

5. What is the legal basis for processing?

Depending on the activity your data is used for, we will rely on one of the following conditions for processing: a legitimate interest; a legal obligation; or your consent to process your data, as explained below.

  • GDPR Article 6(1)(a) – Consent of the data subject

We will only email you about our events and services, or call TPS registered numbers, if we have your express consent to do so.

To help us contact you in the best way possible, please make sure your preferences are up to date.

  • GDPR Article 6 (1)(c) – Processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation

If you make or have made a charitable donation to Solent University, we will process your name, address, and donation information under 6(1)(c) of the GDPR for the purpose of administering your donation.

  • GDPR Article 6(1)(e) - Processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest

We are required by law to pass details of all recent graduates (alumni) to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) for the purposes of conducting the Graduate Outcomes Survey (GOS) at approximately 15 months after your graduation date. See the HESA Student Collection Notice for full details.

  • GDPR Article 6(1)(f ) – Necessary for the purposes of legitimate interests pursued by the controller or a third party, except where such interests are overridden by the interests, rights or freedoms of the data subject.

We will hold data relating to any courses you undertook as a student, including your name, course details, and dates of attendance under 6(1)(f) of the GDPR for the purpose of monitoring our academic services and to provide you with information e.g. a copy transcript, should you require confirmation of your degree in future. We may send you post and live telephone calls to non TPS numbers, unless you have asked us not to.

6. Why and how we use your data

We use your data to communicate with you via post, email, social media and phone (telephone and SMS) about Solent University. This includes providing you with services you have requested and to further our charitable and educational aims including fundraising, volunteering, event invitations and newsletters.

We want to send you timely, relevant and appropriate messages via mail, email and telephone.

We may also use your email address to show you targeted content on social media, including promoted posts or advertisements from the Solent University alumni Facebook page. To do this we may segment our communications based on demographic (e.g. age, year of graduation, interests), geographical (where you live) and education information. This helps us to ensure that our alumni and supporters receive communications that are relevant to them and their interests. To help monitor and improve our communications we can track when an email we send is opened and how many links are clicked within the message. We may use this information to personalise the way our websites and emails are presented to you and to improve the content of our communications.

Fundraising and volunteering are important to the University as they provide additional resources to help teaching, research and students. If we believe that you may have the ability to make a significant financial or non-financial contribution to the University we may undertake further research using publicly available information. This may include wealth screening and profiling. Wealth screening looks at top indicators of wealth such as property ownership, business affiliations and stock holdings in public companies, and uses this publicly available data to put together an estimate of a potential supporter’s wealth and likelihood of donating. Profiling is using publicly available information to understand your interests and experiences with the University. We undertake wealth screening and profiling because it allows us to understand your background and make our communications and engagement opportunities relevant and specific to you. Where potential donations are concerned we undertake a due diligence exercise in line with the University’s Gift Acceptance and Ethical Fundraising Policy.

Our fundraising campaigns are managed in-house by permanent External Relations staff and may include direct mail (both postal and electronic), social media, telephone and face-to-face visits. We do not use external fundraising agencies or external professional fundraisers to ask for donations on our behalf.

The University is committed to ensuring that it fundraises in a transparent, ethical, responsible and honest way and is registered with the Fundraising Regulator and committed to the Regulator’s Code of Fundraising Practice. The University conducts all fundraising according to the University’s Gift Acceptance and Ethical Fundraising Policy.

Academic departments and professional services (for example the Careers service, Solent Futures) may also wish to contact you from time to time or to find out more about specific groups of alumni. A typical example would be identifying amongst our alumni how many professionals are working in a particular sector. We work with departments to provide them with up-to-date data and manage the sending of any associated communications.

We are very grateful for the support of our donors and we like to publish their names on our donor lists to recognise their support and to encourage others to donate. If you donate to the University and do not wish your donation to be publicly recognised, you can at the time of your donation, choose to donate anonymously. This means we will record your donation on our systems, but will not publicly acknowledge or publish your name on donor lists or other stewardship materials either online or in written publications. We like to publish case studies online and in written publications, and will always ask permission from those people involved in the case studies before publication.

7. Who has access to your data

Your data are held in a secure database with controls in place to limit who has access to it.

We never pass information to third parties except in the following cases:

  • If using external service providers as data processers/agents on our behalf, to help provide benefits and services. These include email services to send emails and newsletters, mailing houses to send out postal letters and magazines, and companies to screen names and addresses to help keep addresses up to date, to make an assessment of our alumni and friends capacity and likelihood to give using publicly available information, and to check data against preference services. We always make sure there are appropriate controls in place regarding how third parties handle your data to ensure they never use the data for non-Solent University purposes and that the storage arrangements comply with GDPR requirements.
  • If we are required by law to disclose your information. For example to HESA for the purposes of conducting the Graduate Outcomes Survey (GOS) at approximately 15 months after your graduation date.
  • If we have obtained your permission to do so.

We may use external service providers based in countries or jurisdictions outside of the UK. These countries may not provide the same level of data protection as the UK. If we do use these services, we will put appropriate controls in place to ensure your information is protected.

We will never sell your information to a third party.

8. How long personal data is held by the University

We consider our relationship with alumni, donors and other stakeholders to be life-long. This means that we will maintain a record for you until such time as you tell us that you no longer wish us to keep in touch. In this instance the University will delete the majority of your personal data it holds, but will maintain basic personal data such as your name and education details to ensure that we do not inadvertently create a new record for you in the future.

All alumni, supporters and friends can update their consent and communications preferences here. We will contact alumni, supporters and friends every four years to review communication preferences and email consent.

9. Your rights in relation to the personal data we hold

Under the General Data Protection Regulation you have the following rights. Further data about these rights can be found here.

  • The right to be informed at an appropriate time about the collection and use of the personal data we hold about you.
  • The right of access to, your personal data and other supplementary data,
  • The right to require correction of the personal data we hold about you if it is incorrect.
  • The right, in certain circumstances, to require erasure of your personal data.
  • The right, in certain circumstances, to restrict processing or your personal data.
  • The right, in certain circumstances, to receive from the University the personal data you have provided to us in a reasonable format, specified by you. You may also request that we pass that personal data to another data controller.
  • The right to object to certain processing of your personal data by us.
  • Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling.

These rights are not absolute and we may be entitled to refuse requests when there are valid exceptions; we shall explain the reasons to you in such cases.

10. Contact us

Should you object to the holding of your data by the University, or the use of your data for any or all of the above purposes, to amend the type of communications you receive or the way in which the University contacts you, please contact us use the following contact details.


Tel: 023 8201 6002

By post:

Alumni Relations and Philanthropy Team
External Relations
Solent University
East Park Terrace
SO14 0YN.

Please use the following contact details for any concerns you wish to raise about the personal data we collect and process.


Tel: 023 8201 3229 / 023 8201 3978

By post:

Information Rights Office
Policy, Governance and Information
Solent University
East Park Terrace
SO14 0YN.

To request access to the personal information that we hold about you please email

You have the right to complain about the processing of your data to the UK regulator, the Information Commissioner's Office. Contact details ae as follows:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane

Tel: 0303 123 1113

11. Future changes

We regularly review this policy and will update it if there are changes in how we manage or use your data. This page will always contain the latest version of this policy.

Last updated: 8 October 2018