University of Sunderland Alumni Privacy Policy 

1. Introduction 

Please read this Privacy Policy carefully. By accessing and using this website you are deemed to agree to the terms of this Privacy Policy. Please only submit information to us through this site if you agree we may collect it, use it, and retain it in accordance with this policy. Please note this site uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site you agree to these cookies being used. To find out more see our Cookies policy.  Please note this policy is in addition of the University’s privacy policy and applies specifically to information held about alumni of and donors of the University of Sunderland.  

The University of Sunderland Development & Alumni Office (“we”) promises to respect any personal data you share with us, or that we get from other organisations and keep it safe. We aim to be clear when we collect your data and not do anything you wouldn’t reasonably expect.  

Developing a better understanding of our supporters through their personal data allows us make better decisions, fundraise more efficiently and, ultimately, helps us to reach our goal of nurturing life-long mutually beneficial relationships between the University and its former students (“alumni”) and friends. We have made improvements to this policy to make it more clear, especially around our policies on data-appending and profiling and screening. You can find out more about this below. 

Our communications include information about alumni and wider university news, alumni benefits and services and events. You can opt out of receiving such communications at any time. To do so, please contact us on 0191 515 3664 or  

2. Where we collect information about you from

We collect information in the following ways:  

When you leave a course of study at the University of Sunderland 

Your information is transferred to the Development & Alumni Office database (“alumni database”), from the Student Records system, after you complete or leave your course of study. At that point, the alumni database becomes the primary record of your ongoing relationship with the University, unless and until you commence another course of study at Sunderland. 

When you give it to us directly  

You may give us your information in order to sign up for one of our events, make a donation or communicate with us, when you do so we are responsible for your data at all times. 

When you give permission to other organisations to share or it is available publicly 

We sometimes combine information you provide to us with information available from external sources.  This is known as data- or tele- appending and enables us to contact you in the event that you change your address or phone number, or didn’t provide it to us.  We also use this information to gain a better understanding of our supporters to improve our fundraising methods, events, and alumni benefits and services.  

The information we get from other organisation may depend on your privacy settings or the responses you give, so you should regularly check them. This information comes from the following sources:  

Third party organisation  

You may have provided permission for a company or other organisation to share your data with the University of Sunderland specifically or with ‘other organisations’ more generally.  This could be when you buy a product or service (e.g. post redirection service) or sign up with a networking site (e.g. LinkedIn). 

Social media  

Depending on your settings or the privacy policies for social media and messaging services like Facebook or Twitter, you might give us permission to access information from those accounts and services. 

Information available publicly  

This may include information found in places such as Companies House and other business-related resources, the World Wide Web or published in articles/newspapers.  

3. What personal data we hold and how we use it 

The personal data we store and process may include: 

  • Biographical information
  • Your gender
  • Contact details
  • Information about your time at the University, and other education history
  • Your photograph
  • Your professional activities
  • Membership of clubs, groups or societies whilst at the University of Sunderland.
  • Current interests and activities, which may include extracts from related media stories
  • Family and spouse/partner details, and whether they are also Sunderland alumni
  • Relationships to other alumni, donors and friends
  • Donor status, research and fundraising reports/briefings and wealth assessment information, indicators of your interest in giving, ethical and reputational risk analysis (commonly known as due diligence)
  • Records of communications, meetings and marketing activities by the University
  • Volunteering by you on behalf of the University
  • Registration and attendance at events, and any additional information you provide to facilitate event attendance (e.g. dietary requirements, access/mobility needs)
  • Donation details if you express an interest in or make a donation to the University. If you make a donation to the University of Sunderland, you have the option of deciding whether your name can be used on donor lists or other stewardship materials.

4. Building profiles of supporters and targeting communications  

We use profiling and screening techniques to ensure communications are relevant and timely, and to provide an improved experience for our alumni and supporters. Profiling also allows us to target our resources effectively, which donors consistently tell us is a key priority for them. We do this because it allows us to understand the background of the people who support us and helps us to make appropriate requests to supporters who may be able and willing to give more than they already do. Importantly, it enables us to raise more funds, sooner, and more cost-effectively, than we otherwise would.  

When building a profile we may analyse geographic, demographic and other information relating to you in order to better understand your interests and preferences and 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. 

5. Sharing your story 

Some people choose to tell us about their experiences while studying at Sunderland or as a Sunderland supporter, for the purposes of advancing the University in its mission. They may take on a role as an Ambassador or Volunteer Speaker, sit on Advisory Boards or act as an informal advisor to or advocate for the University. 

We use some of the information provided to invite you to become involved in relevant opportunities. 

If we have your explicit and informed consent to share your story, this information may be made public in University publications, marketing or communications, or at events. 

6. How we keep your data safe and who has access

We ensure that there are appropriate technical controls in place to protect your personal details.  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. 

Occasionally, we use external companies to collect or process personal data on our behalf. 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 collect or have access to. 

Personal data is shared with third party organisations in a limited number of instances. If you are a member of the alumni community of, or have donated to, The University of Sunderland Development Trust, which is a charity in its own right and is separately registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office, your personal data held by University of Sunderland may be shared with members of the Trust. 

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. 

On rare occasions we may need to share your information with others based outside of the European Economic Area (EEA). Although they may not be subject to the same data protection laws as companies based in the UK, we will only transfer personal data to organisations which are in countries that have the same level of protection as UK data protection law or where we can introduce contractual obligations ensuring the recipient of the data processes it in line with UK data protection law. By submitting your personal information to us you agree to this transfer, storing or processing at a location outside the EEA. 

We may need to disclose your details if required to the police, regulatory bodies or legal advisors. 

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

We never sell your data to third party organisations. 

7. Keeping your information up to date 

Where possible we use publicly available sources to keep your records up to date; for example, the Post Office’s National Change of Address database and information provided to us by other organisations as described above. 

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

8. How long personal data is held by the Development & Alumni Office 

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

9. Your right to ask us to stop using your data 

You have a right to ask us to stop processing your personal data. If you do so, we will delete the majority of your personal data we hold if it’s not necessary for the purpose you provided it to us for (e.g. processing your donation or registering you for an event), but will maintain your education record (if you are an alumnus/a) and basic personal data to ensure that we do not inadvertently create a new record in the future. Contact us on 0191 5153664 or if you have any concerns.    

10.  Changes to the 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 Sunderland website or by contacting you directly

11. Legal Basis 

In order to process the information, you provide us with we are required to have an appropriate legal basis, legal bases are assigned according the processing activity in line with Article 6 of GDPR for personal data or Article 9 of GDPR for special category personal data.  The legal bases we rely on to process your data can be found below. 

We see our relationship with you as being lifelong and an extension of the contract that we entered into with you when you became a student at the University of Sunderland and therefore for some alumni processing activities we will rely on the legal basis “for the performance of a contract” 

Sometimes we are required to process your data “for us to comply with our legal obligations” such as when we share your information with the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) to allow the Destination of Leavers of Higher Education survey (DLHE) to be administered, or for example when we are administering gift aid. 

We may also process your personal data as it is necessary for our “legitimate interests or the legitimate interests of a third party”, such as when we roll your data across to Alumni and Development from the main student records system. 

There may be times where we are required to seek “consent” to use your data for a specific purpose, where this is the case we will communicate with you to seek necessary consent prior to processing your data in this way. 

Your rights under GDPR 

Under the General Data Protection Regulations, you have 8 fundamental rights as follows:

  1. The right to be informed

The University is obliged to provide you with information on how we plan to process your data, we do this by means of a privacy notice.  The University does this in order to process your personal data in a transparent manner.

  1. The right of access

You as the data subject have a right to access the personal (and supplementary) information that we hold, you also have the right to be made aware of and to verify the lawfulness of processing undertaken.

  1. The right to rectification

If you find that we hold incorrect or incomplete data about you, then you have the right to request this information is rectified.

  1. The right to erase

This right enables you to request deletion or removal of your personal data when there is no longer a compelling reason for its continued processing.

  1. The right to restrict processing

Under certain (defined) circumstances you have the right to request that we restrict the processing we undertake using your personal data.

  1. The right to data portability

You have the right to request your personal data, which is held electronically, to be provided to you in a reusable format, such as a .csv file.

  1. The right to object

You have the right to object to processing based on legitimate interests or in the performance of a task in the public interest (including profiling).  This also applies to direct marketing and purposes of scientific / historical research and statistics.

  1. Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling

You have the right to object to your data being used in automated decision making or profiling. 

In the first instance we would ask that you contact the department within the University that is processing your personal information. The contact details for this department can be found in the first section of this notice. 

If you are unhappy with how your request has been handled, or have not received a response from the individual department, please contact the Data Protection Officer either by email or by post.  The email address for the Data Protection Officer is 

Should you still feel that you request has been handled inadequately, you have the right to complain to the supervisory authority in the UK, this is the Information Commissioners Office, details of how to complain can be found at


This privacy policy was last updated on 16th March 2021

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