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Privacy of student information

Trees flowering on campus

The University will collect, use, store, and disclose personal information relating to students in accordance with the provisions of the Privacy Act 1993. Where practicable all such personal information is obtained directly from students, or from their nominated agents. Additionally, information may be obtained or verified through relevant government or education agencies, including the New Zealand National Student Index.

Information will be stored on University files and databases and all practicable security measures will be maintained. A unique identifier will be assigned to each student, which will be used in conjunction with a secondary means of identification or password/PIN.

Staff members and other personnel within the University or within agencies under contract to the University will have access to students’ personal information for purposes relevant to normal University operations including but not limited to: student recruitment, marketing, admission, enrolment, study, academic progress, tuition fees and charges, establishing and maintaining academic and graduation records, assessment, academic agreements (exchange and study abroad partners, scholarship providers or sponsors, programme delivery partners), academic advice and support, student services, discipline, security and safety, Library and IT services, managing students’ association membership and records, managing records of graduates, and other alumni, and managing and improving the quality of services provided by the University.

In order to conduct its proper business and as required under the Education Act 1989 and other laws, regulations, and contractual agreements by which it is bound, the University may use the student information it holds and may disclose information to external agencies such as government departments, bodies responsible for course moderation and professional accreditation or membership, agencies for financial support and pastoral care, and university student and alumni associations.

Such agencies include, but are not limited to:

  • the Ministry of Education (information will be recorded on the National Student Index and used in an authorised information matching programme with the New Zealand Birth Register and may also be supplied to Statistics NZ)
  • the Ministry of Social Development (including Work and Income New Zealand and StudyLink)
  • the Inland Revenue Department
  • Te Puni Kōkiri
  • Immigration New Zealand (for students who are not New Zealand citizens)
  • Other education organisations for the verification of academic records
  • relevant professional bodies
  • course moderation or accreditation bodies
  • the Tertiary Education Commission
  • the Ministry of Trade and Enterprise
  • Education New Zealand

Information provided to external agencies is either student-specific (typically name, date of birth, current contact details and academic or graduation details) or cohort-specific (aggregated or statistical information that does not identify individuals).

Where provision or disclosure of information is voluntary or falls outside the scope of information that the University is permitted to collect, store, use and disclose under the Privacy Act 1993, students will be advised and their consent will be obtained prior to the provision or disclosure of information.

The University will make information held about students available to them upon request and in accordance with the Privacy Act 1993, which also describes the conditions under which information may be withheld. Students have the right to request correction of personal information held in accordance with the provisions of the Privacy Act 1993. If a student withholds information or provides incomplete, false or misleading information the University may decline or cancel the admission or enrolment and may withhold the academic record if its veracity cannot be confirmed.

This Privacy Statement operates in conjunction with any specific privacy statement or declaration made in connection with the collection by, or supply to, the University of individual items of information.

Further information

Contact the University Privacy Officer, Jan Flood, on 64 3 479 8899, or email registrar@otago.ac.nz.