Privacy Policy


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

Legal bases for Processing

The legal bases for our processing of your personal data is based on the public task of the University and legitimate interests. The public tasks of the university are set out in the University’s Royal Charter (

The legitimate interests of the University are to:

Preserve relationships with former students (“alumni”), supporters and friends of a leading teaching and research university with the purpose of serving an increasingly global society.

Reach our goal of nurturing life-long mutually beneficial relationships between the University and our alumni, supporters and friends. 

You can opt out of receiving such communications at any time. To do so, please contact us on 01273 678258 or

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 Sussex, the Institute of Development Studies or the Brighton and Sussex Medical School

Your information may be transferred to the Development & Alumni Relations 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 Sussex.

When you give it to us directly

You may give us your information in order to sign up for one of our events, register as a user of our Online Alumni Portal (also known as SussexSphere), make a donation or communicate with us.  Sometimes when you support us, your information is collected by an organisation working for us (e.g. a telephone fundraising agency), but we are responsible for your data at all times.

When you give it to us indirectly

It is likely that photographs will be taken at our public and alumni events. Any resulting images taken of you attending an event may be included in future publications or on the University's website. If you do not wish to be included in any of these images, you can opt out by contacting the Corporate and Alumni Events Team:

Your information may be shared with us by independent event organisers, for example the Brighton Marathon or fundraising sites like JustGiving or Hubbub. These independent third parties will only share your data with us when you have indicated that you wish to support the University of Sussex and with your consent. You should check their Privacy Policy when you provide your information to understand fully how they will process your data.

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

We 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 organisations 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 organisations
You may have provided permission for a company or other organisation to share your data with the University of Sussex 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, Graduway/”Sussex Connect”).

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 or services.

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

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 groups such as the Suss-ex Club and the Buzz Club
  • Current interests and activities, which may include extracts from related media stories
  • Family and spouse/partner details, and whether they are also Sussex 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 Sussex, you have the option of deciding whether your name can be used on donor lists or other stewardship materials. 

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. 

Direct Marketing

Through our marketing communications we will let you know about news of the University, our students, staff and alumni, make you aware of opportunities to attend events and take part in activities, and to ask for donations or other support (such as volunteering). Under UK and EU data protection legislation, these communications are considered to be ‘Direct Marketing’.

We make it easy for you to tell us how you want us to communicate, in a way that suits you. Our forms have clear marketing preference questions and we include information on how to opt out when we send you communications. If you don’t want to hear from us, just let us know when you provide your data or you can contact us on +44 (0)1273 678258 or

Sharing your story

Some people choose to tell us about their experiences while studying at Sussex or as a Sussex supporter, for the purposes of advancing the University in its mission.  They may take on a role as an Alumni Consul 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. 

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.

We use selected external companies to collect or process personal data on our behalf for specific purposes – for example, our Raiser’s Edge database is hosted and supported by Blackbaud. 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 Institute for Development Studies (IDS), 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 Sussex will be shared with IDS under a Data Sharing Agreement which requires them to provide assurances of protection of the data. This is the same for members of the Suss-Ex Club (former staff society) and students, prospective students, parents, alumni and donors who have interacted with the Friends of the University of Sussex who have an independent 501(c)(3) status in the United States.

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 and to professional and regulatory bodies in relation to confirmation of qualifications, professional conduct and the accreditation of courses.

If you are a former student of the Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) your alumni record will be held in the University of Sussex’s Raiser’s Edge database, where it is accessible to BSMS. If, when you enrolled at BSMS you were assigned to University of Brighton for HESA recording purposes, we may share some of your data with University of Brighton to enable them to fulfil their statutory obligations.

Whenever we use a supplier who runs their operations outside the European Economic Area (EEA). Where this does occur, the University will ensure that any transfer of data is protected by contractual clauses and written agreements with suppliers which meet the requirements of the European Commission.

The Development & Alumni Relations Office regularly review its use of personal data in relation to the law. This is with the aim of ensuring that adequate controls are in place, In addition to this, we will never sell your data to third party organisations.

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.

How long personal data is held by the Development and Alumni Relations Office?

We consider our relationship with alumni, donors and other stakeholders 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 DARO 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  for you in the future.

Controlling your own personal 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 for you in the future. You also have the right to ask us to rectify any inaccuracies in your personal data.

Contact us on +44 (0)1273 678258 or if you would like to make any changes to the information we hold about you.

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 Sussex website or by contacting you directly. Further information can be found in the University’s privacy policy;

This policy was last updated in October 2020.

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