Student privacy notice


This notice applies to all students who enrol at the University of Pretoria.

Our students and alumni are at the heart of everything we do. That is why we have created this privacy notice is to help you understand how we collect, use, and protect your personal information.

We may need to update it periodically, but we will inform you when we do.

If you have any questions about this notice, please email us at [email protected]



1.           What personal information we collect and generate

We collect personal information that helps us register you as a student and communicate with you while you are a student.

We collect:

  • your contact information (e.g., name, home address, telephone number(s), fax numbers, email addresses, emergency contact information)
  • your nationality
  • your ethnic group
  • your gender
  • your background information (e.g., education, employment, criminal and credit history)
  • your date of birth
  • your identity document, passport, or permanent residence number
  • study permit, visas and travel documentation
  • your driver's licence
  • information relating to any disability you may have 
  • your medical information (e.g., if you receive treatment at Student Health Services, whether you have any allergies)
  • photographs and other visual images (e.g., CCTV footage)
  • your academic information 
  • your banking details 
  • your biometric information

We generate personal information about you in the form of records.

We generate records about:

  • your attendance;
  • your academic performance;
  • your academic appeals and disciplinary matters;
  • your acknowledgement and compliance with safety rules; and
  • codes of conduct when you use our facilities.


2.           When and why we collect and process your personal information

2.1.         We process your personal information to conclude a contract with you and to meet our contractual obligations

We need your personal information to provide educational and related services to you.

Personal information is essential throughout your UP journey, starting when you apply to UP. We use your personal information when:

  • you pay application, student, residence and any other fees;
  • we use your banking details to make payments to you, for example, to facilitate payment of NSFAS allowances;
  • we monitor your progress, engagement and attendance to improve learning outcomes, target appropriate support, support the development of your academic experience, and ensure that you meet all your course requirements;
  • we track if you enter or leave our premises or facilities when you swipe your access card or scan your fingerprint;
  • we investigate, consider and monitor your fitness to study, academic appeals, and academic conduct;
  • we investigate and consider instances of misconduct and conduct disciplinary proceedings;
  • we verify your past academic record with a third-party verification agency;
  • you are accepted as a student, we keep the online profile you created as part of your application; and
  • you use the University’s support services (e.g., medical care, residences and TuksSport).


2.2.         We process your personal information because it is in your or our legitimate interest to do so, because we are legally required to do so, or because you have given us permission

We process your personal information because it is in your or our legitimate interest to do so.

  • When you contact us by social media, email, telephone, or online chat, we use the personal information we collect to reply to, investigate, and resolve your query, complaint, or request.
  • When we have to protect your health and safety, we may share your information with the police and security services when there are protests on campus.
  • When we use virtual academic assessments tools to conduct tests and examinations in remote learning situations.
  • When we include your name, academic qualification awarded, and academic achievement awarded (e.g., Dean’s list, distinction) in the relevant graduation ceremony programme, live graduation ceremony, YouTube video of the event, and Yearbook. If you do not want us to include your details in the live graduation ceremony or the YouTube video of the event or graduation programme, please contact [email protected].

We process your personal information because we  are legally required to do so.

  • When we produce reports and returns for funding agencies, government departments, and public bodies to facilitate graduate participation in national surveys where we are required to do so.
  • When we monitor your health, safety and security.
  • When we disclose to the South African Police Services that a UP student has allegedly committed a criminal offence under South African common or statutory law.
  • When we report any unprofessional, illegal or unethical conduct committed by a student studying to become a health practitioner registered under the Health Professions Act 56 of 1974 to the Health Professions Council of South Africa (‘HPCSA’).
  • When we participate in academic qualification accreditation evaluations with specific professional and statutory bodies, such as the HPCSA, Council of Higher Education, Engineering Council of South Africa and Actuarial Society of South Africa.

We process your personal information with your consent.

  • When we verify your UP academic qualifications (or use service providers to do so) to an external party (e.g., your prospective employer).
  • When you give us permission to use your personal information for research purposes.
  • When you subscribe to our email newsletter, you can unsubscribe at any time by following the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email or by contacting us.
  • When you are older than 18, we provide your parents, legal guardians, bursars, or persons responsible for your UP fee payments with your academic performance information. Please visit the Student Consent Centre to set your permissions. If you are younger than 18, we do not require your consent to disclose your academic performance information to your parent or legal guardian.


2.3.         We process your special personal information

We process your health information to provide specific support to accommodate your disabilities or illnesses while studying at UP.

When you register with the UP Disability Unit.

UP Healthcare workers process your health information to provide proper treatment and care to you.

When you access healthcare assistance at a UP clinic or counselling services at the UP Student Counselling Unit.


2.4.         We process your personal information further

We process your personal information for historical, statistical or research purposes.

When we contact you to participate in institutional and research surveys and analyse the results of the research.


3.           In order to deliver our services to you, we must share your personal information with others we trust

We only use service providers we trust and who will keep your personal information secure, and we have contracts in place to ensure that they do – whether they are local or abroad.

We use service providers to help us:

  • communicate with you;
  • manage academic transcripts, events, career and other services;
  • monitor the effectiveness of our services;
  • manage our business (e.g., accountants and professional advisors);
  • provide IT services;
  • deliver teaching and learning services to you (e.g., our learner management system and online invigilation technology); and
  • provide counselling services to you through the Student Counselling Unit.

We only use suppliers and service providers we trust and who have agreed to keep your personal information secure and confidential and to only use it for the purposes for which we shared it with them.

Some of the service providers that we use may be located in other countries. These countries may not have the same levels of protection of personal information as South Africa, in which case those service providers must undertake to protect the personal information of our students to the same level that we do.


We provide for appropriate safeguards by means of contracts between us and our foreign service providers.


Sometimes the law requires that we share your information, for example, the:

  • Higher Education Act 101 of 1997
  • Engineering Profession Act 46 of 2000
  • Health Professions Act 54 of 1974
  • Ethical Rules of Conduct for Health Professionals registered under the Health Professions Act, 1974
  • National Qualifications Framework Act 67 of 2008


4.           We have taken reasonable steps to minimise the impact of a breach

We have reasonable security measures in place to protect your personal information.

Our security measures are in place to protect your personal information from being:

  • lost
  • misused
  • accessed without authorisation
  • altered
  • destroyed


We base our security measures on the sensitivity of the personal information that we hold.

We regularly monitor our systems for possible vulnerabilities and attacks.

No system is perfect, and we cannot guarantee that we will never experience a breach of any of our physical, technical, or managerial safeguards, but we regularly monitor our systems for vulnerabilities.


We will let you know of any breaches that may affect your personal information.

If something should happen, we have taken steps to minimise the threat to your privacy, and we will let you know if your personal information has been compromised. We will also let you know how you can help minimise the impact of the breach.

You can help keep your personal information secure by being aware of how you communicate.

While our servers are protected, emails can still be intercepted. It is better not to share personal information with us in an email.

Rather, give us a call or complete our online contact forms.


5.           You have the right to know what we know about you, and what we do with your personal information

If you have any questions about your personal information, please email [email protected]

We may take one month to respond to your request, and in certain circumstances, we may refuse your request.

You may ask us about your personal information.

You have the right to know when we collect and use your personal information and to ask us what we know about you and what we do with that information.

You may access your personal information.

You may ask to access your personal information by sending an email to [email protected]. We may take one month to respond to your request and may charge a fee in some circumstances. We will let you know if this is the case.

You have control over your personal information.

You may ask that we update incorrect personal information, or complete personal information that may be incomplete.


You may ask that we delete your personal information.


You may ask to receive your personal information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.


You may ask that we reuse your personal information for your own purposes across different services.


Under certain circumstances, you may object to the processing of your personal information.


You may object to automated decision-making and profiling.


You may ask that a human review any automated decisions we made about you, express your point of view about it and obtain an explanation of the decision. You may challenge any automated decision made about you.


You may ask that we restrict our use of your personal information.

You have the right to unsubscribe.

You have the right to unsubscribe from any direct marketing we send you.


Published on 30 November 2022


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