Your data

The purpose of the Development and Alumni Relations System (“DARS”) is to provide a common source of data on all alumni, donors, students, staff and friends of the collegiate University. The long-term intention behind this shared resource is to improve mutual understanding, by enhancing the quality of our communication at all levels and developing a better appreciation of our relationship with you, and other alumni, donors and friends.

DARS may be used by colleges, faculties, departments, administrative units, international offices, recognised alumni societies, and sports and other entities associated with the University (known as “Participants”). The database will comprise data that have been collated by the University and each of the Participants. We hope that this will lead to your details being kept more up to date and that it will help improve our communications with you. For the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998 (“the DPA”), the University and the applicable Participant(s) are joint “data controllers” of the personal data held in DARS.

Personal data processed in DARS

Any personal data held about you in DARS will usually have been collected from you during the course of your relationship with the University and/or your College and/or one or more of the other Participants. Some of the data may also have been obtained from publicly available sources and third parties.

The personal data that may be stored and processed in DARS are divided into two categories. The “shared tier” of DARS, which is accessible by the University and every Participant, includes your name and title, contact details, information about your Oxford and other education history, Oxford club/society involvements, Oxford awards you have received (prizes, scholarships, accolades, bursaries etc), current interests and activities (including honours, achievements, qualifications, etc), spouse/partner and family details (i.e. the name, address and year of birth of any such family member), professional activities, relationships to other alumni, donors, students, staff, friends and groups of Oxford and to organisations and other groups, communications and marketing activities by the University and/or some of the Participants with you, donor status and wealth assessment information, volunteer work you have undertaken with the University or any Participant, and your attendance at events held by the University and its Participants.

Access to further information such as financial data (including records of donations that you have made to the University or any Participant and any direct debit or standing order details), additional information provided about your family and particular personal interactions is held in a “restricted tier” which is only available to the University and any Participants, usually only your College, who have a specific identified relationship with you.


Purposes for which your data may be used

Unless you have requested otherwise, the University and its Participants may use the data held in DARS for a full range of communications and marketing activities with you (by mail, email, telephone, fax or text message), including distribution of publications, the promotion of benefits and services, notification of events and for programmes involving academic and administrative departments. Data may also be used in fundraising programmes. Tools may be used to monitor the effectiveness of our communications with you, including email tracking, which records when an email from us is opened and/or how many links are clicked within the message. The data from this tracking are generally used in an aggregated and anonymised form.

The data will not be passed without your permission to external organisations or individuals other than those acting in a capacity as agents for the University and its Participants. Please note that some users from the University and its Participants, including those within our international offices, may access your personal data held in DARS from outside the European Economic Area. The University does not sell any data to third party organisations.

You have the right under the DPA to object to the holding of your data on the system or the use of your data for any or all of the above purposes. Please contact [Participant Name] (see contact details below) or the applicable Participant(s) as appropriate if you wish to opt out of your details being held, or if you wish to opt out of receiving any or all of the range of communications and marketing activities, or if you wish to amend the contact information we use to reach you.

If you request that your data are removed from DARS, we will remove all personal data, with the following exceptions:


  • your name and any college(s) attended, subject(s) studied and year(s) of matriculation/graduation;
  • a note of the request to remove your data will be retained, to prevent you from being inadvertently contacted in the future;
  • information needed to comply with statutory requirements (such as in relation to Gift Aid) may be retained, but only for so long as those statutory requirements specify; and/or
  • an anonymous reference may be attributed to you in documentation compiled from the record of your event attendances and/or the record of donations that you have given, for the purposes of internal or external recording or accounting for any event attended, and for any donation required to be retained for audit, reporting or accounting purposes.



Security measures and Data Retention

We take the security of your personal data very seriously. In addition to the security measures imposed on users by the DARS system itself, it is a condition of Participants and their individual users accessing the data within DARS (including when this is from outside the UK or the EEA), that they undertake additional measures to protect the security of any personal data accessed in DARS.

In accordance with the principles of the DPA, we aim to keep the data held in DARS up to date and only so long as the data are relevant for the above purposes or otherwise for reporting or auditing requirements of the University and its Participants. Please let us know if your details need updating at any time. Alternatively, you can amend your details online.

Your rights to access your personal data

As a data subject, under the DPA you have rights of access to the personal data held about you by any data controller. If you wish to access the personal data held about you in DARS, please contact the University Database Team using the contact details below:

University Database Team
University of Oxford Development Office
University Offices, Wellington Square
Oxford, OX1 2JD
United Kingdom


Contacting us

If you have any queries about the use of your personal data in DARS, wish to notify us of a change in your contact or other details or wish to request a change to the processing of your personal data, please contact the University Alumni Office (or the applicable Participant(s) as appropriate), if possible quoting your alumni number.

University of Oxford Alumni Office
University Offices
Wellington Square

+44 (0)1865 611610