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Durham University

Information Governance

Review and Disposal of Student Records

Extracted and adapted from What is a Student Record? A Case Study by King’s College London. November 2003.

1. The core record

It is recommended that the core student record for permanent retention consists of the following:

1.1. Data obtained from the approved application:
  • Name/s
  • First address
  • Date of birth
  • Parents’ details
  • Photograph
  • Academic details
  • Sex
  • Ethnicity
  • Disability
  • Nationality
  • Criminal convictions
  • Funding status
  • Course applied for
1.2. Data relating to the progression record:
  • Change of course
  • Prizes
  • Serious disciplinary or misconduct information (summary only)
  • Special or mitigating circumstances information (summary only)
  • Any additional information required by professional/accrediting bodies about performance
  • Address at programme completion/termination of study
  • Copies of references or cv’s
  • First destinations

Most of these details should in future be included on either the full transcript or the personal development plan.

1.3. Data included on a full transcript (which may include progression details) i.e. data obtained relating to the award:
  • Year of completion
  • Name of award
  • Result of award
  • Result of modules/course units used to calculate the result of the award

2. Non-core Data which should be Destroyed once Administrative Need or the Legal Requirement for Retention has Passed

Information which should be deleted/destroyed in the 7th year after the student’s completion/termination of study:

  • Mitigating circumstances forms (though a summary of special circumstances leading e.g. to failure, poor performance should be kept)
  • Disciplinary records (though a note of major incidents should be retained and some major cases should be kept for historical purposes)
  • Fee/debtors details
  • Hardship Fund details
  • Accommodation details
  • Routine correspondence
Not all records under these broad categories may need to be kept for up to 7 years. Where authorised by the University’s Records Retention Schedule, earlier destruction/deletion should be carried out.

3. Disposal of electronic data

All student data must be regularly deleted from databases other than Banner and Raisers Edge once administrative reference ceases. All college databases (such as Excel spreadsheets or Access databases), if they must be created, should be used for short-term administrative reference only.

All email lists of students and correspondence by email must be deleted once administrative reference ceases. If the correspondence comprises core data which cannot be entered into Banner then a paper copy should be placed onto file.

4. Disposal Methods

Destruction of paper records must be carried out either by shredding or incineration so that the information in them cannot be re-created.

Permanent retention of the core record means transfer of it to the Archives and Special Collections (ASC) section of the Durham University Library. Transfers should be arranged annually but must be agreed beforehand with ASC staff.