Privacy of students' personal information

Our objective:

At AUT, our mission is Great Graduates and our vision is to be a university known for the desirability of our contemporary education built on our commitments to creating exceptional learning experiences, discovery and application of knowledge for wellbeing and prosperity, responding to our place in the world, building our position as New Zealand’s university of technology, and being a place where people love to work and learn. This statement explains the types of data we collect and how we manage the information we hold in accordance with the provisions of the Privacy Act 2020, the Public Records Act 2005 and the Official Information Act 1982.

Why we collect your information:

To achieve our vision and carry out our functions and activities as a university and as an employer, AUT must collect, use, store, and disclose personal information relating to prospective, current and former students, as well as staff and our university friends.  AUT’s functions and activities include but are not limited to

  • our learning, teaching, research and other educational activities;
  • our administrative, employment, and management activities;
  • our legal, regulatory and contractual obligations;
  • providing an appropriate level of student support and to support the wellbeing of our students and staff;
  • ensuring we can comply with government requirements and expectations (for example the Education Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Students Code of Practice 2021)

In some cases, collection of your personal information is required under New Zealand law (including the Education and Training Act 2020 and the Children’s Act 2014 for example). Without your personal information, we may not be able to enrol you as a student, employ you as a staff member or provide services and benefits to you.

How data is collected:

Where possible personal information is obtained directly from individuals, or from their nominated agent(s). Data is collected when you provide it to us directly, like when you apply to study through our website or when you connect with one of our campuses.

Additionally, information may be obtained or verified through a third party such as a relevant government or education agencies, including the New Zealand National Student Index.

What personal information we collect:

In alignment with our core values and to fulfil our obligations as a university, AUT staff members and other personnel within the University or within agencies under contract to the University will have access to students’ personal information.

Our normal university operations are things that we legally need to do to conduct our day to day business and fulfil our obligations as a public sector provider, as well as the work we do to create exceptional experiences for our students. The data we collect is different depending on your enrolment status or how you interact with us.

General information collected from students, staff and visitors may include:

  • Full names
  • Addresses
  • Phone numbers
  • Date of birth
  • Email address

As a visitor to the website we may collect personal data and click through data. The AUT App also collects information that you provide, and this is treated differently. Details on what type of data we collect when visiting our websites and apps can be found in the Web Privacy and Security Statement.

As a prospective or current student:

As a prospective AUT student or current student, we may need to collect more information from you regarding your studies, demographics and preferences. The relevant information is important and necessary for us to process your application to study and use our facilities and services.

Information may include and is not limited to:

  • Academic qualifications
  • Biographical information
  • Career aspirations
  • Citizenship or residence status
  • Country of origin
  • Course preferences
  • Criminal convictions or police history
  • Current or previous job information
  • Demographic information
  • Disabilities
  • Emergency contact information
  • Feedback
  • Financial information for tuition fees, charges and services
  • Gender
  • Health and travel insurance (if you are an international student or a student travelling overseas)
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Information generated throughout your studies or employment
  • Language proficiency and skills
  • National Student Number (NSN)
  • National Health Number
  • Photograph (for student ID)
  • School or previous institution
  • Travel history

Other data includes any information needed to complete your enrolment or fulfil tasks related to your studies and includes agreements made with third parties for services associated with the University and our partners, like applications to Studylink to help cover course fees.

This includes all information you provide on all types of application forms, like scholarship applications or application enquiries, AUT housing applications, or any other way you decide to provide information to us.

As a staff member or someone contracted to the University:

Staff and contractors may be required to provide additional information of a similar nature as listed for prospective or current students. We may need to verify things such as academic research or qualifications and previous job information.

As a parent, guest, or donor:

As a physical or virtual guest to the University, you may have to provide some personal information for statistical purposes or for safety, tracking, and security reasons.

As well as general information mentioned previously, we may also ask for more information such as:

  • Demographic information
  • Financial information (such as payment details)
  • Job information

COVID-19 tracing:

Under certain Alert Levels, every individual that comes onsite is required to create a log of their visit to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Students, staff and contractors are encouraged to use the AUT App to sign into locations they visit, and guests to campus are encouraged to use the government's NZ COVID Tracer App. We may collect information in other ways such as a sign in form or from swipe card access. AUT does not collect data from the NZ COVID Tracer app, but information generated while onsite could also be collected, by things such as connecting to the WiFi or by using onsite services such as the library or computers.

Location data collected by AUT expires after 30 days and is only used if requested by the government for the purpose of contact tracing due to an outbreak of COVID-19.

How we use personal information:

In order to conduct our day to day business as a university and to fulfil our responsibilities under the Education and Training Act 2020 and other laws, some personal information we collect needs to be shared with authorised people or groups at AUT, with external organisations or with universities that provide services and information to us. We will only use your data in the ways we state here. We would only share data outside of these guidelines if we are legally permitted to under the Privacy Act 2020.

Professional agencies include, but are not limited to:

  • Government ministries, departments and agencies such as;
    • The Ministry of Education (information will be recorded on the National Student Index and used in an authorised information matching programme with the NZ Birth Register)
    • The Ministry of Social Development (including Work and Income NZ and StudyLink)
    • The Ministry of Trade and Enterprise
    • Education New Zealand
    • Immigration New Zealand (for students who are not NZ citizens)
    • Inland Revenue Department
    • Te Puni Kōkiri
    • Tertiary Education Commission

Other agencies may include, but are not limited to:

  • Law enforcement agencies and emergency services as allowed under the Privacy Act and external welfare services in accordance with our obligations under the Education Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Students Code of Practice
  • Agencies for financial support
  • Course moderation or accreditation bodies
  • Other universities for reporting purposes
  • University student and alumni associations
  • Agencies or organisations we have collaborative partnerships with
  • Other relevant professional bodies

Information provided to external agencies is either student-specific (typically name, date of birth, current contact details and academic/graduation details) or cohort-specific (aggregated or statistical information that does not identify individuals). We will only provide student-level information if absolutely necessary. Where possible, any information that we provide to outside agencies is aggregated or de-identified.

Data is only collected and used for the purposes we have stated to you. If information we collect is going to be used outside of our normal operations as a university or needs to be disclosed to a third-party agency other than in the routine ways described above, then we will communicate this to you and ask for permission.

Duty of care:

AUT takes great care with the data collected. Information will be stored on University files and database(s) and all practicable security measures will be maintained.

Students are issued with a unique identifier which is used in conjunction with a secondary means of identification or password/PIN to manage and protect their own personal information.

Data is kept for as long as we need it to fulfil university obligations. We are required under New Zealand law to retain information in accordance with the Public Records Act 2005.

Access and corrections to information we hold:

Students and individuals have the right to request information held about them or request corrections to that information. In some cases, we may need to verify the changes and corrections in accordance with the Privacy Act 2020. 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.

Some information may not be able to be shared, such as data that holds details of other students, is incomplete or still in progress. If information is to be withheld, we will tell you why.

If you would like a copy of any personal information we hold about you, or ask for it to be corrected  if you think it is wrong (and you are unable to update it yourself through a relevant online service), please email studenthub@aut.ac.nz or call 0800 AUT UNI (0800 288 864). We may need to verify your identity or authority before responding to your request. You may need to provide specific details about the nature of your relationship with the University and the information you are seeking so that we can easily locate it for you.  Once we’ve verified who you are we’ll respond to your request as soon as reasonably practicable and no later than 20 working days after we receive it.

More information on how AUT uses student information to inform analytics projects

Website search