How to request information about our students: guidance for parents or guardians

Updated on 25 March 2024

Information for parents and guardians who wish to request information about a student or to raise a concern.

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1. Introduction

From the start of their student journey with the University (from application to graduation) a student will enter into their own legal relationship with the University which is subject to terms and conditions and also applicable law and regulation. This relationship is personal to the student and different in many important ways than that of previous schooling. This difference includes how the University can communicate with third parties (including parents) about our students and/or their studies.

As a Scottish institution, the University of Dundee will follow the laws of Scotland where generally the age of legal capacity is accepted to be 16.

This guidance sets out how the University can provide information to parents and other interested third parties about our students.

2. Raising a concern as a parent or guardian

If you wish to raise a concern regarding the welfare or progress of a student, it is important to note that the University will be limited in what information it can share with you directly if you cannot show that the student is consenting to you receiving their information.

The best way to do this is to complete our online Raising a Concern form. The University can then consider how to progress the concern raised. Please also include any evidence which you may have to support your concerns.

Although the University may be unable to provide you with an update directly, we may wish to make contact with the student. The ultimate decision will be that of the student and the University cannot compel students to make contact.

If the University has a concern about a student which it deems to be an emergency, we may make contact with you as described in paragraph 4 below.

3. Requesting information about a student and/or studies

As noted above, the University must respect legal and regulatory obligations including Data Protection Legislation.

This means that the University cannot disclose personal information about our students to a parent, guardian or other third party without a legitimate basis for doing so being established. This could include the student giving explicit permission, the level of which may vary depending on the sensitivity of the information requested. Although this may seem frustrating to parents or guardians used to a school context, but the University has no choice but to comply with Legislation.

4. Emergencies

If you believe there is an immediate risk to a student’s safety, please contact 999, otherwise see below.

The University may under appropriate circumstances communicate with the emergency contact of the student.

At matriculation, students are asked for emergency contact details. However, the University will nevertheless normally try to obtain a student’s permission before communicating with their emergency contact.

However, it should be noted that it is voluntary as to whether a student gives the University the name of someone who can be contacted in an emergency. As explained in paragraph 1, students are independent adults and may have a strong personal reason as to why they do not wish their parents contacted. The University respects the rights of a student’s confidentiality.

Raise a concern