UNIVERSITY OF PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND 2019-20 Academic Calendar

8 Disclosure and Protection of Student Information

Confidentiality

UPEI is committed to taking every reasonable step to protect the confidentiality of the information contained in the records of students. The Registrar’s Office is responsible for the storage, management, conservation, and dissemination (within the parameters of these Student Records Management policies) of all official student records, electronic and otherwise. Any file kept in offices other than the Office of the Registrar (student services, financial aid, special needs, library services, accounting, academic departments, etc.) will also be securely maintained and managed in the strictest confidence according to UPEI’s policies. Exceptions to the policies outlined below may be made at the discretion of the Registrar.

Collection of Information

An applicant provides pertinent personal information on application to the University and thereby authorizes the institution to maintain henceforth his/her record on acceptance of the offer to enrol at UPEI. (Records of applicants who are not admitted or who decline an offer of admission are destroyed at the end of the admissions cycle.)

Though not exhaustive, the following list of items are or may be contained in the Registrar’s Office files of student records:

  • the application and documentation attached therewith;
  • personal information (address, date of birth, Social Insurance Number, marital status, etc.);
  • enrolment information (records of registration, course or program changes, advising, etc.);
  • performance information (grade reports, appeals, degrees attained, transcripts, etc.);
  • medical information relevant to the student’s academic performance (special needs-related information; documentation attached to an appeal for discontinuation, etc.);
  • proof of payment/student account information; and
  • any correspondence submitted to/issued by the Registrar’s Office deemed by the Registrar to be appropriate for inclusion.

 

Disclosure to Parties External to UPEI

Unless compelled to do so by law or authorized by the student in writing, UPEI will not disclose the contents of student records to any party outside the University. This includes the student’s name, address, and current registration status, though the Registrar’s Office will verify what degrees, diplomas, or certificates have been awarded to an individual and in what year. Exceptions are noted below:

1. Researchers

Non-student researchers may be given access by the Registrar on written request provided that confidentiality and anonymity of student records are guaranteed as per signed agreement.

2. Government agencies

Government agencies: Information will be provided routinely to the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission (which works in partnership with Maritime universities and Statistics Canada) and, under Federal legislation, to Statistics Canada (for institutional and enrolment research purposes).

Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission – The MPHEC collects the data described below on behalf of Statistics Canada. In addition, it archives these data and uses them to generate basic statistics, research products, as well as the sampling frame for its graduate survey. These activities support its mandate, which is to assist institutions and governments in enhancing the post-secondary learning. The legal authority for these activities is provided by the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission Act. The Act also requires that all data received by the Commission is kept confidential, and ensures the protection of personal information. More information about the MPHEC may be found at www.mphec.ca.

Regarding those students who do not wish to have their information used, Statistics Canada will notify the MPHEC of any student choosing to have their personal information removed from the national database, and their information will subsequently be removed from the MPHEC’s database.

Statistics Canada – Statistics Canada is the national statistical agency. As such, Statistics Canada carries out hundreds of surveys each year on a wide range of matters, including education.

It is essential to be able to follow students across time and institutions to understand, for example, the factors affecting enrolment demand at postsecondary institutions. The increased emphasis on accountability for public investment means that it is also important to understand ‘outcomes’. In order to conduct such studies, Statistics Canada asks all colleges and universities to provide data on students and graduates. Institutions collect and provide to Statistics Canada, student identification information (student’s name, student ID number, Social Insurance Number), student contact information (address and telephone number), student demographic characteristics, enrolment information, previous education, and labour force activity.

The federal Statistics Act provides the legal authority for Statistics Canada to obtain access to personal information held by educational institutions. The information may be used for statistical purposes only, and the confidentiality provisions of the Statistics Act prevent the information from being released in any way that would identify a student.

Students who do not wish to have their information used can ask Statistics Canada to remove their identifying information from the national database. On request by a student, Statistics Canada will delete an individual’s contact information (name, address, or other personal identifiers) from the PSIS database. To make such a request, please contact:

Via telephone:

Monday to Friday

8:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. EST/EDST

1-800-307-3382 or 1-613-951-7608

Via mail:

Institutional Surveys Section

Centre for Education Statistics

Statistics Canada, 100 Tunney’s Pasture Driveway
R.H. Coats Building, Floor 13G,

Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0T6

Via e-mail:

PSIS-SIEP_contact@statcan.gc.ca

Further details on the use of this information can be obtained from the Statistics Canada Web site

www.statcan.ca/english/concepts/PSIS/index.htm

3. Legally Mandated Disclosure

Specified records or portions thereof may be provided without student consent to persons or agencies pursuant to a judicial/court order, summons, or subpoena directing the University to release information.

4. Emergency Disclosure

In situations involving threats to the health or safety of an individual student or employee, the Registrar reserves the right to authorize the release of relevant information without obtaining prior consent from the student(s) involved.

 

Access to Student Records by UPEI Community Members

1. Student access to own records

a) Files: Students have the right to inspect all documents contained in their files—except for letters/evaluations submitted in confidentiality by referees—upon 24 hours’ notice in writing to the Registrar’s Office. An appointment will be set up with an authorized official of the Registrar’s Office for the viewing of their records. Copies will not be provided.

b) Transcripts: Copies of student transcripts will be provided to the student or directly to an external party (employer, educational institution, etc.) upon written request submitted in person, by fax, or by e-mail (sent from a verified UPEI account). Official transcripts will not be released in sealed envelopes to students, but will be issued directly to the third party, unless documentation from that third party so instructs the Office. Requests from students with fees owing to the University will not be processed.

c) Release of Grades: Final grades are posted electronically and available immediately through campus log-in. Students may access this information using their student identification and secure PIN numbers. Faculty who post evaluation results or grades, final or otherwise, for student viewing will use only student identification numbers in ascending or descending numerical order. Under no circumstances will assignments be left in a public place for student pick-up.

2. Third-party access

a) Student Organization Access to Student Names and Addresses: Student organizations may request listings of student names, addresses, e-mails, or phone numbers solely for the purpose of communicating with their membership. Such requests must be made in writing, signed by the organization’s authorized officer, and sent to the Registrar’s Office for approval. All student organizations requesting information in this manner guarantee that the lists will not be disclosed to any other individual or group, will not be used in the context of commercial activity, and will not be used for any purpose other than that specified in the original request (except with written approval of such a request from the Registrar).

b) Individual Student Access to Other Students’ Contact Information: The University will not provide student phone numbers, addresses, or e-mail addresses to individual students requesting the information. Instead, the Registrar’s Office will make every effort to contact the student on behalf of the inquirer in order to communicate an urgent message.

c) Class lists: Employees and faculty will not distribute, post, or make available to students copies of class lists that include student names with ID numbers, major, year of study, course name, timetable, or location, addresses, e-mail addresses, or phone numbers.

d) Employee (Faculty and Staff) access: Within the University, departments and/or individuals will have access to information contained in a student file/ record on a ‘need-to-know’ basis. Access will be granted only to that portion of the file/record that is relevant to the employee’s official purpose/function at UPEI, as decided by the Registrar. Deans and Chairs will have access to all academic grades for those students enrolled in their Faculty and department, respectively.

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