Realising Opportunities Privacy Statement
July 2021

This Privacy Notice provides you with details of how we collect and process your personal data.

Newcastle University is the lead University for the Realising Opportunities Programme and acts as data controller with responsibility for your personal data.

Our postal address is The University of Newcastle upon Tyne, King’s Gate, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU.

If you have any queries about your data please contact us at
Newcastle University’s Data Protection Officer can be found at

How Realising Opportunities (RO) uses student data

We will only use your personal data when legally permitted:

  • Where it is necessary for our legitimate interests, and your interests and fundamental rights do not override those interests.
  • Where we need to comply with a legal or regulatory obligation.

We will use your data to:

  • contact you in order to administer selection and participation in the RO programme;
  • make sure you have all the information you need throughout the RO Programme and you receive all the benefits you are eligible for;
  • evaluate and report on the impact and effectiveness of RO;
  • Conduct research to monitor equality of opportunity;
  • Contact you after participation in the programme in order to highlight relevant opportunities and benefits open to former RO students.

We may need to collect the following data from you, which is considered special category data under data protection law:

  • Information about your health, as we are required under the Equality Act 2010 to ensure that we make any reasonable adjustments for students to be able to fully participate in the RO Programme
  • Ethnicity, as the RO Partner universities have a duty in the substantial public interest to monitor and report on student’s ethnic background to the Office for Students, and to undertake research to ensure that there is equality of opportunity to participate in RO.

How we store your data

Data and information given will be stored in accordance with data protection laws and other applicable legislation. It will be stored by the RO Central Team based at Newcastle University. Appropriate technical and organisation measures will be taken to keep your data secure. Data will not be stored outside the European Economic Area.

Records will be retained for the duration of the RO project or for 15 years after your place on the programme is confirmed, dependent on which date comes first. The project is due to continue until 31 July 2022. The future of the project is continually under review and may continue beyond 2022. After the project ends, or the date reaches 15 years after your place is confirmed, your data will be appropriately and securely destroyed.

Should you withdraw from the RO Programme your data will be held and used as described here unless you specifically inform us you do not wish your data to be used in this way. You can do this by emailing .

Sharing your data for administering your involvement in Realising Opportunities (RO)

The following parties will be given access to your data in order to administer the RO Programme and track your progress:

  • RO universities in order to fully deliver the RO Programme
  • Contracted providers of technical systems to RO such as our online student hub, to which you will have access to during your time on RO to track your own progress on the Programme.
  • UCAS – The minimum data required to match with UCAS records will be shared with in order for the RO universities to track any courses of theirs that you may apply to ensure additional consideration is given. This will be done for the first year you are ready to apply to higher education, and one subsequent year.
  • Nuffield Foundation – If you apply for a Nuffield Foundation placement, the Nuffield Foundation will tell us the status of your application, whether your application is successful or not and, if so, the name of the placement organisation. We will tell the Nuffield Foundation the name of your host university.
  • Online support platform provider or contact hub providers – The programme requires you to participate in online support/being in contact with current undergraduate student ambassadors. We will provide your details to the platform provider to set up a login for you. The provider will give RO the results of any questionnaire you complete on the platform and statistical data about your engagement with the platform (how many times you logged in for example). Please see the provider’s privacy policy for details of its use of your personal data obtained through the platform, including the content of your online discussions.

Sharing your data to evaluate and report on the impact of Realising Opportunities (RO)

In order evaluate and report on the impact and effectiveness of RO, your data will be shared with:

  • HEAT (Higher Education Access Tracker, run by the University of Kent). We will share your data with the Department for Education and/or with the other organisations HEAT works with. HEAT has access to government data sets and will inform us about your progression to higher education, your success in higher education and career paths post-higher education. As well as with its key personnel and the supplier which maintains its database, HEAT may share your data with official custodians of education data including the Higher Education Statistics Agency (please see the Higher Education Statistics Agency Collection Notice for details on how your data is processed), UCAS, the Department for Education, the Office for Students, the Office for Fair Access, the National Pupil Database and other agencies for research purposes only (and agreed with the HEAT governance and steering groups). HEAT will only share your data if they are required by law or directed by a court of similar body to do so.
  • Evaluation services provider. RO will have a contracted, independent evaluator. As part of their evaluation of the RO programme we will share your application data, data from any questionnaire you complete and other data we are permitted to use may be used by us for research purposes to ascertain the success of this widening participation initiative.
  • National Pupil Database (NPD). We will share your data with the NPD as part of our evaluation work to understand RO student’s achievements and progress in relation to students nationally. The NPD can share back with RO data that it holds to help us further understand that impact of the RO Programme.
  • UCAS. Your data will be shared with UCAS in order to understand the trends and patterns of RO students in each higher education application cycle. Data received back from UCAS is aggregated and at no point will you be able to be identified within it.

In sharing your data to evaluate and report on the impact, RO will not use your data in a way that will affect you individually. For all reporting purposes your data will be aggregated or made anonymous. You will not be individually identified in any reports and confidentiality will be maintained at all times. Your data will not be used for sales and marketing purposes. RO does not and will not sell personal data to third party organisations.

Your rights

Please contact the RO Central Team if you have a query or complaint about the use of your personal data by emailing

Under certain circumstances, you have rights under data protection laws in relation to your personal data. These include the right to:

  • request access to your personal data. Under data protection law you are entitled to request copies of all the personal data that RO holds about you. This is called a Subject Access Request. To make a request please follow the process set out at
  • request correction of your personal data. It is very important that the information we hold about you is accurate and up to date. Please let us know if at any time your personal information changes by contacting us at the email address or telephone number above.
  • object to processing of your personal data.
  • request that your data is removed from our system. Please note, if you are still active on RO and request that your data is removed, you will be withdrawing from the programme as we cannot administer your involvement without processing some personal data.
  • request restriction of processing your personal data ( e.g. you can request that we do not share your data with any parties listed other than the RO universities).

You will not have to pay a fee to access your personal data (or to exercise any of the other rights). However, we may charge a reasonable fee if your request is clearly unfounded, repetitive or excessive. Alternatively, we may refuse to comply with your request in these circumstances.

We try to respond to all legitimate requests within one month. Occasionally it may take us longer than a month if your request is particularly complex or you have made a number of requests. In this case, we will notify you and keep you updated.

Details of your rights under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and how to contact the Information Commissioner’s Office can be found at:

Our privacy policy will be updated from time to time and was last updated in July 2021.