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Confidentiality

Aston students have access to an extensive network of support services for both academic and non-academic issues. There are also processes in place to identify a student who may not be fully engaged with their studies who can then be referred to the relevant support service. A summary of the aspirations and expectations of Aston University and its students is set out our Student Charter.

In the interests of respecting student privacy, we are unable to discuss your concerns without the student’s express permission. This is because UK law (the 1998 Data Protection Act) and University policy prohibit the disclosure of an individual's information - except in specific situations. With respect to the University's duty of care, specific situations may include the University's belief that a student poses a risk to themselves or others, or is too unwell to be able to make a decision. 

What to do if you are concerned.

The University will take your concerns seriously. Whilst we cannot discuss a student’s situation/circumstances (without their permission), or even confirm whether they are attending the University, we can contact students and offer appropriate help even if we cannot guarantee that they will choose to take advantage of the support and advice.

During working hours please contact Aston University Student Services at the Hub 0121 204 4007 / email thehub@aston.ac.uk or contact Fiona Troughton, Critical Incident Coordinator on 0121 204 4729 or email f.troughton@aston.ac.uk.

Out of working hours please contact Aston University Security 0121 359 2922 or email security@aston.ac.uk.

Confidentiality in an emergency

Neither University policy nor UK law allows us to disclose any information about a student without their express consent to any third party – even a parent – except in an emergency. (Please see the first paragraph, above, concerning duty of care)

Should there be an emergency, a decision to contact the next of kin is taken on a case by case basis by the Chief Operating Officer or their nominee. Students are asked to nominate and keep details of their next of kin up to date on the University system known as MAP (My Aston Portal). We pass next of kin contact details to a hospital only in a medical emergency and if specifically asked to by the hospital.

Hospitals have similar data protection procedures and do not routinely notify Aston University about a student who is in hospital unless the student asks them to do so. It is up to students themselves to inform the University that they are in hospital; some choose not to. If we do have contact with a student in hospital, we suggest that they let their family know, although we cannot do this for them without their permission.

Last checked and updated 25.03.2014 AJW

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