Privacy Notice

The Development, Alumni and External Engagement team is here to keep alumni and friends up to date with what is going on at SOAS and to engage you with benefits, events, reunions, volunteering opportunities, networking and our fundraising campaigns. However you choose to get involved, we’ll always respect your rights and choices.

We promise to respect any personal data you share with us, and keep it safe. We aim to be clear when we collect your personal information, and not do anything you wouldn’t reasonably expect. Here we tell you what we will, and will not do, with your personal data.

This policy includes:

  • Who we are
  • Our duty
  • How we collect information on you
  • How we will use your personal information
  • Who has access to your personal information
  • How we keep your personal information secure
  • How long we will hold your personal information for
  • Your choices
  • Keeping your information up to date
  • Your rights
  • Changes to our Privacy Policy

If you have any questions about our privacy statement then please do contact our information compliance officer, who will be happy to talk you through it. Our contact details are:

+44 (0)20 7898 4041

Information Compliance Officer, Alumni Office, Room 130, SOAS University of London, 10 Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG, UK.

Who we are

We are the Development, Alumni and External Engagement team at SOAS

Visit our website to find out more about the ways you can get involved with our community.

Our duty

In carrying out our day to day activities we process and store personal information relating to our supporters. We are therefore required to adhere to the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998. We take our responsibilities under this act very seriously and ensure the personal information we obtain is held, used, transferred and processed in accordance with that Act. We also adhere to all other applicable data protection laws and regulations including, but not limited to, the Privacy and Electronic Communication Regulations.

How we collect information on you

The information we gather allows us to provide the best possible tailored experience for our alumni and friends, enabling us to tailor communication, event invitations and news that are of specific interest to you.

If you are a student of SOAS, your student record is automatically transferred to the Alumni Office when you graduate. The information the Alumni Office receives is:

  • Name
  • Title
  • Gender preference
  • Date of birth
  • Student number
  • Academic department and programme of study
  • Years of study and graduation dates
  • Classification of degree
  • We gather personal information from you when you apply for an alumni card, enquire about our activities, register for an event, make a donation, volunteer, engage with our social media channels or otherwise provide us with your personal information.

The personal information that we may request when you engage with us might include your name, your age, gender, location, contact information, like address, email and telephone number and possibly other information, as well as credit card or other financial information needed to process donations or event fees. We may also ask you if you are a UK tax payer so that we can claim Gift Aid (please rest assured that we do not collect information about your actual tax payments, just whether you are a tax payer). We will never request personal information about your health or the health of your family members or friends, unless we inform you how that information will be used, and receive your express consent for such use i.e. for a case study story.

With your permission, we also capture and collect your business details to enhance our mentoring and networking and allow us to send emails and invitations that may be of interest to you.

Your information may be shared with us by independent event organisers, for example London Marathon Events Ltd or fundraising sites like Just Giving or Virgin Money Giving. These independent third parties will only do so when you have indicated that you wish to support SOAS, and with your consent. You should check their Privacy Policy when you provide your information to understand fully how they will process your data.

We use third parties to collect data on our behalf to support our activities. This might include running raffles, event registrations, setting up Direct Debits and processing your donations. We also on occasion ensure our records are as up to date as possible through running address and detail verification checks through sources that are deemed acceptable by the Information Commissioner's Office.

To increase our fundraising reach we research information in the public domain, such as contact details for local organisations to get in touch with about our latest activities and appeals. We will not call any company or organisation registered with the Corporate Telephone Preference Service.

How will we use your personal information?

We may use your information for a number of purposes including the following:

  • To provide you with information about our work or our activities that you’ve requested. This might include sending you e-newsletters, invitations to events and volunteering opportunities.
  • For administration purposes e.g. we may contact you about a donation you have made or event you have expressed an interest in or registered for
  • To ask you for your permission to use the story of your experience with SOAS to promote our work To ask you to help us raise money or donate money to SOAS, but always in accordance with the fundraising promise
  • To create an account for you if you register with us
  • To process entries into a prize draw or raffle
  • For internal record keeping, including the management of any feedback or complaints
  • To use IP addresses to identify your approximate location, to block disruptive use, to record website traffic or to personalise the way our information is presented to you;
  • To analyse and improve the services offered on our sites to make it as user-friendly as possible
  • To use anonymised personal data to benchmark our activity with other relevant organisations, including CASE
  • Transfer to HM Revenue and Customs in respect of any Gift Aid claims
  • For statutory and regulatory compliance
  • We may assess your personal information for the purposes of credit risk reduction or fraud prevention.
  • In addition to this we may use your data for wealth screening, profiling and research to gain a better understanding of our supporters, inform our fundraising strategy and target our communications more effectively and appropriately. Please read below for more information:

Wealth Screening

We want to make sure we use our resources as effectively as possible to help us engage with our community of alumni and supporters appropriately. In order to achieve this we may undertake wealth screening of our database. Wealth screening enables us to better target our conversations about fundraising and therefore generate funds cost-effectively. To achieve this we will share your data with one of our trusted third-party suppliers.


In order to provide you with the best experience and understand how we could engage with you in the future, we undertake analysis on the personal data we hold on you. This analysis helps us to gain a better understanding of your interests, of how you engage with us, and to understand broader demographic and geographic trends.


We may also undertake research on your personal information to help us make informed decisions. This may include research on demographic, philanthropic, business and financial information from publicly available sources, including social media. We may also combine the data you provide with data we obtain from other sources (e.g. to verify we have correct addresses/postcodes).

If you do not wish your data to be used in any of the ways listed above or have questions about this, you can notify us using the contact details at the top of this page.

Who has access to your personal information?

Your personal information is stored on our database which is password protected and access is limited to authorised SOAS staff, belonging to specific departments across the School and trusted subcontracted parties.

We may pass your information to our third party service providers, agents, subcontractors and other associated organisations for the purposes of completing tasks and providing services to you on our behalf (for example to process donations and send out mailings). When we use third party service providers, we only disclose information necessary to deliver that service and there will always be a contract in place to ensure your information is kept secure. We will not share or sell your data to third parties to use for their own purposes unless we are required to do so by law, for example, by a court order or for the purposes of prevention of fraud or other crime.

Although most of the information we store and process stays within the UK, some information may be transferred to countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA). This may occur if, for example, one of our trusted partner’s servers are located in a country outside the EEA. These countries may not have similar data protection laws to the UK. However, we will take steps to make sure they provide an adequate level of protection in accordance with UK data protection law. By submitting your personal information to us you agree to this transfer, storing or processing at a location outside the EEA.

How will we keep your personal information secure?

We ensure that there are appropriate technical controls in place to protect your personal details; for example our online forms are always encrypted and our network is protected and routinely monitored.

We use a secure server when you enter into any money transaction from our website. We also take appropriate measures to ensure that the information disclosed to us is kept secure, accurate and up to date and kept only for so long as is necessary for the purposes for which it is used.

Any payment details on paper donation forms are destroyed once the donation has been processed.

We undertake regular reviews of who has access to information that we hold to ensure that your information is only accessible by appropriately trained staff and contractors.

How long will we hold your personal information for?

SOAS's Development, Alumni and External Engagement team considers its relationship with alumni, donors and other stakeholders to be life-long, and we will keep hold of your details until you tell us you no longer wish to hear from us.

We will take into consideration our legal obligations, and tax and accounting rules, when determining how long we should retain your information. When we no longer need to retain your information we will ensure it is securely disposed of, at the appropriate time.

Your choices

You have a choice about whether or not you wish to receive information from us. If you do not want to receive direct marketing communications from us about the vital work we do for the School, and our events and activities, then please let us know at any time by contacting us on:

+44 (0)20 7898 4041

Information Compliance Officer, Alumni Office, Room 130, SOAS University of London, 10 Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG, UK

We will not contact you for marketing purposes by post, email, and phone or text message if you have told us you do not want to hear from us by any of those channels.

If you choose to send a donation or communication to us by text message we promise to make it clear to you before you text what you are consenting to, and provide instructions for how you can opt out.

If you unsubscribe from communications from us, from any or all of the communication channels mentioned above, we will update our records to stop further communication as quickly as we can. Due to some communications already being in progress at the point you opt out, please be aware that it can take up to 6 weeks for your preferences to be fully implemented.

We will only ever share your data in other circumstances if we have your explicit and informed consent.

Keeping your information up-to-date

The accuracy of your information is important to us. You can update your information with us, including your address and contact details at any time. If you would like to change your preferences or update the details we hold about you, please contact:

+44 (0)20 7898 4041

Alumni Office, Room 130, SOAS University of London, 10 Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG, UK

Your rights

You have the right to:

  • request a copy of the information we hold about you
  • update or amend the information we hold about you
  • change your communication preferences at any time
  • ask us to remove your personal information from our records
  • object to the processing of your information for marketing purposes
  • raise a concern or complaint about the way in which your information is being used

If you wish to talk through anything in our privacy statement, find out more about your rights, or obtain a copy of the information we hold about you, please contact;

Information Compliance Manager SOAS University of London Thornhaugh Street Russell Square London WC1H 0XG United Kingdom


Changes to our Privacy Policy

We may change this Privacy Policy from time to time. If we make any significant changes in the way we treat your personal information we will make this clear by contacting you directly.