Student's emergency contact

Provide the University with an emergency contact in case we need to contact them if we have serious concerns about your welfare.

Families, carers, and trusted others can play an essential part in supporting a student who is at risk or where there may be serious concerns.

All students must provide the University with an emergency contact when they register. The emergency contact information is held in accordance with the University’s Fair Processing Notice and current UK data protection legislation.

Who can be an emergency contact

An emergency contact should: 

  • be aware that they have been nominated as an emergency contact
  • be available and prepared to support the student if called upon
  • understand the student's medical and social history
  • in most cases, they would be a parent, guardian, spouse or other close family member.

Students should provide their emergency contact's:

  • mobile phone number
  • landline
  • email address.

You can update your emergency contact details at any time in Student Info. You can also have more than one emergency contact. It is important that this information is kept up to date.

Circumstances where we may use your emergency contact

There are two circumstances when the University may reach out to an emergency contact:

When there is a serious concern for your welfare

Opting in

At registration each year, you will be invited to give consent for the University to inform your emergency contact if there is a serious concern about your welfare. 

Situations where there is serious concern for your welfare can include:

  • not engaging with professional support
  • not engaging with your course
  • using drugs and/or alcohol in high-risk amounts or combinations
  • your mental health appearing to deteriorate
  • high risk self-harm.

You can opt-out of allowing the University to use your emergency contact in these situations by telling your Faculty Office. However, if we deem the circumstances to be more severe and in your vital interests, we may need to get in touch with the emergency contact irrespective of your choice. 

When it is in your vital interests

Situations where it is vital to inform an emergency contact can include:

  • attending or being admitted to hospital in an emergency
  • suffering a serious physical injury, including self-harm
  • ceasing to engage with your studies and/or professional support and not responding to repeated attempts to contact you
  • not being seen recently in your hall of residence and not responding to repeated contact attempts
  • having an ongoing serious illness, and appearing to deteriorate
  • experiencing a mental health crisis where there are serious concerns for your welfare.

Every circumstance is considered on a case-by-case basis. We will not use your emergency contact without authorisation by senior staff in the Education and Student Success team.

Informing third parties

The University may also pass contact details and relevant information about you to external partners. This can include the police, ambulance service, the emergency department at the hospital or secondary mental health services.

In the event of a suspected or confirmed death, the University will share the emergency contacts' details with the emergency services. They will then inform the next of kin.

Sharing information with parents and supporters

We recognise our students as independent adults and we have a legal duty to protect their personal data. Therefore we cannot share any information about them with anyone outside of the University without their consent, unless it is in their vital interests to do so, such as in a serious or life-and-death situation.

Students can consent to us contacting a designated parent, guardian or friend in situations that are not 'emergencies', but there is still a serious concern for their welfare.

Although we can only share information about students with parents/supporters in rare situations where there is a serious concern or where we have the student's consent to do so, we can receive information and will always investigate concerns raised with us. If you wish to raise your concerns for a student, complete a Request Wellbeing Support form.

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