Understanding information sharing

When parents and other family members are concerned about a student at UVic, they might feel the need to obtain more information or speak to others on behalf of the student. There are important considerations to keep in mind regarding confidentiality and disclosure, outlined below.

What information is private and confidential?

  • UVic adheres to strict policies to protect students’ privacy and ensure confidentiality. It is important that you speak to your loved one to create a mutual understanding of what they feel comfortable sharing with you and how that communication will take place.
  • Under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPPA), UVic cannot release personal or academic information without consent. Under FOIPPA, the student’s privacy is protected by ensuring personal information is not disclosed without consent, unless compelling circumstances exist where consent is not possible. A student’s access to resources at Health Services and/or Counselling Services is also private. Students can be assured that the information they share with these resources is confidential, unless there is reason to believe harm to self or others may occur. In these cases, information will be disclosed in accordance to professional practices and law. See UVic’s Protection of Privacy Policy for more information.

When does disclosure occur?

  • UVic will only disclose information to another individual if the student has provided consent to disclose by setting up a proxy (see instructions below). However, in urgent circumstances where consent is unable to be provided, the university may disclose personal information as required in agreement with the FOIPPA. This involves situations that cause concern for the health and safety of a student or others at the university, including emergencies, extreme emotional distress, injury, interpersonal conflicts, and other circumstances of this nature. For more information, see the university’s Protection of Privacy Policy and proxy set up instructions (below).

How to set up a proxy

  • Accessing a UVic student’s information during the admission process:
    • Prospective student can provide written consent on their UVic application to give others permission to make inquiries on their behalf during the application process. If this information was not provided on their application, they can still provide consent by emailing their assigned assistant in Undergraduate Admissions or Graduate Admissions and providing the proxy’s name and relationship.
  • Accessing student information while studying at UVic:
    • All proxy rights assigned during the application process for admission expire on the first day of classes in first term. If a student would like to provide permission for a proxy to make inquiries on their behalf or access to their records while studying at UVic, they must send in a completed proxy form for university records.
  • What information can and cannot be released?
    • Under FOIPPA, UVic is unable to release personal or academic information without consent. Read the UVic’s Protection of Privacy Policy for more information. The Office of the University Secretary responds to all formal freedom of information requests for the university. They can be contacted for any questions, requests or concerns regarding privacy and access to information at UVic.