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Student Records Policy on Access to Records and Protection of Privacy

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Access to student records is governed by York University's Policy on Access to Information and Protection of Privacy and complies with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. The University shall collect and record personal information related to its students in accordance with the following guidelines.

Access to Student Records Guidelines

By applying for admission to York University and by enrolling in a program at the University, students consent to the collection of their personal information by York University for educational, administrative and statistical purposes. The information is needed to process their admission application and their enrolment and registration in academic programs; to record and track their academic progress; to provide the basis for awards and governmental funding and for related recordkeeping purposes. Students agree that all information and documentation submitted to the University in support of an application for admission, counselling and disability services, residence accommodation or financial award, or any petition or appeal, becomes the property of the University.

York University may be required to disclose student information

  • in situations where the University is required to comply with the law
  • as part of law enforcement investigations or proceedings
  • in situations where personal student health or safety is of concern or
  • in compassionate circumstances

An electronic record of students' achievements at the University is preserved permanently, but all other documentation contained in students' files may be destroyed in accordance with the University’s records retention policies.

Access to Confidential Student Records and Disclosure of Information

Public access

It is the University’s policy to make the following information routinely available:

  • current registration status in a particular college, school, Faculty or division in a particular session including whether or not a student is currently pursuing studies on a full or part-time basis;
  • current field of studies (e.g. major, minor, certificate program, stream);
  • whether or not a student has received a particular academic award, honour or distinction whether from York or an external third party; and,
  • degree(s) or credential(s) that have been conferred by the University and the date(s) of conferral.

Except as specified above, other information contained in the record will be disclosed with the student's written consent. This restriction applies to requests from all third party inquirers including parents, spouses and credit bureaus.

Students who are currently registered in a program/course at the University are entitled to submit a written request to the Registrar’s Office if they do not wish to allow release of their active registration status, their current field of study, information about any academic awards, honours or distinctions and if they have not successfully graduated.

Student access

Students have the right to inspect their own official record, with the exception of evaluations and letters of reference supplied to the University with the understanding that they be kept confidential.

Students have the right to request that erroneous information contained in their records be corrected and that recipients of any information found to be in error be advised of the correction.

Students wishing to inspect their record must make an appointment with the Associate Registrar, Student Services.

Upon written request to the Registrar's Office, students whose fee account shows no outstanding balance may request to have an official transcript of their record of studies at the University sent to a third party.

Documents pertaining to a student's achievement at another institution, which may have been received by the University, will not be released or redirected.

Employee access

Employees of the University are permitted access to information contained in student records, if they need to know the information in order to perform their official duties. As a general rule, employees involved in some aspect of academic administration or student affairs are given access to a student’s record. The level and nature of access should be related to their particular administrative duties. Supervising managers and/or the University Registrar have the authority to withdraw access to student records from any employee.

Third party/student organization access

All third party organizations and student organizations are required to sign FIPPA-compliant confidentiality agreements with an authorized officer of the University before obtaining access to student records. Student information may only be used or disclosed in accordance with the provisions of the confidentiality agreements.

All requests from student organizations must be approved by the Centre for Student Community and Leadership Development within the Division of Students. Listings of members will be made available upon written request to the Centre for Student Community and Leadership Development and must be accompanied by a signature of the authorized officer of that organization.

All requests from other third party organizations must by approved by the Registrar’s Office.

If someone other than the student wishes to pick up a document on behalf of a student (e.g. transcript, diploma etc.), the student must provide that person with a signed authorization. The third party must provide the signed authorization as well as photo identification.

Legally mandated access

Specified records or portions thereof may be provided to persons or agencies pursuant to a court order directing the University to release information to Statistics Canada or to the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.

Transcripts of Academic Record

A student's signature, or Passport York login is required for the release of their own records. Transcripts issued directly to the student are stamped “Issued to Student”. York University is not responsible for transcripts lost or delayed in the mail.

In accordance with University policy, transcripts and diplomas will not be released to students who have an outstanding account with the University.

Change of Name

Each student is required to provide, either on application for admission or in personal data required for registration, his/her full legal name. Any requests to change a name, by means of alteration or deletion, substitution or addition, must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. Upon making application for graduation a student may be asked to provide proof of their name. Students may verify their official name on record online at the Current Students website (

Maintaining Contact Information

A student must maintain current and up-to-date permanent and mailing address information on the records of the University in order to receive pertinent mailings. The University also routinely uses e-mail to communicate with students. Students are responsible for maintaining up-to-date e-mail addresses on the records of the University and for ensuring that there are no problems with their external e-mail provider or individual account that would prevent York University from delivering an e-mail to that address.

Changes to contact information are done online at the Current Students website (

Emergency Situations Requiring Student Access

On occasion, a personal emergency may require students to be contacted quickly. In emergency situations involving the health and safety of an individual, or in compassionate situations, the University Registrar or designate may, if considered to be in the best interest of the student, authorize the release of personal information about the student. The University will then inform the student of the disclosure.

Students are urged to provide those who may need to be reached in an emergency with an up-to-date copy of their class timetable, specifying days, times and locations. In addition, students are required to routinely update their next of kin and emergency contact information through the Web at the Current Students website (

Notification of Disclosure of Personal Information to Statistics Canada

Statistics Canada is the national statistical agency. As such, Statistics Canada carries out hundreds of surveys each year on a wide range of matters, including education.

It is essential to be able to follow students across time and institutions to understand, for example, the factors affecting enrolment demand at postsecondary institutions. The increased emphasis on accountability for public investment means that it is also important to understand “outcomes”. In order to carry out such studies, Statistics Canada asks all colleges and universities to provide data on students and graduates. Institutions collect and provide to Statistics Canada student identification information (student's name, student ID number, Social Insurance Number), student contact information (address and telephone number), student demographic characteristics, enrolment information, previous education and labour force activity.

The Federal Statistics Act provides the legal authority for Statistics Canada to obtain access to personal information held by educational institutions. The information may be used only for statistical purposes and the confidentiality provision of the Statistics Act prevents the information from being released in any way that would identify a student.

Students who do not wish to have their information used are able to ask Statistics Canada to remove their identifying information from the national database.

Further information on the use of this information can be obtained from the Statistics Canada website:, by writing to the Postsecondary Section, Centre for Education Statistics, 17th Floor, R.H. Coats Building, Tunney’s Pasture, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0T6 or by calling 1-613-951-1666.