Student Files – Privacy and Access
Information privacy laws cover the protection of information on private individuals from misuse or intentional or unintentional disclosure. Over 80 countries and independent territories have now adopted comprehensive laws including nearly every country in Europe and many in Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and Africa.
The paragraphs below delineate the procedures under which Universidad Azteca International Programmes meet the law’s requirements.
Universidad Azteca currently maintains the following types of educational records that are directly related to students:
(1) Office of the Registrar’s Files. The registrar is responsible for maintaining files that contain official transcripts of work performed by students at other institutions, official transcripts, and copies of occasional letters written by faculty and administration along with student replies. These letters generally are about academic programs, examinations, fellowships, etc. In addition, there are records of students’ progress in their programs. Members of the faculty and administration have access to these files for use in student advisement. Also, the university transcript clerks have access to the files in order to maintain them and to provide authorized data to authorized persons.
(2) Department Files. Each Dean and Programme Coordinator is responsible for maintaining files that contain essentially the same kinds of material as the registrar’s files. These separate files are maintained for the convenience of the departments and are used in advising students. Members of the faculty in each department and the department staff have access to these files.
(3) Credential Files. At the request of students, the Office of Career Services and Corporate Relations maintains files containing evaluations from faculty and staff of Universidad Azteca and other institutions attended either for Dual Degree Programmes or Credit Transfers, confidential letters of recommendation written by referees for the benefit of the students, and papers that students have prepared themselves. In addition to the Director & Chair, the staff of the Office of the Registrar and Dean of European Programmes has access to these files to carry out the work of the office.
(4) Admissions Files. The Admissions Office staff is responsible for maintaining files that contain letters of recommendation for admission to U.Azteca, transcripts of work performed at other institutions, scores of examinations that may be required by various departments, and the student’s statement of purpose. All materials submitted become the property of the University. The admissions office staff and members of the admissions committees of the various departments also have access to these files for the purpose of carrying out the admissions function. After a student has been admitted to Universidad Azteca and actually registered for study here, these files are transferred to the Registrar.
(5) Financial Files. The Department of Finance is responsible for maintaining files that contain applications, academic compliance and tuition fees invoices, scholarships and information regarding awards from previous institutions. The Department of Finance staff has access to these files in order to process invoices, payment confirmation and scholarships.
(6) Dean of European Programmes Files. The Dean of European Programmes is responsible for maintaining files that contain background information and official documents about alleged student misconduct, disciplinary hearings, and student grievances. Information about student misconduct, alleged misconduct, and student grievances is considered to be confidential and is divulged on a strict «need-to-know» basis. The Chancellor (Rector) Director & Chair of International Programmes (Dir. Enlace International), Vice-Chancellor (Vice-Rector) and their administrative staffs have access to the files for the purpose of conducting necessary investigation of charges, administering disciplinary or grievance hearings, and maintaining institutional records of such hearings.
(7) Student Billing Files. The Student Billing Office is responsible for maintaining files that contain payment contracts, student and third party payments, authorizations to charge or reverse charges, correspondence with the student and with third party sponsors, collections information and bankruptcy documentation.
In addition to the persons named above, the administrators of Universidad Azteca –the Chancellor (Rector), Director & Chair International Programmes, Registrar and Dean of European Programmes, Director of Finance have access to all records directly related to Universidad Azteca International Programmes students. U.Azteca faculty and staff, including school attorneys, may access student records in which they have a legitimate educational interest.
Students and former students should apply to the registrar if they wish to review any of their personal files. They will be asked to complete a form specifying which records they wish to see. The registrar will then collect the desired material so that the student or a person designated by the student may examine it in the presence of a representative of Universidad Aztec International Programmes.
In no case will access be withheld more than 45 days after proper request has been made. If the student wishes, the University also will supply copies of material in the file at cost: 5 Mexican pesos per page. If any material or document in the educational record of a student includes information on other students, the University will not supply the actual material or document. Instead, the University will provide only the specific information contained therein that directly relates to the student seeking access. In addition, no student may have access to (a) financial records of parents or any information contained therein.
After a student has reviewed the files requested, the University will respond to any reasonable request for explanation or interpretation of material that they contain.
The privacy of student files is and will always be scrupulously safeguarded. Universidad Azteca will make public without student consent only certain «directory information.» This information consists of a student’s name, email address, major, field(s) of study, dates of attendance, and degrees or awards received. A student who prefers that such «directory information» not be made public must notify the registrar in writing prior to the last day to add courses for the semester. The request for nondisclosure remains in effect until rescinded by the student.
Except for «directory information» and except for certain parties listed in the act, the University will not release to outside parties any student’s files or information contained in such files unless prior written consent has been obtained from the student concerned. The outside parties excepted by the act generally consist of certain federal and state officials, accrediting organizations, and educational agencies who need the information for valid educational purposes. Also, the University is authorized to release information contained in student files in any emergency situation where the information is needed to protect the health or safety of the student or other persons.
A student (or applicant for admission) is permitted to waive access to confidential recommendations written on his or her behalf respecting (1) admission to any educational agency or institution; (2) an applicatioin for employment; or (3) the receipt of an honor or honorary recognition. In some cases, it may be in a student’s best interest to so waive the right because waiver may cause the recipient of a recommendation to feel it is more «honest» and hence more valid in its statements about the student. Any student who wishes to waive access to recommendations may do so on a form available from the Registrar. On the form, the student also may ask to be notified of the names of all persons making confidential recommendations.
A student who consents to release to outside parties any part of his or her files must do so in writing, personally signed and dated. Such writing much specify the records to be released, the reasons for such release, and the names of the parties to whom such records may be released. A form for this purpose is available in the Office of the Registrar. A student whose consent is required also may request a personal copy of the specific records in question.
The University maintains a record of all outside parties who have requested or obtained access to a student’s education records, and their specific interest in obtaining such access. This record of access will be available only to the student and to the previously named Universidad Azteca officials who are responsible for maintaining the various files.
The University reserves the right to remove and destroy any material from any student’s files, except when a student has properly requested access to the files and has not yet been granted admission.