Student Records Policy
Al Falah University has specific guidelines concerning the release of information and the student’s privileges to inspect and review their own educational records. The university maintains various student records and documents academic progress as well as records interactions with university staff, faculty members, and officials. Copies of this policy are kept mainly at the admission and registration office, and are published in the university’s relevant documents.
To ensure continuous maintenance of student records, an additional set of the records is stored in a secure location, in a fireproof cabinet, as well as special security measures to protect and back up computer-generated and stored records.
Contents of Student Records
A student’s education records are defined as files, materials, or documents including those in electronic format that contain information directly related to the student performance and maintained by the University. These include:
- Application form
- Personal Details: the student’s name, address(es), telephone number(s), e-mail address, photographs, program(s) undertaken, dates of attendance, credentials awarded
- Certificates and transcripts of all the qualifying examinations passed
- Admission letter, visa copies, passport copies
- Enrollment and registration to the program
- Letters of academic warning, probation, suspension, or similar other academic actions;
- Financial information on fees and other payments
- Transcripts of all academic semesters.
Confidentiality of Records
Students’ records are either considered as directory or confidential information.
Certain information concerning students is considered to be open to the public upon inquiry. This public information is called directory information and includes: name, local address and telephone number, permanent address, e- mail address, date and place of birth, photograph, enrollment status, dates of attendance, awards and academic honors, degrees and dates awarded, most recent previous educational institution attended, participation in officially recognized activities and athletic teams.
Directory information as defined above will be released upon inquiry, unless the student has requested that this information not be released. The student’s request to have directory information withheld must be submitted to the admission and registration Office.
Confidential Information and the right of access to student records, including students’ access to their own records, with the exception of the information noted above, students’ records are generally considered to be confidential.
The following policies govern access to confidential student records:
- Each type of student record is the responsibility of the University Faculty member or employee, and only the Dean has the authority to release or update the record.
- The responsible Faculty member or employee may release records to University employee who have a legitimate need for the information in order to carry out their responsibilities. They should act in the student’s educational interest within the limitations of their “need to know.”
- All student records are reviewed and updated periodically. Information concerning the frequency of review and restriction of specific records is available in the admission and registration Office.
- A student may waive the right to review a specific record by submitting in writing a statement to this effect to the official responsible for that record. University personnel who have access to student educational records in the course of carrying out their University responsibilities shall not be permitted to release the record to persons outside the university unless authorized in writing by the student or the Dean or as required by a court order. Only the official responsible for the records has the authority to release them.
- All personal educational information about a student released to a third party will be transferred on condition that no one else shall have access to it except with the student’s consent. A record is maintained showing who has had access to student records, and this record is open to inspection by the student.
The appropriate University official may request that the student’s record not be released in the case the student has a delinquency in an account with the university. The effect of this action is that transcripts are not released, and enrollment is withheld. In order for the action to be rescinded, the admission and registration Office must receive authorization from the official who originally requested the action, indicating that the student has met the obligation. To contest the withholding of a record, a student must attempt to settle the dispute with the official who requested that the record be withheld.
A student who believes the university has not complied with the regulations related to confidentiality may proceed with complaint following the proper university documented procedure.
Retention and Disposal of Record
Records retention and disposal is the process by which the university decides whether records should be destroyed or transferred to the archive. All University records fall into three categories:
- Current (when data may be added to it)
- Semi-current (when it has been closed but is used as a reference tool for administrative purposes)
- Archived (when it has been selected for permanent retention in the university archive).
All students’ files held within the University fall within the category of ‘current’ or ‘semi-current’ records. While a student remains at the university, their file is considered to be ‘current’. Once departed (either through graduation or withdrawal), their file becomes ‘semi-current’.
In accordance with the above procedures, at the end of each academic year in which individual student files are held as ‘semi-current’, they are pruned and stored for a further five academic years.