The NWU collects and processes the personal information of thousands of students and staff, but you can rest assured that this information is treated with great care.


You have probably seen the disclaimer automatically added at the bottom of every email you send from GroupWise. This disclaimer is linked to the university’s privacy statement, which was recently updated. Do you know how this statement influences your rights regarding your personal information?

Eric Swanepoel is from Records, Archives and Museums.

Q: What is a privacy statement and why does the NWU need one?

A: The privacy statement is a legally required document describing why and how the university collects and uses your personal information and what your rights in this regard are.


The purpose of having such a statement is, however, not merely to adhere to a legal requirement. We also want it to demonstrate the university’s strong commitment to protecting the personal information of our stakeholders.


Q: Why was it necessary to update the NWU's privacy statement?

A: The privacy statement was developed in compliance with the regulations set out in the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) which came into effect on 1 July 2020.


We have to amend the statement from time to time to keep up with the latest developments in technology and amendments to the relevant legislation.


Q: What exactly is meant by “personal information”?

A: In the privacy statement we provide a list of the different types of information that is applicable. This information ranges from data about race, gender and marital status, to biometric information and the opinions or views of a person.


Q: How does the university use my personal information?

A: The NWU uses it only for specific, lawful purposes related to an activity or function the university performs. In other words, we will use it only for the purposes for which it was collected and agreed upon, or – when necessary – for legal or research purposes.


Q: Is the NWU allowed to give my personal information to third parties?

A: Yes, the university may do that under certain permissible circumstances, for instance if it is required for any operational or legal processes. (The other circumstances under which the university may disclose your personal information are explained in the privacy statement.)


You can rest assured that, when information is shared with any authorised third parties, the university complies with all the privacy requirements as informed by POPIA.


Q: What other important matters are dealt with in the privacy statement?

A: The privacy statement explains how we protect your personal information and stop unauthorised access to and use of it. It also sets out your legal rights regarding your personal information. You may, for instance, ask us what information we hold and request that we delete it if it is no longer necessary for the originally intended purpose.


Click here to read the full privacy statement  and to see what your rights are with regard to your personal information.




eish! spoke to Eric Swanepoel from Records, Archives and Museums about the purpose and implications of the updated privacy statement that the University Management Committee approved on 2 December 2020.


Find out how to enquire about your personal information the NWU holds.