Privacy Policy

Who we are

Our website address is https://studyphotonics.com. We are a combined programme from Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Ghent University in Belgium.

EmailMe Form

This is the only page we use to collect your personal data to register your application for our Master Programme, valid for the upcoming academic year. We collect all this information regarding to your admission. This will be checked by the Programme Directors of the Master Programme from Ghent University and Vrije Universiteit Brussel, and the secretaries for both universities appointed to the master programme.

We register your name, date of birth, gender, address, nationality, email address, detailed information about your higher education (Bachelor degree and Master degree), knowledge for the basic subjects, language abilities.

We collect following documents: CV, copy of ID, Motivation Letter, Bsc. degree, BSc. transcripts, Msc. degree, Msc. transcripts and letters of recommendation.

These data and documents will be collected in a protected online environment of VUB and UGent and will only be kept in our database for the duration of your application (and possible admission) process. This data is necessary to process your application. You have the right to obtain and delete all data by simple request to secretariat@studyphotonics.com.

Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Like other academic institutions, the VUB processes personal data.  The VUB is committed to protecting personal data and handling it with the utmost care in order to safeguard the privacy of those concerned. In this privacy statement you can read more about our guidelines for handling personal data, about questions and services you may request from us, and about our point of contact for further information regarding privacy and data protection at the VUB.

Which personal data is processed and why

Personal data the VUB processes 
The VUB is responsible for processing large amounts of personal data: not just from students, researchers and staff, but also from alumni, third party experts and visitors, as well as data that is required to perform academic research. We process this data either to fulfil the legal requirements necessary to provide education and perform research, or in order to improve our services as a university.

The purposes for which it is processed

  • Providing education

In order to provide our educational services, the VUB is in charge of extensive record keeping on student affairs.
(This includes, for example, informing and recruiting prospective students, tailoring our communication and information feeds towards interested prospective students based on their preferences in order to improve their choice of studies and our services, managing internal and external information flows; registering study results; issuing certificates, diplomas, qualifications and degrees; concluding contracts with students; formulating policy on education matters; developing and writing policy and management reports in the context of accreditation demands; being able to provide advice, guidance, and counselling; settling disputes, providing training and education in medical studies; ensuring procedural justice in the election of members for participatory bodies etc.)

  • Performing academic research:

The researchers affiliated with the VUB gather, analyse, and manage large quantities of data, necessary for the advancement of the scientific disciplines represented at the University – from Archaeology to Zoology. Many of the activities carried out by researchers involve processing personal data.

  • Human resources

Searching for, selecting and recruiting new employees; concluding of contracts; negotiating salaries, benefits, and pensions; information regarding the membership of a trade union; information on the termination of employment; being able to comply with obligations arising from employment and health & safety legislation; registering leaves of absence etc.

  • Strategy, business administration, policy and management

Keeping records on the financial affairs of (parts of) the VUB, managing IT-, purchase and payment systems, litigating on behalf of the VUB; managing contacts and contracts with suppliers, clients, consumers, suppliers, business partners; ensuring  the wellbeing of students, staff and visitors, being able to improve policy, organizational analysis, management,  and dispute resolution etc.

  • Facility management

Ensuring the health and safety of students, staff and visitors; ensuring accessibility and maintenance of the campus and of (automated) systems; providing appropriate security measures and supervision; maintaining contacts with facility management services and partners etc.

  • Valorisation, outreach, marketing and communication

Recruitment of prospective students; performing market research; concluding and fulfilling contracts with other educational institutions (e.g. high schools); improving public and customer relations; improving marketing and branding of the VUB; managing and improving our website, libraries, library systems, archival services etc.

All these various types of data will be treated with the utmost care; none will be freely accessible. Employees of the VUB and persons acting on behalf of the VUB who work with such data will only be authorised to do so to the extent necessary for the performance of their duties. Additionally, the VUB is continuously committed to maintaining the proper technical and organizational safeguards with regard to information security and data protection.

Categories of personal data processed by the VUB

Because the VUB performs activities in all the areas listed, a lot of personal data is gathered and stored. In light of these activities, it is possible that the VUB processes the following categories of personal data:

  • Name
  • Address 
  • Place of Birth 
  • Bank Account Number
  • Telephone number
  • Date of Birth
  • Sex/Gender
  • Email-address
  • Information regarding user interaction (e.g. IP address, cookies, clicking behaviour, information from contact forms etc.)
  • Images (photos and videos)
  • Information regarding choice of study programme, study progress and study results
  • Data gathered in the context of academic research

In principle, the personal data processed by the VUB has been disclosed to the VUB directly. However, it may also be the case that the VUB receives personal data from third parties. We often collaborate with universities, research centres and (international) organisations located abroad, both inside and outside the EU. Within the scope of such collaborative projects, it is possible for personal data to be disclosed to these third parties: naturally, this will always happen in compliance with all relevant privacy and data protection laws and regulations and the VUB will always strive for the shortest possible retention period of relevant data.

Provision of data to third parties

The VUB will not exchange personal data with third parties for financial gain. Personal data will only be transferred to a third party when there is a legal basis to do so (e.g. this is required by law, it is necessary for the fulfilment of a contract with the data subject, it is necessary for the legitimate interests of the VUB or a third party, or when the data subject has given his or her explicit, informed consent).

There is a range of possible scenarios in which the VUB transfers personal data to a third party. For example, our human resource department may ask the assistance of professors from other universities to take a seat in a selection committee for an academic position, or collaborate with an external recruitment agency. Researchers might collaborate with fellow researchers from other institutions and may need to share or publish their research data. One can also consider the legal obligations that the Flemish authorities set with regard to rewarding university diploma’s: some of these obligations include sharing personal data of students and alumni with the education authorities – which means the VUB is legally obliged to share personal data with a third party (i.c. the Flemish authorities). Another option is (automated) online marketing in our efforts to improve our outreach to potential students and our alumni: in order to be as effective as possible, data from various online sources is used. This means all of us are continuously sharing personal data with platforms such as facebook and linkedin.

The VUB can also instruct third parties to perform services for it, in which case the VUB will draw up an agreement in which it lays down the duties for the service provider with regard to the processing of personal data (a so-called “data processor agreement”). In this contract it is then stipulated that the third party will handle any disclosed personal data confidentially, carefully, and in compliance with privacy legislation.

Subjects’ rights with regard to their personal data

On May 25th 2018, the “General Data Protection Regulation” will take effect. The GDPR is a European regulation which grants individuals rights with respect to the way their personal data is handled and protected. Individuals may, for example – depending on the legal basis for the processing of their personal data and dependent on the fulfilment of certain conditions – exercise a right to:
inquire as to what personal data is processed and, when the data is provided to the VUB by a third party, inquire into the source of this information;
request the correction of data insofar as it is incorrect;

  • Object to the processing of his or her data;
  • Know of the existence of possible automated decision making processes, and, when these are used to create profiles, inquire into the logic underlying these processes, the purposes they serve, and their consequences;
  • ‘Be forgotten’ by an institution that has processed their personal data.

The competent national authority concerning privacy and data protection is the Commission for the Protection of Privacy (or CBPL: “Commissie voor de bescherming van de persoonlijke levenssfeer”). This is the authority that monitors privacy law compliance and where any individual can file a complaint regarding privacy and the processing of personal data. 
Further questions regarding the different rights and obligations in the field of privacy can be directed to VUB’s Data Protection Officer (DPO) via dpo[at]vub.be.

What personal data we collect and why we collect it

Comments

When visitors leave comments on the site we collect the data shown in the comments form, and also the visitor’s IP address and browser user agent string to help spam detection.

An anonymized string created from your email address (also called a hash) may be provided to the Gravatar service to see if you are using it. The Gravatar service privacy policy is available here: https://automattic.com/privacy/. After approval of your comment, your profile picture is visible to the public in the context of your comment.

Media

If you upload images to the website, you should avoid uploading images with embedded location data (EXIF GPS) included. Visitors to the website can download and extract any location data from images on the website.

Contact forms

Cookies

If you leave a comment on our site you may opt-in to saving your name, email address and website in cookies. These are for your convenience so that you do not have to fill in your details again when you leave another comment. These cookies will last for one year.

If you visit our login page, we will set a temporary cookie to determine if your browser accepts cookies. This cookie contains no personal data and is discarded when you close your browser.

When you log in, we will also set up several cookies to save your login information and your screen display choices. Login cookies last for two days, and screen options cookies last for a year. If you select “Remember Me”, your login will persist for two weeks. If you log out of your account, the login cookies will be removed.

If you edit or publish an article, an additional cookie will be saved in your browser. This cookie includes no personal data and simply indicates the post ID of the article you just edited. It expires after 1 day.

Embedded content from other websites

Articles on this site may include embedded content (e.g. videos, images, articles, etc.). Embedded content from other websites behaves in the exact same way as if the visitor has visited the other website.

These websites may collect data about you, use cookies, embed additional third-party tracking, and monitor your interaction with that embedded content, including tracking your interaction with the embedded content if you have an account and are logged in to that website.

Analytics

Who we share your data with

How long we retain your data

If you leave a comment, the comment and its metadata are retained indefinitely. This is so we can recognize and approve any follow-up comments automatically instead of holding them in a moderation queue.

For users that register on our website (if any), we also store the personal information they provide in their user profile. All users can see, edit, or delete their personal information at any time (except they cannot change their username). Website administrators can also see and edit that information.

What rights you have over your data

If you have an account on this site, or have left comments, you can request to receive an exported file of the personal data we hold about you, including any data you have provided to us. You can also request that we erase any personal data we hold about you. This does not include any data we are obliged to keep for administrative, legal, or security purposes.

Where we send your data

Visitor comments may be checked through an automated spam detection service.

Your contact information

Additional information

How we protect your data

What data breach procedures we have in place

What third parties we receive data from

What automated decision making and/or profiling we do with user data

Industry regulatory disclosure requirements