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Frequently asked questions

About the card

What is the University Card?

The University Card is a credit card sized card we issue to all students.

Your University Card is your personal ID and is enabled for applications such as Library borrowing and centralised printing. It details your student number and examination candidate number. You will need your card when sitting examinations as well as for handing in assessed work.

The card is issued through the University Card Desk in the Information Centre, Market Square.

Is it an ID card?

For students the University Card acts as your ID card. You will need this for sitting examinations and for handing in assessed work.

The University Cards we are producing for staff will only be used for ID purposes if this is appropriate and will have a photograph of the member of staff on the front of the card. If the card does not contain a photograph this is not a staff ID card.

Who will have a University Card?

Anyone working or studying at the University will have a University Card. There will be three different types of card issued and what you will use the card for will depend on which category you fall into:

  • Staff: door access, car parking, centralised printing, etc.
  • Student: photo ID card, exams ID card, Library card, and centralised printing.
  • Associate: door access, printing, etc.

The default staff card will not contain a photo and is not intended as an ID card. However, some members of staff who are required to have an ID card, for example members of the facilities team, who need to gain access to different parts of the University, will also have their photo on the card and WILL use this as ID.

How does our approach to smartcards compare to other Universities?

Other Universities have some form of card for both staff and students and have carefully thought-out procedures and policies on their use. The University of York are not trying anything especially different from what many Universities already have in operation.

I am a student and a member of staff – do I need two cards?

In most cases you should only require your student University Card.

If your line manager requires you to have a staff card for visual ID, the card issuance team will print one for this purpose, but the card will not contain a card number, and will not be useable by any University systems.

Any functionality you require as a member of staff can be added to your student University Card.

Can I punch a hole in the card to wear round my neck?

Please don't! The card contains an antenna which is used by the chip and this may get damaged.

Getting a University Card

How do I get my University Card?

Please see the 'New students' tab on the University card web page.

Uses of the Card

Will my University Card be used for anything else in future?

The idea is for the University Card to take on the functions you need for studying at York. Other functions will be added as the card development project progresses.

Can I use it to get discounts?

This will be at the discretion of the retailer. The University Card is not intended to be a discount card. Excellent discounts from many services and businesses in the City of York (and in other places) are available if you have a National Union of Students (NUS) Extra Card. Advice on obtaining these cards is available from YUSU.

Any discounts offered by retailers to York students are independent of the University and outside of the scope of the terms of use of this card.

Why won't current students be automatically issued with a new expiry date card

The University's obligation is to issue a card to all students, which we have done. The replacement fee of £10 is still cheaper than the cost of the NUS card if it is the case that the primary reason for changing the card is to seek discounts elsewhere.

The University Card is not intended to be a discount card. Excellent discounts from many services and businesses in the City of York (and in other places) are available if you have a National Union of Students (NUS) Extra Card. Advice on obtaining these cards is available from YUSU.

Can I use it to prove I study at the University?

Your card is set up as an ID card and you will be able to use the card to prove your identity and the fact that you do, or have at one time, studied at the University.

However, we have used a disclaimer on the reverse of the card which claims the card cannot be used as a guarantee that the card holder is actively studying at York. Therefore it may not always be accepted as proof of studying.

Uses of the Card

What rooms will my University Card give me access to?

In an early phase after issuing the new design card, we will be able to add 'Kaba' access control onto the University Card, so if you already hold a 'Kaba' access card you will be able to have your rights transferred. However this has to be done in phases (eg non-residential areas, followed by residential areas) so there will be a transition period where you may have to have both a University Card and a Kaba access card.

Due to logistical reasons, 'Onity' access will not normally be added to the University Card.

The rooms you may have access to are controlled by your department and/or Security Services.

What if my door access rights need changing?

This procedure is unchanged. You should request any changes via your department or Security Services.

Will I have to show my card to get into examinations?

Yes. Your University Card will be required when you go into an examination. It is used as proof of your identity.

What if I lose my Card?

If you use your card for accessing any buildings or doors you will need to report the loss of your card immediately to a reception desk or call Security on 4444. They will disable any access control functions on the lost card and if necessary, issue you with a short-term 'transition' card which will give you access control rights until you are able to obtain a new University Card from the Information Centre.

If you do not use your card for door access, you should go to the Information Centre for a replacement.

I have access to sensitive or high security areas with my current access control card. I am concerned that photo identity might give a malicious finder a clue as to where it might be used for access if found.

Sensitive and highly secure areas should have further levels of security in addition to the use of a swipe or proximity card.

However, if there are such concerns, a separate 'anonymous' access control card can be issued alongside your University Card.

Uses of the Card

Are you collecting data about me on the card?

No personal information will be collected on the card chip – only reference numbers for use by internal University systems.

The information needed to log your library books, to open the rooms where you have access and eventually to open car parking barriers and to prompt printing will be stored. This is not information about you; it is information necessary for you to carry out your day-to-day activities.

Cards will be issued in accordance with the data protection act which prevents any misuse of information and guarantees you will always be informed of exactly what information is collected and for what purpose the information will be used.

What do you use the data for?

The data collected is the same as any currently used by the separate cards. For example, the access control systems store data on each time the card is used to enter or exit doors.

Access data is not used unless on the rare occasion there is a breach of security which warrants investigation.

Access of any car park barriers is stored in the same way and any data here is used purely for trend analysis for future planning purposes (in line with the University’s transport policy) and anonymity is retained.

Changes to the use of data are strictly managed by Operations Group and audited by the University Records Manager.

Are the systems where data is stored secure?

We are using the existing systems currently used for door access, library numbers etc. These systems have data protection processes and protocols. Any changes or additions to these systems will incorporate a data security assessment.

University card - new design 2011

University card - old design

Who to contact

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