Dear University of Aberdeen,

Please provide me with information on the following:
1. For each of the past ten academic years (2008-09 to 2018-19), how many University of Aberdeen students have died while a student at the university?

2. Please provide, if possible, a breakdown by gender for each year.

3. For each of the past ten academic years (2008-09 to 2018-19), how many University of Aberdeen students have committed suicide while a student at the university?

4. The university’s rationale behind choosing to record or not to record student suicides.

5. University policy regarding all actions the university take after a student commits suicide

Yours faithfully,

Michael Conway

Foi, University of Aberdeen

Dear Mr Conway

I refer to your email of 14 June 2019 and, on behalf of the University, I acknowledge receipt and confirm that your request is being dealt with in terms of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. In terms of the Act, a reply will be sent to you within 20 working days.

Yours sincerely,

Jody McKenzie
Information Governance Officer
Information Governance Team
University of Aberdeen
Tel: 01224 27(3175)

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Foi, University of Aberdeen

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Conway

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST FOI 2019-204

I refer to your email of 14 June 2019 requesting information relating to student deaths at the University of Aberdeen.

Your request has now been considered under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, ‘the Act’.

1. For each of the past ten academic years (2008-09 to 2018-19), how many University of Aberdeen students have died while a student at the university?

2. Please provide, if possible, a breakdown by gender for each year.

Please find attached the response to these two questions.

3. For each of the past ten academic years (2008-09 to 2018-19), how many University of Aberdeen students have committed suicide while a student at the university?

This information is not routinely recorded as the information on the number of deaths is taken from the student records system where death is recorded as the reason for withdrawal from study, but no detail is recorded on the cause of death, therefore I cannot provide you with this information as it is not held in terms of section 17 (1) (b) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 - information not held.

4. The university’s rationale behind choosing to record or not to record student suicides.

We often do not get informed of the reason for the death and accordingly our systems do not categorise any cause of death.

5. University policy regarding all actions the university take after a student commits suicide

Student deaths are dealt with on a case by case basis and no formal "policy" relating to managing actions following a suicide exists. Cases involving any student death, regardless of cause, are managed by the Student Support team and Senior University Management. As no policy exists, this information cannot be provided as it is not held in terms of section 17 (1) (b) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 - information not held.

Should you be dissatisfied with this response, you have the right under the Act to request a review. A request for review must be made within 40 working days of the date of this reply. It must include your name and address for correspondence and specify the request for information and the grounds for dissatisfaction with the decision. Please send your request for review to our mailbox, [University of Aberdeen request email].

If you are unhappy with the outcome of the University’s internal review, you have the right to appeal to the Scottish Information Commissioner within six months of the date of receipt of the University’s review response. Details on how to make an appeal to the Commissioner are available at www.itspublicknowledge.info/Appeal. Should you remain dissatisfied with the Commissioner’s decision, you have a right of appeal to the Court of Session on a point of law.

Yours sincerely,

Jody McKenzie
Information Governance Officer
Information Governance Team
University of Aberdeen
Tel: 01224 27(3175)

The University of Aberdeen is a charity registered in Scotland, No SC013683.
Tha Oilthigh Obar Dheathain na charthannas clàraichte ann an Alba, Àir. SC013683.