How the University makes use of cookies

The University of St Andrews (‘the University’) uses ‘cookies’ to support the effective operation of University websites. The cookies that we use helps the University to understand how people engage with our websites and to provide personalised services. The University websites also use services provided by third-parties such as Twitter, which can also be supported by cookies. This notice explains what cookies are used and to what extent individuals have control over their use.

What are cookies

Cookies are small text files that are downloaded on to a device when a website is accessed. Those cookies are then used to recognise and remember the device. This helps to understand how best to provide services, in general terms, or to remind people of the choices they have made online such as what items were ordered and placed into a ‘shopping cart’.

What type of information is contained within the University’s cookies and is this aligned to individuals?

Cookies usually contain the unique address of a website (the URL), the ‘shelf-life’ of the cookie (after what point in time does a website not need to recognise a device) and a random number. This information is minimal; the University cannot identify individual users from cookie data as there are no means of linking a cookie to a person.

Categories of cookies used by the University

The University makes use of the following types of cookies.

  • Strictly necessary cookies
    These are essential in order to enable people to move around and make use of our websites. Without these cookies some essential features, such as password protected content would fail.
  • Performance cookies
    These collect information about how people use our websites, such as which pages are used most often. These cookies do not pass any information that identifies an individual.

How are these cookies used?

Strictly necessary cookies

Cookie preferences

NameData storedPurposeExpires
CookieControl True or false choices for cookie category retention preferences. Without this cookie the University cannot manage an individual's cookie preferences. This cookie is mandatory to allow for the choices that people have made to be exercised and made available to them. Three months

Load balancer

NameData storedPurposeExpires
HAP_UNI_SERVERID,
HP_USR_SERVERID
The identity of the University web server being used for this session. This cookie helps to ensure that the content of a web page loads quickly and effectively by distributing the workload across numerous computers. When the web browser is closed.

Single sign-on

NameData storedPurposeExpires
_shibsession* Unique random number identifying a successful login. This cookie is to determine whether the user is logged in via Single sign-on When the web browser is closed

Performance cookies

Google Analytics

The University uses Google Analytics to measure how our websites are being used. This cookie data is anonymous with no information that can connect a person to a cookie collected.

NameData storedPurposeExpires
_ga
_gid,
_gat*
Unique random identifiers. Distinguish each unique visit to the website and what pages are visited as well as being used to reduce data collection from high traffic pages. The longest expiry period is two years.

How you can control cookies when using University websites

Other than the strictly necessary cookies, which must be removed directly within your browser, you can switch-off cookies that fall under the performance category. When you first visit the University website, performance cookies will be switched on.

To switch of a performance cookie simply toggle the corresponding option in the provided cookie preferences tool. A link to open this ‘Cookie preferences’ tool is found in the footer of the website.

The cookie preferences tool is only available to users from within the EU. Other visitors can control their cookie preferences directly in the web browser.

Third-party cookies

The University also makes use of software and services provided by third-parties on some of our web pages such as an embedded social media feed. This third-party provider then may use cookies for that service.

You cannot delete third-party cookies via the University website cookie preferences tool. However, you can control these by altering the cookie preferences directly in your web browser.

Most browsers can be configured to refuse cookies, or to provide a warning before they are accepted by your device. The help function within your browser should tell you how to configure it to refuse cookies or to alert you to their use.

Third-party cookies in use on University websites

The University, as introduced above, makes use of software and services provided by third-parties, who in turn make use of cookies. The categories of cookies used by third-parties via University websites are:

  • Performance cookies
    These collect information about how people use our websites, such as which pages are used most often. These cookies do not pass any information that identifies an individual.
  • Functionality cookies
    These allow the website to remember choices that a person has made in a given point in time, such as language or location preferences, and provide enhanced personalised features. These cookies can also be used to remember changes you have made to text size, fonts and other parts of web pages that you can customise. They may also be used to provide website features which you wish to use, such as watching a video or commenting on a blog. The information these cookies collect may be anonymised and they cannot track your browsing activity on other websites.
  • Targeting cookies or advertising cookies
    These cookies are used to deliver adverts more relevant to you and your interests on other websites. They are also used to limit the number of times you see an advertisement as well as help measure the effectiveness of the advertising campaign. They are usually placed by advertising networks with the website operator’s permission. This kind of cookie remembers that you have visited a website and this information is shared with other organisations such as advertisers. Quite often targeting or advertising cookies will be linked to site functionality provided by the other organisation.

How are these cookies used?

YouTube

We embed videos from our official YouTube channel using YouTube’s privacy-enhanced mode. This may set cookies on a device once you click on the YouTube video player, but YouTube will not store personally-identifiable cookie information for playbacks of embedded videos using the privacy-enhanced mode.

NameTypePurposeExpires
VISITOR_INFO_LIVE,
YSC,
PREF,
GPS
Functionality Used to remember user preferences such as language settings as well as measure viewing statistics of videos. The longest expiry period is eight months.

For information on how YouTube make use of their cookies, please see the Google privacy policy

Gecko Engage

We use Gecko Engage to embed interactive forms on certain web pages to collect user’s submitted information - such as applying for a visiting day.

NameTypePurposeExpires
_gat,
_gid,
_ga
Performance Google Analytics used by the software provider to measure usage of its service. All data collected is anonymised with no personal information stored. The longest expiry period is two years.

For information on how GecKo make use of their cookies, please see the Gecko Engage privacy policy.

Radius

We use Radius by Campus Management to embed interactive forms on certain web pages to collect user’s submitted information - such as applying for a visiting day.

NameTypePurposeExpires
_utmaba,
_utmabb,
_utmabc,
_utmabz,
_gat_RadiusEnterpriseRollup,
_ga,
_gid,
JSESSIONID
Performance Google Analytics used by the software provider to measure usage of its service. All data collected is anonymised with no personal information stored. The longest expiry period is two years.

For information on how Radius make use of their cookies, please see the Campus Management privacy policy

SoundCloud

We embed SoundCloud on some web pages to show content from that service.

NameTypePurposeExpires
_gat_insided,
_gat,
_ga,
_gid
Performance Google Analytics used by the software provider to measure usage of its service. All data collected is anonymised with no personal information stored. The longest expiry period is two years.
sc_anonymous_id,
sclocale
Functionality Used to remember user preferences. The longest expiry period is ten years.
__qca,
_fbp
Targeting Used to track advertising for marketing purposes. The longest expiry is one year.

For information on how SoundCloud make use of their cookies, please see the SoundCloud cookie policy

Twitter

We embed Twitter on some web pages to show content from that service. Cookies will only be set once you interact with the Twitter specific content, such as clicking on a link. Additional information may be recorded if you are logged in to a Twitter account or access the Twitter website. Users based in the EU will not have their cookies used for marketing purposes.

NameTypePurposeExpires
_gat,
_ga,
_gid,
Performance Google Analytics used by the software provider to measure usage of its service. All data collected is anonymised with no personal information stored. The longest expiry period is two years.
_twitter_sess,
ct0,
external_refferer,
eu_cn,
gt
Functionality Used to remember user preferences. The longest expiry period is two years.
guest_id,
personalization_id
Targeting Used to track advertising across the Twitter network. The longest expiry period is two years.

For information on how Twitter make use of their cookies, please see the Twitter cookie policy

VR View

We use VR View by Google to embed 360 degree images on certain web pages.

NameTypePurposeExpires
_gat,
_gid,
_ga

 

Performance Google Analytics used by the software provider to measure usage of its service. All data collected is anonymised with no personal information stored. The longest expiry period is two years.

For information on how Google make use of their cookies, please see the Google privacy policy

Unistats

We use the Key Information Sets (KIS) Widget by Unistats to provide additional information related to specific subject web pages. Cookies will only be set when you interact with a widget, such as clicking on a link.

NameTypePurposeExpires
__utma
__utmb
__utmc
__utmt
__utmz
Performance Google Analytics used by the software provider to measure usage of its service. The longest expiry period is two years.

For information on how Unistats make use of their cookies, please see the Unistats cookie policy

Page last updated: 8 May 2019