Making a Freedom of Information request

Please e-mail to make a request.

You may also write to:

The Records Manager
Downing College
Cambridge CB2 1DQ

Please note that all requests must be made in writing and contain an address for correspondence. You must use your full name.

Please make your request as specific as possible. The College’s Freedom of Information Publication Scheme and Annual Report and Accounts contain much useful information about the College and the way that it operates. You are advised to refer to these documents before making a request as they may help you frame your request or even answer your question completely.

You are also asked to note that the College publishes most Freedom of Information requests and responses in a disclosure log. This document includes texts of requests, but not details of the person making the request.

What happens next

The College will acknowledge receipt of the request as soon as possible and respond in writing within 20 working days as specified by the Freedom of Information Act and sooner if practicable.

The College may seek clarification of your request. If it needs to do this then the deadline for reply will be extended until you supply this information.

If the request may take excessive resources of time to fulfil then the College may refuse it on the grounds that it exceeds the appropriate cost limit, or reserve the right to charge a fee of £450 for work over and above this limit.

This can be avoided by making your request as specific as possible. The College will notify you and obtain your agreement before imposing any charges.

Some information is subject to exemptions under the Freedom of Information Act and we may refuse a request if we feel that the information is covered by one of these exemptions.

Appeals and complaints

If you are not satisfied with our response you have a legal right to request an internal review by writing to the Senior Bursar.

You also have the right to refer the matter to the Information Commissioner’s Office if the College cannot resolve the matter.


The Information Commissioner's Office oversees the enforcement of information legislation and produce helpful guidance for those wishing to make a request. See also:

The Data Protection Act 2018

Under data protection law in the UK, following the General Data Protection Regulation and related EU and national legislation, Downing College is identified as a data controller and as such is subject to a range of legal obligations.  For further details regarding these obligations, please see our  Data Protection policy.

Downing Fellows and staff should also read the guidance regarding data protection at Downing College and published on Sharepoint (password protected).

Requests for personal information

The College's Statutory Data Protection Officer is the University of Cambridge Office of Intercollegiate Services (OIS), but if you wish to access personal details about yourself (often called a subject access request) then you should contact the College Data Protection Team at Downing. We are unable to supply personal details of third parties and may redact these from a response.

When making a request you will need to provide proof of your identity. There is no fee for providing you with your data unless the College believes your request is particularly excessive and is likely to cause a great deal of extra work. The College will respond as quickly as possible to your request and at the latest within one month of receipt. The Information Commissioner has also published some guidance on requesting your personal information.

For reference requests, requests for transcripts and verification of qualifications or any enquiry about a current student please contact the  Tutorial and Admissions Office.

To request information about living alumni, or to be put in touch with former Downing students please contact the  Development Office.

For information about deceased alumni or historical information please contact the College Archivist.