Where are legal name and preferred name used?

As part of the University’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusivity, we wish to make all members of our community feel welcomed by using their preferred names.

Preferred names may be different to legal names for a variety of reasons: they may, for instance, be a shortened version of a forename, one of many middle names, multiple forenames or a different name entirely. In particular, we want to ensure that the identities of transgender and non-binary members of our community are respected and affirmed. This includes avoiding the use of names by which a person no longer wishes to be known, sometimes called “deadnaming", whether or not a formal legal name change has been made.

To support this aim, the University is developing its student systems and processes to use preferred names as the default name throughout, except in cases where legal name is required. The University’s main student records database (LUSI) holds both legal name and preferred name and passes the appropriate data through to other systems. At present, LUSI shows preferred name in only limited places and legal name is instead mainly displayed. This includes areas of the system such as results, module choice, mitigating circumstances, programme transfers and reassessments. Significant developments to LUSI are planned over the course of 2023 and 2024 to address this by replacing legal name with preferred name, except where the former is required.

Which name is used in internal systems?

The following systems have already been updated to use preferred name, rather than legal name:

  1. Microsoft account (e.g. Outlook/student email display names, MS Teams)
  2. Learn
  3. Turnitin
  4. Panopto
  5. Gradescope
  6. WebPA
  7. Co-tutor
  8. Digital Registers
  9. Case Management
  10. Off-campus Activity (Placements and Exchanges system)

This list covers a large proportion of the systems that are regularly used by students and where academic staff in particular view student information, so that preferred name is shown to them as default.

Remaining student systems will be analysed and updated over the course of 2023 and 2024 to use preferred name where appropriate. These are likely to include:

  1. The Campus Living database
  2. Timetabling systems
  3. Personal Best
  4. Raiser’s Edge (alumni database)

Which name is shared with external organisations?

Where you have consented for the University to share data with Loughborough Students’ Union (LSU), your legal name is currently provided to them. However, this data feed will be reviewed and amended to use preferred name if appropriate. This is likely to be in 2023 or 2024.

When liaising with external organisations with whom we share data, we normally use legal name. These include (but are not limited to):

  • The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) and/or Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) for statutory data returns
  • Charnwood Borough Council (CBC) for council tax exemption and electoral registration purposes
  • UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) for immigration purposes
  • The Student Loans Company (SLC) and other funding bodies for fees and funding purposes

What about documents and communications?

When communicating with you, for instance, when sending emails, we will aim to use your preferred name in most cases. Whilst systems are being updated over the course of 2023 and 2024 to use preferred name by default, it is possible that you may receive some communications in your legal name, although we will try to minimise this.

Formal documentation and letters, however, will normally use legal name. Whilst not exhaustive, this is likely to include:

  • Your degree certificate (or other award certificate), and official and interim transcripts
  • Your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies and other immigration documentation if you are a Tier 4/Student visa holder.
  • Standard official letters, such as bank letters, confirmation of registration and council tax exception.
  • Formal letters from the University to you regarding your registration or conduct, for instance
  • Financial statements
  • Contracts (e.g. relating to your accommodation)

Student ID cards currently display all initials of your legal forenames, followed by your surname, but we are reviewing whether preferred name could be used instead.

Where are pronouns used?

The collection of personal pronouns was added to our student records database in summer 2022. At present, this information is visible in only a very limited set of places (just our Student Self-service system), and most staff cannot yet see this data. We are in the process of updating student systems to make this data available to staff, so they know which pronouns to use when referring to you. These updates will take place over the course of 2023 and 2024.