The new regulations mark the biggest change to data handling laws since they were introduced in the 1990s, and will require schools to gain the consent of students before making their grades public.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), is set to come in to force in May 2018 and applies to any business, organisation or public body which handles personal information.
Parliament is in the process of transferring the GDPR on to the UK’s statue books, and the Government says it will “empower people to take control of their data”.
But the new rules will potentially spell the end of a 300-year-old tradition at the University of Cambridge which sees degree results published alongside students’ names.
The “class list” is posted on a board outside the university’s Senate House, but university staff are already putting plans in to place to accommodate the new EU rules.
The tradition has divided scholars at the prestigious institution, but a referendum in November last year found 55 per cent of students wanted the student union to campaign to keep the custom alive.
However support for an opt out began in 2015 when a campaign argued the list was “damaging” to the welfare of students and could lead to depression.
Once the GDPR enters in to force, the Cheshire-based Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) will be responsible for ensuring they are properly implemented.
The ICO said that the UK’s decision to leave the EU will not affect the commencement of the new rules,
And this week advocacy organisation Universities UK met with ICO officials to discuss the GDPR.
A spokesman said Universities UK will work with the ICO over the coming months to make sure universities understand and comply with these new rules.