Central Building, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge


A cookie is a small piece of information in the form of a text file, sent by a web server and stored on the computer of a visitor to a website. It can then be read back later by the web server when required. The use of cookies is a convenient way of allowing a computer to remember specific information relating to a website. Cookies are widely used in order to make websites work, or work more efficiently, as well as to provide information to the owners of the site.

Cookies may be either “persistent” cookies or “session” cookies. A persistent cookie consists of a text file sent by a web server to a web browser, which will be stored by the browser and will remain valid until its set expiry date (unless deleted by the user before the expiry date). A session cookie, on the other hand, will expire at the end of the user session, when the web browser is closed.


How we use Cookies

The Fitzwilliam website uses cookies in three ways;

  1. For authentication to restricted pages
  2. To collect detailed website usage data
  3. To store a unique identifier that can be used to retrieve information from a data store

The list below explains the cookies we use on our public website and why.


Cookies set by us

Cookie: PHP session

Name(s): PHPSESSID (expires at the end of the session)

Purpose: This cookie stores a unique user id which can then be used to retrieve information stored on a database or submitted in a form. This cookie is deleted when a user closes their browser.

More information: Fitzwilliam College’s privacy policy

Cookie: Raven Authentication

Name(s): Ucam-WebAuth-Session-s; _idp_session; JSESSIONID (all of these cookies expire at the end of the session)

Purpose: This cookie allows for Raven authentication to restricted pages. It expires when you close your browser.

More information: Fitzwilliam College’s privacy policy

Cookies set by third parties

Cookie: Blackbaud

Name(s): _ga (expires after two years; _gib (expires after 24 hours)

Purpose: We use a database system called Raiser’s Edge, supplied by Blackbaud, to run our booking system for Alumni events. Cookies linked to this booking system may be used for a number of purposes, including to maintain continuity during a user session, or to store a user name or encrypted identification number so that you do not have to provide this information every time you return to the website. 

More information: Blackbaud’s privacy policy

Cookie: Google Analytics

Name(s): _utma (expires two years from set/update); _utmb (expires 30 minutes from set/update); _utmc (expires at the end of the session); _utmz (expires after six months from set update)

Purpose: These cookies are used to collect information about how visitors use our site. We use the information to compile reports and to help us improve the site. The cookies collect information in an anonymous form, including your geographic location, the method you used to reach this site, the length of your visit, the time of your visit, the pages that you visit and anything you search for while on the site. Most of these cookies persist between browser sessions.

More information: Google’s privacy policy

Cookie: Raven

Name(s): Ucam-WLS-Session (expires at the end of the session)

Purpose: This cookie is used in the Raven authentication dialogue. It expires when you close your browser.

More information: Raven’s privacy policy

Cookie: Vimeo

Name(s): _abexps (expires after 12 months); _ga (expires after two years); _gid (expires after 24 hours); _uetsid (expires at the end of the session); player (expires after 12 months); vuid (expires after 12 months)

Purpose: Each cookie serves of one of four different purposes: 1. Essential cookies, which allow you to use a feature of the Vimeo Service; 2. Analytics cookies, which track information about how the Vimeo Service is being used so that improvements can be made and performance reported; 3. Preference cookies, which track your language, volume and HD mode preferences; and 4. Ad targeting cookies, third party cookies which are placed by advertising platforms or networks to deliver ads that may be relevant to you based on your activities, as well as to track ad performance. 

More information: Vimeo’s privacy policy

Cookie: YouTube

Name(s): PREF (expires after eight months); VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE (expires after six months); YSC (expires at the end of the session)

Purpose: These cookies help track the number of views for a particular video. The PREF cookie will track user preferences and serve up related content or adverts within an embedded YouTube video.

More information: Google’s privacy policy

The Fitzwilliam website allows you to quickly and easily share its news stories and events to your social media accounts, as well as event information to calendar services (e.g. Google and Yahoo). Please note that these sites create their own additional sets of cookies; to find out more about how they use your personal data after you have left our website, please refer to their individual privacy policies.

Rejecting Cookies

You can choose not to accept cookies and still use the Fitzwilliam website, but some functionality will be lost. The documentation for your web browser will provide you with instructions on how to disable cookies. Below are links to popular web browsers, and how to block cookies using them.


Internet Explorer

Google Chrome


Other web browsers

Last updated: May 2018

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