Students and staff could soon gain access to pages of confidential university information about them, under new legislation planned for this autumn.
The government is to introduce a bill to implement the EU Data Protection Directive, which will extend individuals' rights to access data held about them by their employers, financial institutions, public bodies and other organisations.
The bill is unlikely to overturn existing limits in the Data Protection Act 1984 on access to examination marks.
A government white paper last month envisaged that examination scripts and references should also remain exempt.
But it is not clear how far the new act would treat other documents relating to students, such as examiners' reports.
Universities have until the end of the month to comment on the arrangements.