There are now two types of MySQL databases available. If you need a database for a production application for a university department one will be assigned to you. This is a version 5 MySQL database resource. It is backed up at the database level (not the record level).
If you are interested in having a MySQL database for a personal website for you to use to learn to code database applications in PHP you can request one, however this is strictly a "sandbox" and is NOT a production server. It may not be available at any given instant and could be pulled completely without prior notice. So, you should never put any mission-critical data in your database. This is a version 4 MySQL database resource.