Francisca de la Sotta

Dear University of Manchester,

Regarding all Graduate Taught Programs, I'd like to know the following information for the sessions 2019/2020 if any data is available:

A breakdown per program with: number of applicants, number of offers, and number of enrolled students.
Thank you in advance.

Yours faithfully,

Francisca de la Sotta

MTRS FOIA, University of Manchester

1 Atodiad

Dear Francisca,

 

I am writing to acknowledge your request under the Freedom of Information
Act 2000 received by The University of Manchester, our reference as per
the subject line.

 

The University will respond to your request within 20 working days.

 

NB Due to the current situation with the Covid-19 virus and the
University’s response to it, there may be a delay in receiving your
response at this time.

 

With best wishes

 

Lisa

 

Dr Lisa Crawley l  Information Officer  l Information Governance Office
l Directorate of Compliance and Risk l  Professional Support Services |
Room G7 Christie Building  l Compliance & Risk Management Office l  The
University of Manchester  l  Oxford Road  l  Manchester  l  M13 9PL  l 
Tel +44 (0)161 275 8400  

[1]www.manchester.ac.uk

[2]cid:image001.jpg@01D320C7.272763F0

We are all responsible for protecting person identifying data held by the
University, including who we share that data with. Stop and think before
you send your email.  For further guidance see:
[3]www.dataprotection.manchester.ac.uk

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.manchester.ac.uk/
3. http://www.dataprotection.manchester.ac....

MTRS FOIA, University of Manchester

1 Atodiad

Dear Francisca,

Thank you for your request for information received by The University of
Manchester on 17 June 2020 which was as follows:

 

Regarding all Graduate Taught Programs, I'd like to know the following
information for the sessions 2019/2020 if any data is available:

 

A breakdown per program with: number of applicants, number of offers, and
number of enrolled students.

 

We have interpreted your request as to mean postgraduate taught programs.
The University has now considered your request and unfortunately the
information you are seeking cannot be provided at the moment. This is
because we believe the information breakdown per program is exempt from
disclosure by virtue of the listed exemption at Section 43 (2) –
Commercial Interests. Please see the refusal notice below for further
details.

 

Refusal Notice

 

This Refusal Notice has been issued under Section 17 (1) of the Freedom of
Information Act (FOIA). Under Section 1 (1) of the FOIA The University of
Manchester confirms that the information requested is held but we are
refusing to provide it in response to your request for the reasons set out
below.

 

Section 43 (2) – Commercial Interests

 

Information is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would,
or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of any person
(including the public authority holding it).

 

We are applying Section 43 (2) as a prejudice-based exemption.  We may
rely on this exemption if the disclosure would prejudice someone’s
commercial interests (including the University’s own).  Commercial
interests may be prejudiced where a disclosure would be likely to:

 

·         Damage its business reputation or the confidence that customers,
suppliers or investors may have in it

·         Have a detrimental impact on its commercial revenue or threaten
its ability to obtain supplies or secure finance

·         Weaken its position in a competitive environment by revealing
market sensitive information or information of potential usefulness to its
competitors.

 

It is the latter of these three points that The University of Manchester
feels is relevant to this request. To determine where the public interest
lies with regard to this exemption, we have previously liaised extensively
with relevant staff in the University regarding requests of this nature,
including the Director of Student Recruitment & International Development,
the Heads of Teaching, Learning and the Student Experience in Faculties as
well as the University’s Head of Student Data, Analysis and Records.

 

All felt that releasing information of the type requested at course level
would impact on the University’s competitive advantage and would therefore
prejudice our commercial interests. Providing information on the level of
applications and offers at course level would give a new or existing
competitor key information about our programmes. This could enable them to
either start a new course themselves (by identifying a perceived gap in
the market which could then impact on our numbers of applications, offers
and/or acceptances) or to more aggressively compete with us/poach from us
(as they identify they could be able to gain a bigger share of the market
which could then impact on our numbers of applications, offers and/or
acceptances). Any disclosure under the FOIA is considered as a disclosure
to the world, so whereas it may not be your intention to use the
information in this way, it must be an important factor in our
considerations. It has been highly publicised recently that the current
situation with the Coronavirus is impacting greatly on the competitive
environment in which universities operate and therefore it is arguably
even more important at this time that we do not take any action that may
further impact on our position in a competitive market.

 

Public Interest Test

 

As Section 43(2) is a qualified exemption we are required to carry out a
public interest test to determine if the commercial interest is overridden
by the public interest from a release of the information concerned.

 

Factors in Favour of Disclosure

 

There is public interest in disclosing applications and offer data. To do
so would ensure that members of the public can be satisfied that the
University of Manchester is open and transparent.  It may also assist
public debate with regard to the issue of student recruitment and offer
making.

 

Factors Against Disclosure

 

Universities operate in an ever and increasingly competitive environment
and as such, the University would not wish to disclose information that
would be likely to prejudice our commercial interests and our position
within this environment.

 

Therefore, we believe that for the reasons outlined above, the balance
lies in maintaining the exemption at this time.

 

If you feel that The University of Manchester has refused access to
information to which you are entitled, or has not dealt with your request
appropriately under the FOIA, you have a right of appeal.

 

An appeal in the first instance should be directed to the Information
Governance Office at [1][email address]. You should include: 

 

·         details of your initial request

·         any other relevant information

 

You must make this appeal within 40 working days from receipt of your
response. We will not accept appeals received after this date, as per the
Freedom of Information Code of Practice, Section 5.3.

 

The University will deal with your appeal within a reasonable time, and
will inform you of the projected time scale on receipt of your complaint.
You are also welcome to contact the Information Governance Office with
informal questions about the handling of your request. 

 

After The University’s internal appeals procedure has been exhausted, you
have a further right of appeal to the Information Commissioner’s
Office. Details of this procedure can be found at [2]www.ico.org.uk.

 

Kind regards

 

Sharon

 

Sharon Glen | Information Officer | Information Governance Office |
Directorate of Compliance and Risk |Professional Services | G7 Christie
Building | The University of Manchester | Oxford Road | Manchester | M13
9PL | Tel +44(0) 161 306 7549| [3]www.manchester.ac.uk

[4]data_matters_logo2-(3)

We are all responsible for protecting personal data held by the
University, including who we share that data with. Stop and think before
you send your email.  For further guidance see:
[5]www.dataprotection.manchester.ac.uk

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.ico.org.uk/
3. http://www.manchester.ac.uk/
5. http://www.dataprotection.manchester.ac....