Dear University of Manchester,

Please provide me with a percentage of each nationality from the total number of international students who received an offer to study medicine at the University of Manchester for the 2019 entry.

For example:
31% Chinese
23% Indian
20% US
18% Canadian
5% Egpytian
3% Pakistani

Yours faithfully,

Thomas Edwards

MTRS FOIA, University of Manchester

Dear Thomas,

I am writing to acknowledge your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 received by The University of Manchester on 06 December 2019, our reference as per the subject line.

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

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| www.manchester.ac.uk

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: www.dataprotection.manchester.ac.uk

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

MTRS FOIA, University of Manchester

1 Atodiad

Dear Thomas,

 

Thank you for your request for information received by The University of
Manchester on 06 December 2019 which was as follows:

 

Nationalities of International Medical Applicants who Received an Offer.

 

Please provide me with a percentage of each nationality from the total
number of international students who received an offer to study medicine
at the University of Manchester for the 2019 entry.

 

For example:

31% Chinese

23% Indian

20% US

18% Canadian

5% Egpytian

3% Pakistani

 

The University has now considered your request and unfortunately the
information you are seeking cannot be provided at this time.

 

This information is deemed to be exempt from disclosure by virtue of the
listed exemption at Section 43 (2) of the FOIA – Commercial Interests.
Under Section 1 (1) of the FOIA, The University of Manchester confirms
that the information requested is held however we are refusing to provide
it in response to your request for the reasons set out below. 

 

Refusal Notice - 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 two of these considerations that we believe on this
occasion would be prejudiced by the disclosure of this information. This
is because medical schools operate in a highly competitive environment for
the recruitment of both home and overseas students. The UK government
places a cap on the number of overseas students that we can recruit,
therefore competition for overseas students is very intense and any
insight into overseas markets is critical. Releasing this information
would put us at a competitive disadvantage in selecting students and would
allow our competitors insight into our active markets and therefore
potentially provide them with the ability to target those international
locations for their own recruitment activities.

 

Public Interest Test

 

As Section 43(2) is a qualified exemption we are required to carry out a
public interest test; please see the details below.

 

Factors in Favour of Disclosure

There is a public interest in disclosing where the international
applicants who receive offers from The University of Manchester are from,
particularly as these places are subject to government subsidy. Disclosure
would also reassure the public that The University of Manchester operates
in a transparent manner.

 

Factors Against Disclosure

Disclosure of the requested information would undermine our position
within a highly competitive market and would therefore be likely to
prejudice our commercial interests. It would also be likely to prejudice
our ability to attract the best possible students from around the world.

 

The University of Manchester has carefully considered the balance of
public interest in this instance and has concluded that for the reasons
outlined above, the balance lies in maintaining the exemption at this
time. This email serves to act as a refusal notice for this request, as
per Section 17 (1) of the FOIA.

 

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....

Dear MTRS FOIA,

This message is a submission of an appeal.

"...competition for overseas students is very intense and any
insight into overseas markets is critical. Releasing this information would put us at a competitive disadvantage in selecting students and would allow our competitors insight into our active markets and therefore potentially provide them with the ability to target those international locations for their own recruitment activities."

This argument doesn't apply to overseas medicine applications.
The university claims that it's selection process for medical applicants is entirely based on the strength of the UCAS application, the non-academic information form, and if invited, their performance at interview. The University claims that it does not favour or advantage any overseas applicant based on their nationality.
For medicine especially, the competition for overseas students is extremely high as there are usually around 500 applicants for 28 places, so the competition between students for the university is far more significant than the competition between universities for the students, so the university's marketing strategies don't affect medicine significantly, as the university will always have a very high number of excellent applicants to fill their quota for overseas students.
This means that disclosing the requested information will not negatively impact the university's financial income, and the university will still attract the best students from over the world.
Therefore, I request you to disclose the requested information as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely,

Thomas Edwards

MTRS FOIA, University of Manchester

1 Atodiad

Dear Thomas,

 

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your request for an internal
review.

 

We will endeavour to provide a response to your Internal Review within 20
working days.

 

With best regards

 

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....

Dear MTRS FOIA,

It has definitely been more than 20 working days. By law, you should have responded by now. Please respond as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely,

Thomas Edwards

MTRS FOIA, University of Manchester

1 Atodiad

Dear Thomas,

 

I am writing regarding your email dated 6 January 2020 requesting an
internal review of your Freedom of Information request below. 

Please provide me with a percentage of each nationality from the total
number of international students who received an offer to study medicine
at the University of Manchester for the 2019 entry.

 

For example:

31% Chinese

23% Indian

20% US

18% Canadian

5% Egpytian

3% Pakistani

 

I have now had an opportunity to review the way in which we responded; I
note that we responded within the timeframe required by the FOI Act, I
have therefore gone on to consider whether the application of the
exemption S43 (2) was applied correctly. In doing so I have further
liaised with the relevant department within the University where
necessary. The review has now been concluded and we can respond as
follows:

 

As noted in our original response information is considered exempt under
S43 (2) if disclosure would prejudice the commercial interest of any
person, including the University’s own commercial interest. This exemption
can be applied if the release of information would:

·         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.

 

The University refused the data as we believed that its release would
weaken our position in a competitive environment by revealing information
that would potentially be useful to our competitors and which could also
have an impact on our commercial revenue. The University operates in a
highly competitive environment that is becoming increasingly competitive
as more applicants now receive multiple offers from medical schools across
the world. Each of the UK’s medical schools have historic links with
markets across the world, although there is some overlap. Releasing the
requested information would give competitors an insight into the
University’s key markets and would allow competitors to exploit those
markets where the University is operating successfully.

 

Whilst there may be significant competition between applicants for limited
medical school placements we believe commercial interests applies to the
extent that we work in certain key markets and compete with other Medical
Schools for recruitment of the best students from these markets. It should
also be noted that whilst the University has a quota, there are other,
private medical schools in the UK that have fewer limitations on overseas
recruitment. Releasing data would allow these institutions to gain market
insight. Medical Schools outside of the UK (For example, in South East
Asia, India and the United States) do not have capped intakes and would
benefit from the release of data by targeting our overseas markets. Given
the above the University believes that the requested data is market
sensitive and that its release would weaken 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 the release of the information concerned.

Factors in Favour of Disclosure

The release of the data would aid in the transparency of our recruitment
process. In so doing, this would give the public confidence in the medical
professionals of the future.

Factors Against Disclosure

Competition for overseas students is robust and any information into our
overseas markets is pivotal. Releasing the requested information would put
the University at a competitive disadvantage as it would provide
intelligence to our competitors into our active markets and provide them
with the information to target those international locations for their own
recruitment processes.

 

Balancing Test

The University of Manchester has considered the balance of public interest
and has concluded for the above reasons that the balance remains in
withholding the data. 

To conclude, the internal review upholds the original response and finds
that the application of Section 43 has been correctly applied.

If you are unhappy with our response you have the further right to appeal
to the Information Commissioner’s Office. Details of this procedure can be
found at [1]www.ico.org.uk.

 

Kind regards

 

Alex

 

Alex Daybank | Head of Data Protection (University Data Protection
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 2473
| [2]www.manchester.ac.uk

[3]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:
[4]www.dataprotection.manchester.ac.uk

 

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.ico.org.uk/
2. http://www.manchester.ac.uk/
4. http://www.dataprotection.manchester.ac....