Past Exam Papers

Adam Finkel-Gates made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Glasgow Caledonian University

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Roedd y cais yn rhannol lwyddiannus.

Dear Glasgow Caledonian University,

Can I request a copy of the most recent exam paper (that you can release), for the following modules:

FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING REGULATION/FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING & CORPORATE REPORTING, and
CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING/CURRENT ISSUES IN FINANCIAL REPORTING

Yours faithfully,

Adam Finkel-Gates

Freedom of Information Enquiries,

2 Atodiad

Dear Adam Finkel-Gates

 

I refer to your request for information below with response included. 

 

Can I request a copy of the most recent exam paper (that you can release),
for the following modules:

FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING REGULATION/FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING & CORPORATE
REPORTING, and CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING/CURRENT ISSUES
IN FINANCIAL REPORTING

 

The University considers that the exemption within Section 30(c) of the
Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 applies as disclosure of this
information would otherwise prejudice substantially or be likely to
prejudice substantially the effective conduct of public affairs. Due
to the specialist nature of the module in question releasing the
information requested into the public domain would undermine the
University’s ability to assess students using unseen examinations,
which is a key element of assessment practices. Also, due to there being a
specific set of topics that need to be assessed in each exam period, that
questions would have similarities year on year, albeit not be the same. 

 

We have assessed whether the public interest lies in disclosing this
information or not and have concluded that it is not in the interest of
students or the public at large for the assessment practices underpinning
these degree modules to be compromised by releasing the information. 

 

Please find attached a review notice setting out the steps you may take if
you are not satisfied with the response provided to your request.  

 

Please find attached a review notice setting out the steps you may take if
you are not satisfied with the response provided to your request. If there
are any questions in relation to this request, please contact the
University at [1][email address]

 

Yours Sincerely,

Lynsey Green

 

Lynsey Green 
Information Compliance Officer | Department of Governance   
Glasgow Caledonian University, Cowcaddens Road, Glasgow, G4 0BA,Scotland,
United Kingdom

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dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Adam Finkel-Gates

Dear Glasgow Caledonian University,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Glasgow Caledonian University's handling of my FOI request 'Past Exam Papers'.

I understand you are believe releasing this information is exempt due to section 30. It is not clear to me how past exam papers relate to public affiars. If after considering the rest of my response you believe this still to be the case, could you please explain how releasing this information would cause substantial harm to one or more of the following: the maintenance of the convention of the collective responsibility of the Scottish Ministers, or the free and frank provision of advice, or the free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation, or the effective conduct of public affairs.

Regarding the public interest test. I respectfully disagree, the public, employers and government have over the past decade became concerned over the increase in 'good degrees' (firsts and upper seconds). A factor which will influence the grade the student achieves will be the cognitive difficulty of the exam paper. I refer to the UK Quality Code for Higher Education: Assessment, where it states: "The Expectations and Core practices of the UK Quality Code for Higher Education (Quality Code) are mandatory for higher education providers in all parts of the UK. Common practices are mandatory in Scotland". Under the Expectations and Practices, it states: "The academic standards of courses meet the requirements of the relevant national qualifications framework. Assessment ensures that the qualifications are awarded only to those students who meet specified learning outcomes. Learning outcomes are specified for each course, which are consistent with the relevant national qualification frameworks’ descriptors, and assessment determines whether each student has achieved them".

Given the increase in 'good grades' being awarded and concerns from employers over graduates’ basic literacy and numeracy, I argue that it is therefore in the public interest for these exam papers to be released into the public domain. It is only with the exam papers public availability can the public, employers and government confirm whether the exam papers comply with the expectations and practices set out in the UK Quality Code and SCQF level descriptors.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p...

Yours faithfully,

Adam Finkel-Gates

Freedom of Information Enquiries,

1 Atodiad

Dear Mr Finkel-Gates

 

Glasgow Caledonian University has received your request for a review.  The
review will be undertaken by an officer not involved in handling your
request and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

The Freedom of Information Team will contact you if we require any further
information.

 

Yours Sincerely,
Lynsey Green

 

 

Lynsey Green 
Information Compliance Officer | Department of Governance              
Glasgow Caledonian University, Cowcaddens Road, Glasgow, G4 0BA,Scotland,
United Kingdom

[1]Description: Description:
http://www2.gcu.ac.uk/media/GCU_logo_ema...

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Freedom of Information Enquiries,

6 Atodiad

Dear Mr Finkel-Gates

I refer to your request dated 12^th August 2021 for an internal review of
the University’s response to your request under the Freedom of Information
(Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA).

The information requested on 8^th July 2021 was:

‘Can I request a copy of the most recent exam paper (that you can
release), for the following modules:

 

FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING REGULATION/FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING & CORPORATE
REPORTING, and CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING/CURRENT ISSUES
IN FINANCIAL REPORTING.’

 

In your request for a review you have stated that:

‘ I am writing to request an internal review of Glasgow Caledonian
University's handling of my FOI request 'Past Exam Papers'.

 

I understand you are believe releasing this information is exempt due to
section 30.  It is not clear to me how past exam papers relate to public
affairs. If after considering the rest of my response you believe this
still to be the case, could you please explain how releasing this
information would cause substantial harm to one or more of the following:
the maintenance of the convention of the collective responsibility of the
Scottish Ministers, or the free and frank provision of advice, or the free
and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation, or the
effective conduct of public affairs.

 

Regarding the public interest test. I respectfully disagree, the public,
employers and government have over the past decade became concerned over
the increase in 'good degrees' (firsts and upper seconds).  A factor which
will influence the grade the student achieves will be the cognitive
difficulty of the exam paper.  I refer to the UK Quality Code for Higher
Education: Assessment, where it states: "The Expectations and Core
practices of the UK Quality Code for Higher Education (Quality Code) are
mandatory for higher education providers in all parts of the UK. Common
practices are mandatory in Scotland". Under the Expectations and
Practices, it states: "The academic standards of courses meet the
requirements of the relevant national qualifications framework. 
Assessment ensures that the qualifications are awarded only to those
students who meet specified learning outcomes. Learning outcomes are
specified for each course, which are consistent with the relevant national
qualification frameworks’ descriptors, and assessment determines whether
each student has achieved them".

 

Given the increase in 'good grades' being awarded and concerns from
employers over graduates’ basic literacy and numeracy, I argue that it is
therefore in the public interest for these exam papers to be released into
the public domain.  It is only with the exam papers public availability
can the public, employers and government confirm whether the exam papers
comply with the expectations and practices set out in the UK Quality Code
and SCQF level descriptors.’

FOISA Review

Having reviewed the response originally provided to you on 5^th August
2021 the outcome of this review is provided below.

In the course of undertaking the review of your Freedom of Information
Request it has become apparent that the University’s position on
disclosing the past exam papers did not fully meet the tests within
Freedom of Information legislation. As a result, I have upheld your
request for a review and have attached the relevant information.

Glasgow Caledonian University reserves copyright in all information
provided under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA).
Although the information is available under the legislation this does not
mean that the University has waived its copyright and therefore the
information must not be reproduced in any way or made available in whole
or in part without the written permission of the copyright holder.

The University holds past papers in respect of four modules which would
fall within the scope of your request:

M2N406712 Financial Accounting Regulation

M2N422760  Financial Accounting and Corporate Reporting  

M3N422789 Current Issues in Financial Reporting  

M3N406715 Contemporary Issue in Financial Accounting

The University relied on the exemption within Section 30(c) of FOISA on
the basis that disclosure of this information into the public domain would
harm the public interests due to the specialist nature of the modules and
the specific learning outcomes being assessed.  This was because it was
felt that disclosing the information was likely to impact on the academic
integrity of the exams. Section 30(c) would be the relevant exemption
within FOISA as this exemption is relevant where disclosure would impact
on the public interests, for example, robust academic systems and
standards, or interests of public authorities such as the University.

Section 30(c) of FOISA requires public authorities to consider the public
interest test and having reviewed the case I have concluded that the
public interest test would not be met for past papers from previous
academic years. This is because it is difficult to argue that disclosure
of papers for modules which are not current would be damaging to the
University or the academic process. I have therefore attached the most
recent exam papers which we can release. 

In your review request you have argued that the disclosure of past exam
papers is in the public interests as this supports the quality assurance
in the exam process.  The University has effective and systematic
arrangements in place for managing quality which meets sector
expectations. It also has effective processes in place for reviewing and
securing academic standards which meet the Expectations of the UK Quality
Code for Higher Education (the Quality Code) and the Scottish Funding
Council (SFC) guidance to higher education institutions on quality
(2017-22). The effectiveness of these arrangements was recently endorsed
by the QAA through Enhancement-led Institutional Review (ELIR). ELIR is an
external exercise which is a key component of the Quality Enhancement
Framework in Scotland, and the method used by the QAA in Scotland to
report on quality and academic standards in higher education institutions.
 

If you are dissatisfied with this response, please let us know so that we
can address any concerns. 

If you are dissatisfied with the response to your request for review, I
refer you to the details contained in the attached document on what
further action may be open to you.

Yours sincerely

Hazel Lauder

 

From: Freedom of Information Enquiries <[email address]>
Sent: 13 August 2021 09:44
To: 'Adam Finkel-Gates' <[FOI #772491 email]>
Cc: Freedom of Information Enquiries <[email address]>
Subject: FOI/148/2021: Past Exam Papers

 

Dear Mr Finkel-Gates

 

Glasgow Caledonian University has received your request for a review.  The
review will be undertaken by an officer not involved in handling your
request and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

The Freedom of Information Team will contact you if we require any further
information.

 

Yours Sincerely,
Lynsey Green

 

 

Lynsey Green 
Information Compliance Officer | Department of Governance              
Glasgow Caledonian University, Cowcaddens Road, Glasgow, G4 0BA,Scotland,
United Kingdom

[1]Description: Description:
http://www2.gcu.ac.uk/media/GCU_logo_ema...

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir