PPE Admissions Statistics (2019 UCAS Entry)

Gwrthodwyd y cais gan University of Oxford.

Dear University of Oxford,

Please provide a breakdown of admissions statistics for PPE applicants in the 2019 UCAS cycle (the cycle that had an application deadline in 2018, and in which applicants typically apply for 2019 entry).

Please provide the breakdown as an Excel spreadsheet with the following data:
1) Domicile (UK, EU, non-EU)
2) Predicted marks (if any)
3) TSA Section 1 overall score
4) TSA Section 1 problem solving score
5) TSA Section 1 critical thinking score
6) TSA Section 2 score
7) Shortlisted or not?
8) Interview score, by individual subject
9) Offer made or not?

Thank you in advance for your assistance in securing these data.

Yours faithfully,

Dr Sandra Green

FOI, University of Oxford

Dear Dr Green,

I write to acknowledge receipt of your request.

We shall endeavour to send you a substantive response no later than the statutory deadline of 11 February 2019.

Yours sincerely,

Information Compliance Team
Council Secretariat | University of Oxford
University Offices, Wellington Square, Oxford, OX1 2JD

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FOI, University of Oxford

Dear Dr Green,

We are in the process of compiling a response to your FOI Request. To assist us, I would be grateful if you could clarify what you meant by 'Predicted marks (if any)'. Do you mean GCSEs, AS Levels and A Levels?

Yours sincerely,

Information Compliance Team
Council Secretariat | University of Oxford
University Offices, Wellington Square, Oxford, OX1 2JD

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Dear University of Oxford,

Many thanks for the update and for your recent email.

By "predicted marks (if any)", I am referring to any and all marks, scores, grades, or other academic metrics, including but not limited to GCSEs and A/AS levels, included on a candidate's application. Predicted marks are generally provided by tutors, and are considered "predicted" as candidates have not yet been examined. Students who have already left school will just have their final marks.

I would like to further clarify that my request should be interpreted to include the marks of students who have already left school.

The intent of my request for these marks is to better understand the strength of a students' application, for example, analysing the performance of students who were predicted A*A*A* vs. AAA.

Please include other international qualifications such as IB score, GPA, or SAT score in addition to or in lieu of GCSEs and/or A/AS levels if students included them in their application.

I remain at your disposal for any further enquiries.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Sandra Green

FOI, University of Oxford

3 Atodiad

Dear Dr Green,

 

Please find attached a response to your email of 14 January 2019.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Information Compliance Team

[1]cid:image001.jpg@01D1EE5C.F855F5C0 Council Secretariat | University  
of Oxford
University Offices, Wellington
Square, Oxford, OX1 2JD

 

 

 

 

 

References

Visible links
1. https://www.ox.ac.uk/

Dear FOI,

I can confirm receipt of your response dated 7 February 2019. I would like to thank you for taking the time to prepare this information.

However, to clarify my request, I would like the data to be re-compiled and presented on a single spreadsheet. Separately, it would be impossible to determine any data trends as it relates to admission. For example, looking at the sheet with TSA scores, it is not possible to determine whether or not that particular candidate received an offer or not. Please send this revised sheet to me at your earliest convenience. Thank you in advance for understanding.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Sandra Green

FOI, University of Oxford

Dear Dr Green,

I write to acknowledge receipt of your request.

We shall endeavour to send you a substantive response no later than the statutory deadline of 22 March 2019.

Yours sincerely,

Information Compliance Team
Council Secretariat | University of Oxford
University Offices, Wellington Square, Oxford, OX1 2JD

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

FOI, University of Oxford

1 Atodiad

Dear Dr Green

Thank you for your email.

In the previous response, the data was split between tabs in order to reduce the risk of individuals being identified. In particular, as a large amount of individual-level data was requested, we believe that someone with access to additional information might be able to identify individual applicants and gain new information about them. We have therefore applied s40(2) of the FOIA in splitting the data out in this way.

If you would like to submit a new request for any specific items of combined data please email us, and we will investigate whether this data can be provided without the risk of identifying applicants.

Kind regards

Information Compliance Team
Council Secretariat | University of Oxford
University Offices, Wellington Square, Oxford OX1 2JD
E: [University of Oxford request email]

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Dear FOI,

Thank you for your email dated 26 February 2019.

I note your concern regarding the possibility of identifying individuals and gaining new information about them from existing information. However, I believe putting all the requested data on separate sheets fails to properly and reasonably balance the need for privacy with the right of the public to access admissions data from a public university. The ability to identify an individual is speculative. However, the inability to draw trends from separated sheets of data is definite, and the way that these data have been presented makes it difficult to even draw simple conclusions, such as "was an applicant from the UK more likely to receive an offer than an applicant from overseas?", or "what was the lowest TSA composite score of any applicant given an offer?".

With this being said, please find a revised request below, for data on the same spreadsheet:

1) Domicile (UK, EU, non-EU)
2) TSA Scores (Section 1 overall, Section 1 problem solving, Section 1 critical thinking, Section 2 score)
3) Was the candidate shortlisted (Yes/No)
4) Interview Scores (by subject, typically up to three interviews per college, up to three colleges)
5) Was an offer made (Yes/No)

Please note that, when assessing the risk of an individual who is NOT the applicant or an authorised agent of the applicant (teacher, tutor, principal, parent, guardian, etc.) being identified, the availability of some of these data is strictly controlled. For 'TSA Scores', this is only released by Cambridge Assessment to the applicant using a secure username and password through an online portal. For 'Interview Scores', this is only released by a college upon written request for feedback, and is sent directly to the applicant or his/her authorised nominee.

There is also great redundancy in both TSA Scores and Interview Scores, with hundreds of applicants receiving the same scores in both assessments. This is due to the way in which Cambridge Assessment marks the test. More information can be found on their official website. College tutors also assign approximately the same scores to all applicants, ranging on average from 50-75 marks.

Unless the applicant wilfully and publicly disclosed both sets of these scores, it is unthinkable that any outside individual would be able to identify an applicant amongst thousands of other applicants in this subject.

There is no risk in any non-privy individuals identifying an applicant. The only way to surely identify an applicant using the spreadsheet requested would be to know the exact set of TSA Scores as well as the Interview Score, which only the applicant has access to.

Further to all this, there is already established precedence of the University of Oxford disclosing a spreadsheet of such information, at times containing what is arguably a greater amount of information that could lead to unauthorised identification.

I respectfully submit this new request for your consideration, and urge the University to disclose these data which are of great public interest. Furthermore, the University is kindly requested to take the arguments regarding the near-impossible chance of identifying applicants into detailed consideration.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Sandra Green

FOI, University of Oxford

Dear Dr Green,

I write to acknowledge receipt of your request.

We shall endeavour to send you a substantive response no later than the statutory deadline of 12 April 2019.

Yours sincerely,

Information Compliance Team
Council Secretariat | University of Oxford
University Offices, Wellington Square, Oxford, OX1 2JD

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FOI, University of Oxford

1 Atodiad

Dear Dr Green

Please find attached in response to your email of 15 March.

Kind regards

Information Compliance Team
Planning and Council Secretariat | University of Oxford
University Offices, Wellington Square, Oxford OX1 2JD
E: [University of Oxford request email]

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