Dear University of Manchester,

I am writing to make an open government request for all the information to which I am entitled under the Freedom of Information Act. In order to assist you with this request, I am outlining my query as specifically as possible. If you need any clarification then please do not hesitate to contact me. Under Section 16 it is your duty to provide advice and assistance and so I would expect you to contact me if you find this request unmanageable in any way.

I am looking for information regarding mental health issues among students, specifically:
a) Since the beginning of the 2009-10 academic year, how many of the students (both undergraduate and postgraduate) who formally requested concessions from the university (i.e. submitted an Extenuating Circumstances form), cited mental health issues as their reason for the request?
b) How many of these mental health-related appeals have been deemed legitimate enough by the university/department for the concessions to be granted?
c) Which mental health issues in particular have been those most cited (e.g. anxiety, depression etc.) in the forms.

To be clear, I recognise that the sensitivity of mental health issues involves a level of confidentiality, but given that I am asking for the data and not the identities of students, I see no reason why this information can not be shared.

I request access to the information in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet format, where each of the 10 full academic years show all of the Extenuating Circumstances forms submitted with those relating to mental health clearly flagged and detailed with the specific issues/illness cited.
I understand that you are required to respond to my request within the 20 working days after you receive this letter. I would be grateful if you could confirm in writing that you have received this request.

I look forward to hearing from you.
Yours faithfully,
Max Copeman

MTRS FOIA, University of Manchester

1 Atodiad

Dear Max,

 

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.

 

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

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1. http://www.manchester.ac.uk/
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MTRS FOIA, University of Manchester

1 Atodiad

Dear Max,

 

Thank you for your request for information received by The University of
Manchester on 30 December 2019 which was as follows:

 

I am looking for information regarding mental health issues among
students, specifically:

 

a)           Since the beginning of the 2009-10 academic year, how many of
the students (both undergraduate and postgraduate) who formally requested
concessions from the university (i.e. submitted an Extenuating
Circumstances form), cited mental health issues as their reason for the
request?

b)           How many of these mental health-related appeals have been
deemed legitimate enough by the university/department for the concessions
to be granted?

c)            Which mental health issues in particular have been those
most cited (e.g. anxiety, depression etc.) in the forms.

 

The University has now considered your request and unfortunately the
information you are seeking cannot be provided at this time. This is
because there is no central record of mitigating circumstances
applications. A student will submit a mitigating circumstances application
to their school and it will be for the school to determine if the
application is accepted or not.

 

As such, we do not have a central database from which the information you
have requested can be automatically extracted. We would therefore need to
make enquiries with all of the schools at the University of Manchester.
There are 9 schools across the 3 faculties currently, however there will
have been numerous changes to the structure at the University across the
time period which further complicates extracting the information you
require. Also bear in mind that the University currently has approximately
40,000 students. Whilst this number has risen, there will still be up to
this amount of students to consider for each year of the time period
requested who may have submitted mitigating circumstances, and many may
have submitted more than one application.

 

Further to this, the precise details of the reason is unlikely to be
transcribed from the form to a system where it is searchable, and there
may be multiple reasons cited on each form. The forms would therefore have
to be manually assessed to extract the information to be able to answer
your questions in full.

 

Due to the large number of staff within schools we would need to liaise
with, and the corresponding high number of mitigating circumstances that
would need to be manually assessed, these tasks would take in excess of
the 18 hour ‘Appropriate Limit’ (as defined in the Freedom of Information
and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004). As a
result, Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 applies and
regrettably this task cannot be undertaken at this stage. This email
serves to act as a refusal notice for this request, as per Section 17 (5)
of the Act.

 

Section 16 of the FOIA imparts a duty on public authorities to provide
advice and assistance to requesters to bring their requests within the
appropriate limit. I can therefore advise that should you choose a school
that you are particularly interested in (the current structure can be
found here
[1]https://www.manchester.ac.uk/discover/st...) and
substantially reduce the timeframe e.g. to the last academic year, then
there may be some information we are able to provide you and we would
consider a revised request on that basis.

 

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 [2][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 [3]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| [4]www.manchester.ac.uk

[5]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:
[6]www.dataprotection.manchester.ac.uk

 

References

Visible links
1. https://www.manchester.ac.uk/discover/st...
2. mailto:[email address]
3. http://www.ico.org.uk/
4. http://www.manchester.ac.uk/
6. http://www.dataprotection.manchester.ac....