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2019-2020 Admission statistics (Postgraduate Taught)

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Dear School of Oriental and African Studies,

I am requesting for the following information. Please kindly provide data for 2019/2020 admission cycle.

1. List of all postgraduate taught courses for 2019/2020
2. Number of applicants (all postgraduate programmes)
3. Number of offers made (all postgraduate programmes)
4. Number of Chinese applications and offers made (all postgraduate programmes)

Yours faithfully,

KAI CHEN

Information Compliance Manager, School of Oriental and African Studies

Dear Kai Chen,

Thank you for your request for information which has been received by
SOAS.

We will provide you with the School’s response as soon as possible and
within 20 working days of the date of your request.

Yours sincerely,

Records Manager and Archivist

--
Information and Technology Directorate
SOAS, University of London
Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
[1][email address]   [2]http://www.soas.ac.uk/infocomp

The world's leading institution for the study of Asia, Africa and the
Middle East

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Information Compliance Manager, School of Oriental and African Studies

FOI2019/246

 

Dear Kai Chen,

 

Thank you for your Freedom of Information Act request of 19 November 2019.
I have reproduced your questions below together with SOAS’s response.

 

Please kindly provide data for 2019/2020 admission cycle.

1. List of all postgraduate taught courses for 2019/2020
2. Number of applicants (all postgraduate programmes)
3. Number of offers made (all postgraduate programmes)
4. Number of Chinese applications and offers made (all postgraduate
programmes)

 

Our response

1.      This is available on the SOAS website here:
[1]https://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/sub...

2-4. SOAS has withheld the information you requested under section 43(2)
of the Freedom of Information Act. It is our view that disclosure of this
information would be likely to prejudice the commercial interests of the
School.

 

Prejudice test

     

The higher education market is increasingly commercialised, with the
removal of student number caps, tuition fees replacing grants as the
primary source of income for higher education providers, and the emergence
of private providers with degree awarding powers, especially in the London
region. This makes student recruitment an essential component of the
School’s attempts to secure and enhance its financial and reputational
position in the market.

 

If SOAS were to disclose the numbers of students who applied and were
offered places on our postgraduate programmes, it would reveal SOAS’s
conversion rates. We feel there is a significant risk in enabling
competitors to ascertain the size of a given market for programmes, or
signal whether they should begin new programmes that would be in direct
competition with ours. There is a real and substantial link between
disclosing information which would be instrumental in revealing our
conversion rates and our ability to attract students to our courses now
and in the future.

 

Public interest test

 

SOAS acknowledges that there is a broad and weighty interest holding
public authorities to account and ensuring they are transparent in their
use of public funds.

 

Specifically, information about the number of offers made to applicants of
our postgraduate programmes would be of interest to prospective applicants
to the programme.

 

However, it is our view that the public interest in maintaining the
exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosure, for the following
reasons.

 

It is our view that providing the information requested would expose
conversion rates for postgraduate programmes.

 

This will harm the School’s ability to enrol postgraduate students by
enabling competitor institutions to modify their recruitment and admission
strategies or programme design based on the information provided. SOAS is
aware that it is common practice for other higher education providers to
actively monitor recruitment and admissions data from other providers to
direct resources accordingly. Disclosure of our conversion rates may also
negatively influence prospective postgraduate students’ decisions about
whether to apply for our programmes.

 

It is our view that SOAS should not be put at an unfair disadvantage in
the face of its competitors in a crowded and competitive market by
disclosing information which could undermine its efforts to recruit
students (where student fees now make up a significant proportion of
universities’ turnover), and that the School has a right to operate in a
proper competitive environment.

 

Your right to appeal
I hope that you are satisfied with this response, but if you are not you
can ask me for an informal review within 40 working days of receipt of
this response:

 

Information Compliance Manager

SOAS, University of London

Thornhaugh Street

Russell Square

London WC1H 0XG

United Kingdom

 

Email: [2][SOAS request email]

 

If it does not prove possible to resolve your complaint informally, I will
arrange for a formal review of the handling of your request according to
the School's procedures. These can be found on SOAS's website at
[3]http://www.soas.ac.uk/infocomp/foi/appea....

 

If you are dissatisfied with SOAS's response following this internal
review, you can apply to the Information Commissioner for a decision on
whether your request has been dealt with in accordance with the
requirements of the Freedom of Information Act or the Environmental
Information Regulations. The Commissioner will normally require you to
have gone through our internal review process first before they consider
your appeal. If the Commissioner finds in your favour, the Commissioner
can require SOAS to release the information to you. The Commissioner can
be contacted at the following address:

 

Information Commissioner

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire SK9 5AF

United Kingdom

 

Further information about your right to appeal to the Information
Commissioner is available on the Commissioner's website
([4]http://www.ico.org.uk/).

 

Yours sincerely

 

David Ogden

Information Compliance Manager

--

Information and Technology Directorate
SOAS, University of London
Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
[5][email address]   [6]http://www.soas.ac.uk/infocomp

The world's leading institution for the study of Asia, Africa and the
Middle East

show quoted sections

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are KAI CHEN please sign in and let everyone know.