INFORMATION COMPLIANCE TEAM
University Offices, Wellington Square, Oxford OX1 2JD
16 October 2020
Reply to request for information under the Freedom of Information Act
Email of 19 September 2020
I am writing to request the predicted or achieved A level grades of all applicants to the BA
Fine Art course. Please indicate which were shortlisted and which were made offers. Please
break this down by College. For example:
Fine Art - Wadham - Offer - Predicted - A*AA Fine Art - University - Shortlisted - Predicted -
AAA Fine Art - New - No Offer - Predicted - AAA Fine Art - Balliol - Offer - Achieved - A*AA
I would preferably like this information in an Excel document as one table.
I would also like to request the number of applicants with predicted/achieved A levels lower
than the standard offer in the same format. For example:
Fine Art - Oriel - Shortlisted - Achieved - AAB
Ideally I would like this to be a separate tab on the same document.
Dear Sab Williams,
I write in reply to your email of Saturday 19 September, requesting the above information.
Please find the requested information in the attached workbook.
Notes about the data
• The results of these A-levels have been transmitted to Oxford by UCAS. Any students taking less than
3 A-levels will be excluded (as it's assumed this wasn't their main qualification). General Studies A-
levels have been excluded from the analysis.
• Applicants may change course during the application process. The course shown here reflects the
most recent course on record.
• Applications & Shortlisted are shown for the college initially applied to (or allocated to in the case of
• Offers are shown for the college making an offer. This can be different to the college initially applied
to (or allocated to) as candidates can be reallocated to other colleges to ensure that the best
applicants stand the best chance of gaining an offer.
• Further details can be found here: https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/colleges/do-you-
• Only Applications with A-Levels, as defined above, are shown.
Your request is for detailed individual level data. We consider that disclosure of this information in the form
requested might enable those with access to other information or knowledge (e.g. those associated with
individuals who are known to have applied or from the same school) to identify individuals and learn new
information about those individuals, including whether or not they were successful. For this reason, we have
presented the different categories of information on separate tabs, with unique IDs that are not standardised
across the spreadsheet.
In taking this measure, we are applying the exemption in section 40(2) of the Freedom of Information Act
(FOIA). Section 40(2) provides an exemption from disclosure for information that is the personal data of an
individual other than the requester, where disclosure would breach any of the data protection principles in Article
5 of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). We consider that disclosure of the information requested
in the exact form requested would breach the first data protection principle, which requires that personal data
is processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner. Disclosure would be unfair to the individuals concerned,
as it would be contrary to their reasonable and legitimate expectations. They would not reasonably expect that
information about their application to Oxford would be made public under the FOIA without their consent.
For the disclosure of personal data to be lawful, it must have a lawful basis under Article 6 of the GDPR. There
are six possible lawful bases in Article 6; we do not consider that any of them would be satisfied in respect of
The exemption in section 40(2) is an absolute exemption and is not subject to the public interest test provided
for in section 2(2)(b) of the FOIA. To the extent that the public interest is relevant in this case, the University
considers it is satisfied by the attached information.
You may request an internal review of this response by e-mailing email@example.com.
A request for internal
review should be submitted no later than 40 working days from the date of this letter.
THE INFORMATION COMMISSIONER
If, after the internal review, you are still dissatisfied, you have the right under FOIA to apply to the Information
Commissioner for a decision as to whether your request has been dealt with in accordance with the FOIA. You
can do this online using the Information Commissioner’s complaints portal.
Information Compliance Team