Dear University of Bristol,

As of the May UCAS deadline for Institutions to make their decisions on applications (or end of cycle, if you do not still hold information for this date), can you please confirm how many places there were for your A100 course, how many applicants you had, how many were invited to interview and how many offers were made, please?

I would like this information for 2021 entry, 2020 entry and 2019 entry, please, and split into Home and International fee status, please.

Could you also please state the UCAT cut off required for an interview for each of these years for a standard, non-contextual applicant, please?

Many thanks for your help,

Yours faithfully,

Judy Macdonald

University of Bristol FOI mailbox, University of Bristol

Thank you for your e-mail. The University will endeavour to respond to
your request under the Freedom of Information Act within 20 working days
of receipt. However, please note that due to the ongoing disruption caused
by the current Covid-19 pandemic, there may be unavoidable delays in
responding to your request. We would be grateful if you could bear with us
if we are unable to respond within the statutory time-frame, and we
apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause.

We may need to ask you certain questions to clarify your request to ensure
we fully understand what information is being requested. If so, the 20
working day deadline will be calculated once we have received such
clarification. 

 

The University's A-Z index can help in locating information that is
publicly available on the University's
website: [1]http://www.bristol.ac.uk/index/

 

Our Publication Scheme is available
at: [2]http://www.bristol.ac.uk/media-library/s...

 

The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) annually publish certain
data about students and higher education: [3]https://www.hesa.ac.uk/.
Bespoke datasets can be requested from
Jisc: [4]https://www.jisc.ac.uk/tailored-datasets.

 

For further information about the University's FOI procedure, please
see: [5]http://www.bristol.ac.uk/secretary/foi/

References

Visible links
1. http://www.bristol.ac.uk/index/
2. http://www.bristol.ac.uk/media-library/s...
3. https://www.hesa.ac.uk/
4. https://www.jisc.ac.uk/tailored-datasets
5. http://www.bristol.ac.uk/secretary/foi/

SecOInformation Governance, University of Bristol

1 Attachment

  • Attachment

    FOI21305 No of applications interviews and offers for 2019 2020 entry A100 Medicine.xlsx

    11K Download View as HTML

Dear Ms Macdonald,

 

Freedom of Information Request (our reference FOI21-305)

 

We refer to your Freedom of Information request dated 9^th June.

 

You requested the following information:

 

“As of the May UCAS deadline for Institutions to make their decisions on
applications (or end of cycle, if you do not still hold information for
this date), can you please confirm how many places there were for your
A100 course, how many applicants you had, how many were invited to
interview and how many offers were made, please?

I would like this information for 2021 entry, 2020 entry and 2019 entry,
please, and split into Home and International fee status, please.

Could you also please state the UCAT cut off required for an interview for
each of these years for a standard, non-contextual applicant, please?”

 

University’s Response

 

Further to Section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the “Act”) we
confirm that the information requested is held by the University of
Bristol (the “University”).

 

Please find some of the information requested in the document
attached. The university employs a rounding methodology (HESA’s
standard Rounding Methodology) when disclosing statistical information
linked to student or staff numbers. This is to reduce the risk of an
individual being identified from this, or any other dataset released by
the university or another organisation. This is in line with ICO
recommendations for anonymising datasets under section 40(2) of the Act.

 

In summary:

·                         Any number lower than 2.5 is rounded to 0

·                         when needed to prevent potential identification
all other numbers are rounded to the nearest multiple of five (halves are
rounded upwards);

·                         percentages based on fewer than 22.5 individuals
are suppressed;

·                         averages based on 7 or fewer are suppressed.

 

Full details of the HESA methodology can be found on their
website: https://www.hesa.ac.uk/about/regulation/...

 

Information for the 2021 admissions cycle and details of the number of
places available are exempt from disclosure. Further details can be found
below.

 

Exempt Information

 

The University does not provide in-cycle data for those applying to start
in 2021 (or later) or information about spaces available on this course
(intake targets). This information is exempt from disclosure as the
disclosure of this information would, or would be likely to, prejudice the
commercial interests of the University.

 

Section 43(2) is a qualified exemption that requires the University to
weigh the public interest in favour of disclosure, which is presumed from
the FOIA, against the public interest in withholding the information.

 

While there is public interest in transparency in relation to
the admissions process, the University is very open about
its admissions policies and procedures and is happy to disclose various
other admissions related data. The University operates in an extremely
competitive sector. Disclosing in-cycle data and the number of
places available on a particular course (sometimes referred to as
‘intake targets’) would give our competitors an insight into our market
share strategies allowing patterns and trends to be identified. This would
be very beneficial to them as they would be able to tailor their own
strategies to match or exceed ours. Therefore, disclosure of the exempt
information could cause the University genuine commercial prejudice if it
was available to competitors within the sector. To allow universities to
compete effectively they must be able to withhold certain information from
public disclosure in order to develop successful admission strategies. On
balance, the University has found Section 43(2) can be applied to this
information.

 

The information you have requested (minus the intake target data) will be
available for disclosure from December 2021. Please submit a new request
in December if you still require the information. 

 

Internal Review Procedure

 

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, then you have a
right under Section 50 of the Act to request an internal review.  All such
requests must be sent to us within 40 days, and must clearly state our
reference number (at the top of this email) and your reason for requesting
an internal review.  We will aim to respond to your request for an
internal review within 20 working days of receipt.

 

Your request for an internal review should be sent to
[University of Bristol request email], quoting your FOI reference number.
Alternatively, you could post it to:

 

Director of Legal Services

Secretary’s Office

University of Bristol

Beacon House

Queens Road

Bristol

BS8 1QU

 

Information Commissioners Office

 

Should you remain dissatisfied with the final outcome of the internal
review then you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner (the
“ICO”) for an independent review.  The ICO is the Government’s Independent
Body responsible for overseeing the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the
Data Protection Act 2018 and The Environmental Information Regulations
2004.

 

Please note the ICO will only review cases that have exhausted the
University’s internal review procedure. All correspondence to the ICO must
quote the University’s reference number and your reasons for your appeal. 
The ICO’s contact details are as follows:

 

The Information Commissioners Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

 

More information can be found at the ICO’s website
at [1]http://www.ico.org.uk

 

Kind Regards

 

Freedom of Information Team

University of Bristol

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.ico.org.uk/

Dear University of Bristol,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of University of Bristol's handling of my FOI request 'A100 statistics'.
My request for numbers of applicants, interviews and offers as of the May UCAS deadline has been declined, as it would prejudice your commercial interests. I would be grateful if you could clarify how this is the case, please?
Other than via Clearing, there is no opportunity for further applicants this year, so the figures cannot affect their decision to apply. This is the same for all med schools in the UK, so competitors cannot gain insight into decision making that is of vital strategic importance, which could alter the behaviour of competitor institutions and result in under- or over-recruitment of students to the University, as they can have no impact on the number of students in this potential cohort. Unless I am mistaken, the only factor that will alter between now and the end of the cycle is the publication of student results, and as this is a factor that is outside the control of any medical school, I cannot see how any one institution can gain any benefit over any other?
You response states it is this current cycle you are concerned about, as you are planning to release the information anyway in December, so could you please explain how making these figures public now, rather than in 5 month's time, can affect the behaviour of applicants, or competitor institutions?
Your argument is also somewhat nullified by the fact that other med schools have happily disclosed this information, so it cannot universally be seen to be commercially sensitive, unless you are more sensitive than other Institutions?

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

Yours faithfully,

Judy Macdonald