This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'Admission Statistics'.


 
 
 
 
 
By e-mail: Zhongbowen Cui <request-624308-
Office of the Vice-Chancellor 
xxxxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.xxx>  
4 West 
University of Bath 
Claverton Down 
Bath 
BA2 7AY 
 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
9 December 2019  
 
 
 
 
Dear Zhongbowen Cui  
Request for information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 2000 – 2019/351 
Your request was received on 29 November 2019, and is copied below for your reference: 
“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)” 

 
Section 1(1) usually entitles you to be told whether the requested information is held and have 
that provided to you unless it is judged to be exempt from disclosure.  
 
A list of courses (question 1) is in the attached pdf document.  
 
We are unable to provide the level of detailed data requested for question 2, and any data for 
questions 3 and 4, in accordance with section 43(2) of the FOIA, as the University believes that 
disclosure would, or would be likely to be prejudicial to its commercial interests. Please see 
below for further details. However, we are able to provide data for each faculty, and our School of 
Management, for question 2, and this is below. 
 
Faculty/School 
Applications 2019 entry 
Engineering & Design 
2,077 
Humanities & Social Sciences 
4,029 
Science 
2,215 
Management 
5,368 
University total 
13,689 
 


Section 43(2) is a qualified exemption, and I am required to carry out a ‘Public Interest Test’ to 
determine whether the public interest is better served by maintaining the exemption (and hence 
withholding the information) or by disclosing the information. I have completed this test and 
concluded that the public interest lies in not disclosing the additional information. 
 
The University operates in a highly competitive environment, including for the teaching of 
postgraduate students, facing competition from some of the country’s most long-established and 
best-known universities, and Higher Education Institutions outside the United Kingdom. The 
University notes that disclosure under the FOIA must be considered as disclosure to the public at 
large, so releasing information by course and for offers in addition to applications would put into 
the public domain a significant amount of new data and business intelligence that would benefit 
our academic rivals in the UK and beyond, and potentially harm the University’s interests and 
ability to run a wide range of high-quality postgraduate courses, by identifying the respective 
strengths of individual courses. 
 
The University does routinely report a significant amount of data to the Higher Education 
Statistics Agency, much of which is put in the public domain, such as through 
www.hesa.ac.uk/data-and-analysis/students/releases This data is only released after substantial 
delay, and not at the level of detail associated with this request, reflecting in part the intensity of 
the competitive environment we face.  
 
Changes in the Chinese market have meant that we, in common with other UK Higher Education 
institutions, are reviewing our market strategy. To provide information about interest in our 
programme portfolio from this important market at this point in the new recruitment cycle would, 
or would be likely to also commercially prejudice the interests of the University by potentially 
disclosing to competitor universities, and other third parties, valuable data about student 
preferences and the strengths of our courses.     
 
If you are dissatisfied with any aspect of how your request was handled you may ask the 
University to conduct an internal review. A request for an internal review must be submitted 
within 40 working days of receipt by you of this response. Requests received outside this period 
will only be considered at the University's discretion and where there is a valid reason to do so.  
 
Applications for internal review should be addressed in writing to Freedom of Information Team, 
University of Bath, Claverton Down, Bath BA2 7AY or e-mail xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx@xxxx.xx.xx. 
 
If you remain dissatisfied you may appeal to the Information Commissioner’s Office at Wycliffe 
House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF. Further details of this process are available 
via the following link: https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/official-information-concerns-
report/official-information-concern/  
Please note that the Information Commissioner will only 
consider appeals once the internal review process has been completed. 
 
Yours sincerely 
 
 
 
John Evans 
Freedom of Information Officer