Dear University of Kent,

Please let me know the average and lowest entry A level grades of the undergraduate courses of Biology, chemistry and physics at the university for the last 3 years. Also what other entry qualifications (with grades) that were accepted.

Yours faithfully,

J Pattison

Foi, University of Kent

Dear Sir or Madam

Thank you for your information request. We will respond within 20 working days.

Yours sincerely

Alan Martin
Head of Data Protection

University of Kent
[University of Kent request email]
www.kent.ac.uk/infocompliance/

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Foi, University of Kent

Dear J Pattison,

 

We are unable to provide the average entry A level grades, because there
is no methodology to produce an average of the letter gradings awarded for
A levels. Instead, we could provide the average UCAS tariff score
(numerical value). Would this data be of use to you?

 

Could you clarify what you mean by other types of entry qualifications?
 Are you looking at specific qualifications or all other entry
qualifications beside A levels? Again, average grades will need to be
calculated using the UCAS tariff score.

 

Please confirm if you are happy for us to proceed on this basis.

 

Kind regards

Laura

 

Laura Withers

Information Compliance Officer

 

University of Kent

[1][University of Kent request email]

[2]www.kent.ac.uk/infocompliance/

 

 

 

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Dear Foi,
Methodology to produce an average of the letter gradings awarded for A levels, is quite easy. The average of AAA and ABB is AAB.
Instead, we could provide the average UCAS tariff score (numerical value). Would this data be of use to you? This only works if you make itg clear which tarif system you use and what is counted.

Could you clarify what you mean by other types of entry qualifications? Any you accept.
Are you looking at specific qualifications or all other entry qualifications beside A levels? all
Again, average grades will need to be calculated using the UCAS tariff score. ok

Yours sincerely,

J Pattison

Foi, University of Kent

Dear J Pattison,

 

Thank you for clarifying your FOI request. We will respond within 20
working days.

 

Kind regards

Laura

 

 

Laura Withers

Information Compliance Officer

 

University of Kent

[1][University of Kent request email]

[2]www.kent.ac.uk/infocompliance/

 

 

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Foi, University of Kent

Dear Mr Pattison,

 

Thank you for your information request, originally received on 26/10/2018
and clarified on 22/1/2019. Please accept our apologies for the delay in
response. Please find our response as follows:

 

Please let me know the average and lowest entry A level grades of the
undergraduate courses of Biology, chemistry and physics at the university
for the last 3 years. Also what other entry qualifications (with grades)
that were accepted.

 

As there is no methodology for averaging A level grades, we offered to
provide the average UCAS tariff score (numerical value). You agreed to
this approach so long as we made it clear which tariff system we used and
what is counted.

 

Please see below table showing average tariff score for new entrants of
undergraduate Biology, Chemistry and Physics courses for the last 3 years:

 

Academic Year of entry  
Subject
area   2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 Total
Average
tariff
Biology score 129 135 115 126
Number
of
students
  included 45 40 40 120
Average
tariff
Chemistry score 120 115 114 116
Number
of
students
  included 25 45 20 90
Average
tariff
Physics score 131 123 109 122
Number
of
students
  included 30 45 25 105

 

Notes on data:

 

·         All data presented following the [1]HESA rounding principle in
accordance with Section 40(2) (personal information) of the Freedom of
Information Act.

·         Students’ tariff scores may not necessarily reflect the typical
entry requirements for the course. For example, a student may have 4 A
levels but only need 3 to access the course.

·         The data includes students with all types of qualifications:
A-levels, BTECs, International Baccalaureate and others.

·         Tariff scores are based on Tariff tables published by UCAS in
2018, available at: 
[2]https://www.ucas.com/undergraduate/what-...

 

For context, tariff points applied to A-levels are as follows:

 

Tariff
Grade points
A* 56
A 48
B 40
C 32
D 24
E 16

 

 

The lowest entry A level grades accepted for each course over the last 3
years are withheld under Section 40(2) (personal information) of the
Freedom of Information Act as it is potentially identifiable data.

 

 

If you are unhappy with the way your request for information has been
handled, you can request an internal review within 40 days of the date of
this email by writing to: Information Compliance Team, Darwin College,
University of Kent, Canterbury, CT2 7NZ or via email to: [3][University of Kent request email]

 

If you remain dissatisfied with the handling of your request or complaint,
you have a right to appeal to the Information Commissioner at: Information
Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9
5AF. Telephone: 0303 123 1113 Website: [4]www.ico.org.uk.

 

There is no charge for making an appeal.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Laura Withers

Information Compliance Officer

 

University of Kent

[5][University of Kent request email]

[6]www.kent.ac.uk/infocompliance/

 

References

Visible links
1. https://www.hesa.ac.uk/about/regulation/...
2. https://www.ucas.com/undergraduate/what-...
3. mailto:[University of Kent request email]
4. http://www.ico.org.uk/
5. mailto:[University of Kent request email]
6. http://www.kent.ac.uk/infocompliance/

Dear University of Kent,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of University of Kent's handling of my FOI request 'Biology, Chemistry & Physics'.

The request for the lowest tariff score entry to the courses was refused on the grounds that it would mean the students could be identified but this assumes I know all the students and the grades (their is no other way to know) and if I knew that information I wouldn't need the request. It is not possible to identify from a tariff score who anyone is. Please submit the data I requested. You certainly can tell me the average lowest grade for each course for the last 3 years.

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

Yours faithfully,

J Pattison

Foi, University of Kent

Dear J Pattison,

 

Thank you for your internal review request to our response Ref 181026. We
will respond within 20 working days.

 

Kind regards
Laura

 

Laura Withers

Information Compliance Officer

 

University of Kent

[1][University of Kent request email]

[2]www.kent.ac.uk/infocompliance/

 

 

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Foi, University of Kent

Dear J Pattison,

 

Thank you for your request for internal review, received on 14/3/2019,
following our response to your original Freedom of Information request
(Ref 181026). Please find our response as follows:

 

I am writing to request an internal review of University of Kent's
handling of my FOI request 'Biology, Chemistry & Physics'.

 

The request for the lowest tariff score entry to the courses was refused
on the grounds that it would mean the students could be identified but
this assumes I know all the students and the grades (their is no other way
to know) and if I knew that information I wouldn't need the request. It is
not possible to identify from a tariff score who anyone is. Please submit
the data I requested. You certainly can tell me the average lowest grade
for each course for the last 3 years.

 

 

The lowest tariff score entry to the courses you requested may seem an
unlikely way to identify an individual. However, under GDPR the definition
of personal data covers any information that can identify an individual. A
singular piece of data may not be personally identifiable when viewed in
isolation, however it may become personally identifiable data when viewed
in conjunction with other data that may be held or obtained via other
means.

 

A disclosure under Freedom of Information is considered a disclosure to
the public at large, not just to the individual making the request. We
cannot take into account what information a requester already holds or
does not hold.

 

In this case, the lowest tariff score for each successful applicant to
each course you cited over the last 3 years would be a unique score
relating to one individual student per course, per year, which makes it
their personal data.

 

Consequently, in order to mitigate the risk of an individual being
identified by their tariff score, we decided to withhold these lowest
tariff scores under Section 40(2) (personal information) of the Freedom of
Information Act.

 

I uphold the original response as I believe we were correct to apply the
exemption of Section 40(2) (personal information) of the Freedom of
Information Act in this case.

 

 

With regards to providing you “the average lowest grade for each course
for the last 3 years” you had not asked for this in your original request.

 

I am happy to provide you with this data, as I am satisfied that an
average of three unique tariff scores sufficiently obscures any personal
tariff score. Please find this data below.

 

Biology Chemistry Physics
Average
lowest
tariff
score
(16-17,
17-18,
18-19) 71 56 65

 

 

 

If you remain dissatisfied with the handling of your request or complaint,
you have a right to appeal to the Information Commissioner at: Information
Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9
5AF. Telephone: 0303 123 1113 Website: [1]www.ico.org.uk.

 

There is no charge for making an appeal.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Jordan Hall

Head of Data Protection

 

University of Kent

[2][University of Kent request email]

[3]www.kent.ac.uk/infocompliance/

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.ico.org.uk/
2. mailto:[University of Kent request email]
3. http://www.kent.ac.uk/infocompliance/