EEE,EIE,Computing 2020-2021 shortlisting and interviewing criteria/policies

The request was successful.

Dear Imperial College London,

Could you please provide the following information for these courses:
HG65
GH56
G400
G401

1. The shortlisting (before interviewing) selection criteria for the courses above in 2020.

2. The interviewing criteria for a conditional offer for the courses above in 2020.

3. Copies of the scoring template the admission officers were given for shortlisting and interviewing in 2020(PDF/Word).

4. The policy of admission in 2020, including:

a. how long per admission cycle (specific time scale/date)?
b. whether the selection standard will vary in the different admission cycle.
c. The number of offers the department of computing/engineering expect to receive this year and compare to the previous two years.
d. Any indication given to admission officers specifically based on the circumstance in 2020

Yours faithfully,

J.Ma

IMPFOI, Imperial College London

Dear Mr Ma,

This is to acknowledge receipt of your request below, made under the Freedom of Information Act. The College will respond to your request by 26 October 2020.

Yours,

Freedom of Information Team
Imperial College London 

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Dear IMPFOI,

To clarify, the admission cycle I refer to is because I have been indicated that Imperial will review applicants in “bulks”. For example, review the applicants from 9/01 to 10/15, then in the next review, you will review applicants from 10/15 to 11/15 etc. Hence I wonder:

1. Is the admission procedure like that? If not, what is it?

2. Does the way of selection varies in difference review stages? For example harder for applicants to get conditional offer because the majority of spaces were taken in the previous review.

Yours sincerely,

J.Ma

IMPFOI, Imperial College London

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Ma,

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request and clarification. Please find below the College’s response to your questions.

Could you please provide the following information for these courses:
HG65
GH56
G400
G401

Please note that HG65 and GH56 are programmes within the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, and G400 and G401 are programmes within the Department of Computing. Each Department is academically independent and sets their own admissions policies and processes, and as such the responses to each of your questions are separated with a heading for each Department.

Please also see the information available for both Departments on the College’s website, under the Selection Process headings:

Selection Process for Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering:
HG65 https://www.imperial.ac.uk/study/ug/cour...

GH56 https://www.imperial.ac.uk/study/ug/cour...

Selection Process for Department of Computing:
G400 https://www.imperial.ac.uk/study/ug/cour...

G401 https://www.imperial.ac.uk/study/ug/cour...

1. The shortlisting (before interviewing) selection criteria for the courses above in 2020.

Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering

All applications received by the Department are assessed by the admissions team, who review the academic record, predicted grades, personal statement and academic reference. The personal statement is a very important part of the selection process as it helps the Department assess the interest in the subject and details of any skills, interests and attributes that demonstrate for aptitude, motivation and interest in the course.

If an applicant meets the entry requirements, and the personal statement shows a clear motivation, the Department will invite the applicant to participate in an interview.

Department of Computing

The Department assesses the predicted or achieved grade information, personal statement, and academic reference.

Applicants demonstrating sufficient potential on their application will be invited to complete an online admissions test, which will test their logical, reasoning and problem-solving skills.

The application and the online test performance are reviewed together and used to determine who will be shortlisted for interview.

2. The interviewing criteria for a conditional offer for the courses above in 2020.

3. Copies of the scoring template the admission officers were given for shortlisting and interviewing in 2020(PDF/Word).

Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering

An interview is likely to focus on general engineering topics, and the applicant’s personal statement as well as their interest in engineering and studying at Imperial College. The completed scored interview form with the application is re-evaluated by the Department’s admission tutor, who then decides if a conditional offer can be made.

Please see document attached from the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, titled IMPFOI-20-477 EEE interview form, which is a pdf of the webform used.

Department of Computing

The interview is a mix of technical questions, questions about the personal statement and questions to gauge motivation for the subject. This provides a final interview score. The admissions tutor will check the interview report and all information in the application form, and then decide whether to make a conditional offer.

The Department of Computing are not willing to disclose the scoring system and scoring forms for assessing applications or interviews, because this would confer an unfair advantage on those applicants that had seen that information (or who were advised by people who had). The scoring is carefully considered to make the admissions process fair and unbiased; disclosure would undermine those objectives. We are therefore withholding this information in reliance on Section 36(2)(C) of the Freedom of Information Act, prejudice to the effective conduct of public affairs.

As Section 36 is a qualified exemption, we have also considered whether the public interest would favour disclosure in this case, despite the factors mentioned above. We recognise that there is an objective public interest in establishing that the College’s admissions process is fair and unbiased. However, there are robust processes in place to enable applicants who have not received an offer and who feel this could be a result of procedural irregularity or bias to challenge that decision. Our view is that the public interest in making sure that some applicants do not receive an unfair advantage over others in Imperial College’s admissions process outweighs the general public interest in transparency in this case. Consequently, the College considers that the public interest would not favour disclosure of the requested information.

4. The policy of admission in 2020, including:

a. how long per admission cycle (specific time scale/date)?

Clarification
To clarify, the admission cycle I refer to is because I have been indicated that Imperial will review applicants in “bulks”. For example, review the applicants from 9/01 to 10/15, then in the next review, you will review applicants from 10/15 to 11/15 etc. Hence I wonder:

1. Is the admission procedure like that? If not, what is it?

2. Does the way of selection varies in difference review stages? For example harder for applicants to get conditional offer because the majority of spaces were taken in the previous review

Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering

If an applicant applies before 15 October then they should expect to hear whether they have been selected for interview by mid-November. If they apply after 15 October, they will receive an acknowledgement that their application has been received. The Department will notify the applicant if they have been selected for interview by mid-February. If the Department decide that the application is not strong enough for the course, the applicant may receive a rejection decision before these dates.
After an applicant has been interviewed, the Department usually aim to let them know the outcome within three weeks.

There is an equal consideration policy for all applications. This means that an applicant who applies on 15 January is as likely to be interviewed and offered a place as one who applies on 1 October.

Department of Computing

All applications are considered that are received between the time applications open and the deadline for closing. The Department does not reject any candidates until the very end of the admissions cycle which means that all applications are considered equally for interview places based on the merits of their application.

b. whether the selection standard will vary in the different admission cycle.

Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering

The Department’s selection criteria for interview has been in place for several years, and the Department are aware that there are concerns that disruption to schooling due to Covid-19 may mean that A level grade predications are lower than would usually be expected. When considering applications, the Department will therefore be looking at both the predicted grades and the information from the school reference regarding the grade predictions. Please note however, that at the time this request was made, the admissions period had not opened, and the Department therefore cannot comment on if or how the actual selection criteria will vary, if at all.

Department of Computing

Not applicable. The Department will continue to look at all aspects of the application as advised above.

c. The number of offers the department of computing/engineering expect to receive this year and compare to the previous two years.

Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering

The Department anticipate making around 450 offers for 180 places overall.

Department of Computing

The Department does not have an offer target.

Please note that admissions statistics, including applications, offers and places confirmed for HG65, GH56, G400 and G401, are available from the following link: https://www.imperial.ac.uk/study/ug/appl...
Please see Table 1 of the Five-Year Undergraduate Admissions Statistics at the foot of the page.

d. Any indication given to admission officers specifically based on the circumstance in 2020

The College will continue to monitor the changing circumstances and adapt accordingly. At the time your request was received, no change in guidance had been provided to admissions officers.

Full information about the College’s response to Covid-19 is available here: https://www.imperial.ac.uk/about/covid-19/

If you are unhappy with the way that we have handled your request, you can ask us to conduct a review. Please make your representation in writing within 40 days of the date you received this response. If you remain dissatisfied with how Imperial College has handled your request, you may then approach the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Yours,

Freedom of Information Team
Imperial College London

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Dear Imperial College London,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Imperial College London's handling of my FOI request 'EEE,EIE,Computing 2020-2021 shortlisting and interviewing criteria/policies'.

Thank you very much for your detailed reply. The information given is very comprehensive and helpful. The only question I have is regarding your saying that "3. Copies of the scoring template the admission officers were given for shortlisting and interviewing in 2020(PDF/Word)."

The template in PDF I received is for assessing the interview performance. I wonder if you have any scoring template or specific criteria when looking at the personal statement/reference letter to help to make shortlisting?

I have seen the information given that "If an applicant meets the entry requirements, and the personal statement shows a clear motivation, the Department will invite the applicant to participate in an interview." Are there more specific criteria/grading system for deciding what can be seen as having the potential and motivation? Or is it based on the admission officer's personal judgement?

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

Yours faithfully,

Jack Ma

IMPFOI, Imperial College London

Dear Mr Ma,

This is to acknowledge receipt of your Internal Review request below. The College will respond to your request by 23 November.

Yours,

Freedom of Information Team
Imperial College London 

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IMPFOI, Imperial College London

Dear Mr Ma,

Thank you for your Internal Review request, below. You were unhappy with
our response to your FOI request, our reference IMPFOI-20-477, because we
did not provide details of the scoring templates the admission officers
use to shortlist applicants.

I have consulted the Computing and Electrical and Electronic Engineering
departments. The departments are not willing to disclose the scoring
system and scoring forms for assessing applications because this would
confer an unfair advantage on those applicants that had seen that
information. The scoring is carefully considered to make the admissions
process fair and unbiased; disclosure would undermine those objectives. We
are therefore withholding this information in reliance on Section 36(2)(C)
of the Freedom of Information Act, prejudice to the effective conduct of
public affairs. As Section 36 is a qualified exemption, we have also
considered whether the public interest would favour disclosure in this
case, despite the factors mentioned above. We recognise that there is an
objective public interest in establishing that the College’s admissions
process is fair and unbiased. However, there are robust processes in place
to enable applicants who have not received an offer and who feel this
could be a result of procedural irregularity or bias to challenge that
decision. Our view is that the public interest in making sure that some
applicants do not receive an unfair advantage over others in Imperial
College’s admissions process outweighs the general public interest in
transparency in this case. Consequently, the College considers that the
public interest would not favour disclosure of the requested information.

I apologise that the College’s position on disclosure of the scoring
system and scoring forms for assessing applications was not made clear in
our response to your FOI request. If you are unhappy with the outcome of
my review of your request, you have the right to complain to the
[1]Information Commissioner’s Office.

Yours,

 

Anita Hunt

Access to Information Manager

Central Secretariat

[2]Imperial College London  I South Kensington Campus I Faculty Building
Level 4 I London SW7 2AZ

Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 5107

 

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