Information for postgraduate programmes of 2020/19, 2019/18admission cycle

The request was successful.

Dear University of Manchester,

1. For the 2020/19, 2019/18 academic years – please detail a list of
postgraduate degrees (degree title/award) that are being run by your institution.

2. Please detail the number of applicants to each course listed in
part one, the number of offers made per course and the number of
students who ended up enrolling on each course.

Yours faithfully,

Amber

MTRS FOIA, University of Manchester

Dear Amber,

According to Section 8 (1) (b) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, a request must state the name of the applicant. Without this, a request is not deemed to be valid under the Act and we are therefore unable to process it.

As such, please can you provide your full name to validate your request. We are unable to accept 'Amber' as a valid name, without a surname to accompany it.

Kind regards

Sharon

Sharon Glen | Information Officer | Information Governance Office | Directorate of Compliance and Risk |Professional Services | G7 Christie Building | The University of Manchester | Oxford Road | Manchester | M13 9PL | Tel +44(0) 161 306 7549| www.manchester.ac.uk

We are all responsible for protecting personal data held by the University, including who we share that data with. Stop and think before you send your email.  For further guidance see: www.dataprotection.manchester.ac.uk

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Dear MTRS FOIA,
I’m so sorry about my error in not proving the full name.
It’s my honor to get your help!
Thank you so much!

Yours sincerely,

Amber White

MTRS FOIA, University of Manchester

No problem Amber.

The University will provide a response within 20 working days.

NB Due to the current situation with the Covid-19 virus and the University’s response to it, there may be a delay in receiving your response at this time.

Kind regards

Sharon

Sharon Glen | Information Officer | Information Governance Office | Directorate of Compliance and Risk |Professional Services | G7 Christie Building | The University of Manchester | Oxford Road | Manchester | M13 9PL | Tel +44(0) 161 306 7549| www.manchester.ac.uk

We are all responsible for protecting personal data held by the University, including who we share that data with. Stop and think before you send your email.  For further guidance see: www.dataprotection.manchester.ac.uk

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MTRS FOIA, University of Manchester

3 Attachments

Dear Amber,

 

Thank you for your request for information received by The University of
Manchester on 08 June 2020 which was as follows:

 

1. For the 2020/19, 2019/18 academic years – please detail a list of
postgraduate degrees (degree title/award) that are being run by your
institution.

 

2. Please detail the number of applicants to each course listed in part
one, the number of offers made per course and the number of students who
ended up enrolling on each course.

 

The University has now considered your request and our response can be
found below.

 

1.       Please find the relevant lists attached.  

 

2.       This information is deemed to be exempt from disclosure by virtue
of the listed exemption at Section 43 (2) of the Freedom of Information
Act 2000 (FOIA) – Commercial Interests. Please see the formal refusal
notice below for further details.

 

Refusal Notice

 

This Refusal Notice has been issued under Section 17 (1) of the Freedom of
Information Act (FOIA). Under Section 1 (1) of the FOIA The University of
Manchester confirms that the information requested is held but we are
refusing to provide it in response to your request for the reasons set out
below.

 

Section 43 (2) – Commercial Interests

 

Information is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would,
or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of any person
(including the public authority holding it).

 

We are applying Section 43 (2) as a prejudice-based exemption.  We may
rely on this exemption if the disclosure would prejudice someone’s
commercial interests (including the University’s own).  Commercial
interests may be prejudiced where a disclosure would be likely to:

 

·         Damage its business reputation or the confidence that customers,
suppliers or investors may have in it

·         Have a detrimental impact on its commercial revenue or threaten
its ability to obtain supplies or secure finance

·         Weaken its position in a competitive environment by revealing
market sensitive information or information of potential usefulness to its
competitors.

 

It is the latter of these three points that The University of Manchester
feels is relevant to this request. To determine where the public interest
lies with regard to this exemption, we have previously liaised extensively
with relevant staff in the University regarding requests of this nature,
including the Director of Student Recruitment & International Development
(who is also Chair of the University’s Intake Management Group), the Heads
of Teaching, Learning and the Student Experience in Faculties (notably FSE
and Humanities as the largest recruiters both in terms of numbers of
programmes and numbers of students) as well as the University’s Head of
Student Data, Analysis and Records.

 

All felt that releasing applicant, offer and enrolment information at
course level would impact on the University’s competitive advantage and
would therefore prejudice our commercial interests. Providing information
on the level of applications, offers and enrolments at course level would
give a new or existing competitor key information about our programmes.
This could enable them to either start a new course themselves (by
identifying a perceived gap in the market which could then impact on our
numbers of applications, offers and/or acceptances thus meaning less
students/income for us) or to more aggressively compete with us/poach from
us (as they identify they could be able to gain a bigger share of the
market which could then impact on our numbers of applications, and
subsequent offers and/or acceptances thus meaning less students/income for
us). Any disclosure under the FOIA is considered as a disclosure to the
world, so whereas it may not be your intention to use the information in
this way, it must be an important factor in our considerations. It has
been highly publicised recently that the current situation with the
Coronavirus is impacting greatly on the competitive environment in which
universities operate and therefore it is arguably even more important at
this time that we do not take any action that may further impact on our
position in a competitive market.

 

Public Interest Test

 

As Section 43(2) is a qualified exemption we are required to carry out a
public interest test to determine if the commercial interest is overridden
by the public interest from a release of the information concerned.

 

Factors in Favour of Disclosure

There is public interest in disclosing applications and admissions data.
To do so would ensure that members of the public can be satisfied that the
University of Manchester is open and transparent.  It may also assist
public debate with regard to the issue of student recruitment and offer
making.

 

Factors Against Disclosure

Universities operate in an ever and increasingly competitive environment
and as such, the University would not wish to disclose information that
would be likely to prejudice our commercial interests and our position
within this environment.

 

Therefore, we believe that for the reasons outlined above, the balance
lies in maintaining the exemption at this time.

 

If you feel that The University of Manchester has refused access to
information to which you are entitled, or has not dealt with your request
appropriately under the FOIA, you have a right of appeal.

 

An appeal in the first instance should be directed to the Information
Governance Office at [1][email address]. You should include: 

·         details of your initial request

·         any other relevant information

 

You must make this appeal within 40 working days from receipt of your
response. We will not accept appeals received after this date, as per the
Freedom of Information Code of Practice, Section 5.3.

 

The University will deal with your appeal within a reasonable time, and
will inform you of the projected time scale on receipt of your complaint.
You are also welcome to contact the Information Governance Office with
informal questions about the handling of your request. 

 

After The University’s internal appeals procedure has been exhausted, you
have a further right of appeal to the Information Commissioner’s
Office. Details of this procedure can be found at [2]www.ico.org.uk.

 

Kind regards

 

Sharon

 

Sharon Glen | Information Officer | Information Governance Office |
Directorate of Compliance and Risk |Professional Services | G7 Christie
Building | The University of Manchester | Oxford Road | Manchester | M13
9PL | Tel +44(0) 161 306 7549| [3]www.manchester.ac.uk

[4]data_matters_logo2-(3)

We are all responsible for protecting personal data held by the
University, including who we share that data with. Stop and think before
you send your email.  For further guidance see:
[5]www.dataprotection.manchester.ac.uk

 

References

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