Law Admissions - Clearing 2018

George Mounokoliavitz made this Freedom of Information request to Aston University

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

George Mounokoliavitz

Dear Aston University,

Please provide the following admissions data in relation to the law-related courses that were offered by your university in UCAS Clearing 2018 (i.e. any courses with course code M1xx):

1. The total number of candidates who applied for one of these courses through Clearing;
2. The number of candidates whose applications through Clearing were accepted.

For the candidates whose applications were accepted through Clearing:

3. The number of candidates who achieved AAA or above at A-level;
4. The number of candidates who achieved AAB;
5. The number of candidates who achieved ABB;
6. The number of candidates who achieved BBB;
7. The number of candidates who achieved BBC;
8. The number of candidates who achieved BCC;
9. The number of candidates who achieved CCC;
10. The number of candidates who achieved CCD;
11. The number of candidates who achieved CDD;
12. The number of candidates who achieved DDD or below.

If no candidate achieved one of the grades, please insert ‘0’ or ‘N/A’ as a response. Please exclude data related to UCAS Adjustment from your response.

Yours faithfully,

George Mounokoliavitz

FOI Requests, Aston University

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Mounokoliavitz

Our ref: FOI/1819/237

Thank you for your email of 18 July 2019. Your request will be dealt with
under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and will be
answered within twenty working days of receipt. We will endeavour to
provide the information as early as possible.

If you have any queries about this request please do not hesitate to
contact us, quoting the reference number above.

Kind regards.

Yours sincerely,

Alice Mineyko

 

Alice Mineyko

Counsel

Office of the General Counsel

 

[1]cid:image001.png@01D4BA19.E69D8A60

 

Aston Triangle

Birmingham B4 7ET

 

[2]www.aston.ac.uk

 

The contents of this email and any attachments may be privileged and are
confidential.  It may not be disclosed to or used by anyone other than the
addressee, nor copied in any way.  If received in error, please notify the
sender and then delete it from your system.  Aston University does not
accept service by email.

 

From: George Mounokoliavitz
[mailto:[FOI #589950 email]]
Sent: 18 July 2019 00:51
To: FOI Requests <[Aston University request email]>
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Law Admissions - Clearing 2018

 

Dear Aston University,

 

Please provide the following admissions data in relation to the
law-related courses that were offered by your university in UCAS Clearing
2018 (i.e. any courses with course code M1xx):

 

1. The total number of candidates who applied for one of these courses
through Clearing; 2. The number of candidates whose applications through
Clearing were accepted.

 

For the candidates whose applications were accepted through Clearing:

 

3. The number of candidates who achieved AAA or above at A-level; 4. The
number of candidates who achieved AAB; 5. The number of candidates who
achieved ABB; 6. The number of candidates who achieved BBB; 7. The number
of candidates who achieved BBC; 8. The number of candidates who achieved
BCC; 9. The number of candidates who achieved CCC; 10. The number of
candidates who achieved CCD; 11. The number of candidates who achieved
CDD; 12. The number of candidates who achieved DDD or below.

 

If no candidate achieved one of the grades, please insert ‘0’ or ‘N/A’ as
a response. Please exclude data related to UCAS Adjustment from your
response.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

George Mounokoliavitz

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------

 

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[3][FOI #589950 email]

 

Is [4][Aston University request email] the wrong address for Freedom of
Information requests to Aston University? If so, please contact us using
this form:

[5]https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlo...

 

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References

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2. http://www.aston.ac.uk/
3. mailto:[FOI #589950 email]
4. mailto:[Aston University request email]
5. https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlo...
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7. https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlo...

FOI Requests, Aston University

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Mounokoliavitz

Our ref: FOI/1819/237

Further to our email below, the University intends to use the extension
available under section 10(3) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. 
This gives public bodies the right to extend the deadline for response to
FOI requests by up to 20 working days in order to consider the
applicability of the Public Interest Test.  We need to do this because we
believe that the information requested may be exempt under section 43(2)
of the Freedom of Information Act as it is commercially sensitive to the
University, and we require additional time to consider the balance of the
public interest.  We will respond as soon as possible within this extended
timeframe, but no later than 13 September 2019.

Kind regards.

Yours sincerely,

Alice Mineyko

 

Alice Mineyko

Counsel

Office of the General Counsel

 

[1]cid:image001.png@01D4BA19.E69D8A60

 

Aston Triangle

Birmingham B4 7ET

 

T:  0121 204 4055

E:  [2][email address]

 

[3]www.aston.ac.uk

 

The contents of this email and any attachments may be privileged and are
confidential.  It may not be disclosed to or used by anyone other than the
addressee, nor copied in any way.  If received in error, please notify the
sender and then delete it from your system.  Aston University does not
accept service by email.

 

From: FOI Requests
Sent: 19 July 2019 13:10
To: George Mounokoliavitz <[FOI #589950 email]>
Subject: RE: Freedom of Information request - Law Admissions - Clearing
2018

 

Dear Mr Mounokoliavitz

Our ref: FOI/1819/237

Thank you for your email of 18 July 2019. Your request will be dealt with
under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and will be
answered within twenty working days of receipt. We will endeavour to
provide the information as early as possible.

If you have any queries about this request please do not hesitate to
contact us, quoting the reference number above.

Kind regards.

Yours sincerely,

Alice Mineyko

 

Alice Mineyko

Counsel

Office of the General Counsel

 

[4]cid:image001.png@01D4BA19.E69D8A60

 

Aston Triangle

Birmingham B4 7ET

 

[5]www.aston.ac.uk

 

The contents of this email and any attachments may be privileged and are
confidential.  It may not be disclosed to or used by anyone other than the
addressee, nor copied in any way.  If received in error, please notify the
sender and then delete it from your system.  Aston University does not
accept service by email.

 

From: George Mounokoliavitz
[[6]mailto:[FOI #589950 email]]
Sent: 18 July 2019 00:51
To: FOI Requests <[7][Aston University request email]>
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Law Admissions - Clearing 2018

 

Dear Aston University,

 

Please provide the following admissions data in relation to the
law-related courses that were offered by your university in UCAS Clearing
2018 (i.e. any courses with course code M1xx):

 

1. The total number of candidates who applied for one of these courses
through Clearing; 2. The number of candidates whose applications through
Clearing were accepted.

 

For the candidates whose applications were accepted through Clearing:

 

3. The number of candidates who achieved AAA or above at A-level; 4. The
number of candidates who achieved AAB; 5. The number of candidates who
achieved ABB; 6. The number of candidates who achieved BBB; 7. The number
of candidates who achieved BBC; 8. The number of candidates who achieved
BCC; 9. The number of candidates who achieved CCC; 10. The number of
candidates who achieved CCD; 11. The number of candidates who achieved
CDD; 12. The number of candidates who achieved DDD or below.

 

If no candidate achieved one of the grades, please insert ‘0’ or ‘N/A’ as
a response. Please exclude data related to UCAS Adjustment from your
response.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

George Mounokoliavitz

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Please use this email address for all replies to this request:

[8][FOI #589950 email]

 

Is [9][Aston University request email] the wrong address for Freedom of
Information requests to Aston University? If so, please contact us using
this form:

[10]https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlo...

 

Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be published on
the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:

[11]https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlo...

 

For more detailed guidance on safely disclosing information, read the
latest advice from the ICO:

[12]https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlo...

 

Please note that in some cases publication of requests and responses will
be delayed.

 

If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your web
manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.

 

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------

References

Visible links
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3. http://www.aston.ac.uk/
5. http://www.aston.ac.uk/
6. mailto:[FOI #589950 email]
7. mailto:[Aston University request email]
8. mailto:[FOI #589950 email]
9. mailto:[Aston University request email]
10. https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlo...
11. https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlo...
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FOI Requests, Aston University

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Mounokoliavitz

 

Please find attached our response to your request for information.

 

Kind regards.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Alice Mineyko

 

Alice Mineyko

Counsel

Office of the General Counsel

 

[1]cid:image001.png@01D4BA19.E69D8A60

 

Aston Triangle

Birmingham B4 7ET

 

[2]www.aston.ac.uk

 

The contents of this email and any attachments may be privileged and are
confidential.  It may not be disclosed to or used by anyone other than the
addressee, nor copied in any way.  If received in error, please notify the
sender and then delete it from your system.  Aston University does not
accept service by email.

 

From: George Mounokoliavitz
[mailto:[FOI #589950 email]]
Sent: 18 July 2019 00:51
To: FOI Requests <[Aston University request email]>
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Law Admissions - Clearing 2018

 

Dear Aston University,

 

Please provide the following admissions data in relation to the
law-related courses that were offered by your university in UCAS Clearing
2018 (i.e. any courses with course code M1xx):

 

1. The total number of candidates who applied for one of these courses
through Clearing; 2. The number of candidates whose applications through
Clearing were accepted.

 

For the candidates whose applications were accepted through Clearing:

 

3. The number of candidates who achieved AAA or above at A-level; 4. The
number of candidates who achieved AAB; 5. The number of candidates who
achieved ABB; 6. The number of candidates who achieved BBB; 7. The number
of candidates who achieved BBC; 8. The number of candidates who achieved
BCC; 9. The number of candidates who achieved CCC; 10. The number of
candidates who achieved CCD; 11. The number of candidates who achieved
CDD; 12. The number of candidates who achieved DDD or below.

 

If no candidate achieved one of the grades, please insert ‘0’ or ‘N/A’ as
a response. Please exclude data related to UCAS Adjustment from your
response.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

George Mounokoliavitz

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Please use this email address for all replies to this request:

[3][FOI #589950 email]

 

Is [4][Aston University request email] the wrong address for Freedom of
Information requests to Aston University? If so, please contact us using
this form:

[5]https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlo...

 

Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be published on
the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:

[6]https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlo...

 

For more detailed guidance on safely disclosing information, read the
latest advice from the ICO:

[7]https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlo...

 

Please note that in some cases publication of requests and responses will
be delayed.

 

If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your web
manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.

 

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------

References

Visible links
2. http://www.aston.ac.uk/
3. mailto:[FOI #589950 email]
4. mailto:[Aston University request email]
5. https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlo...
6. https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlo...
7. https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlo...

George Mounokoliavitz

Dear Aston University,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Aston University's handling of my FOI request 'Law Admissions - Clearing 2018'. A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/l....

My request for data that related to Clearing was denied on the following basis:

"We confirm that we hold the information requested in these questions, but we
consider that it would be contrary to the commercial interests of the University to
release it.
Information on how many students are recruited through clearing and the
University’s grade expectations for specific courses could be used by our
competitors to identify trends in relation to the success of the University’s
recruitment strategies. This would be likely to provide them with a competitive
advantage, which in turn would be likely to harm the financial position of the
University.
In particular, our competitors would be able to use information contained in
separate FOIs for different years to work out trends in the University’s
recruitment, in particular whether the grades of accepted students were moving
higher or lower, and how many places were available through clearing year on
year. As all FOI responses are by default in the public domain, we consider that
there is a high risk of such information becoming available and being sought out
for these purposes.
We therefore claim the exemption available under section 43(2) of the Freedom
of Information Act 2000 and will not be releasing the information.
We have considered carefully whether it would be in the public interest for us to
provide you with the information, despite the section 43(2) exemption being
applicable. The University acknowledges that there is a legitimate public interest
in the interests of transparency and accountability. However, there is also a
public interest in protecting the ability of universities to compete on a level
playing field and to ensure that there is fair competition between them. We have
concluded that the balance of the public interest in this case lies in withholding
this information."

I would like to seek a review of these grounds for refusal for the following reasons:

Reason 1: The data I am requesting is less commercially 'useful' to rival institutions than suggested in your refusal notice.

a) Rival institutions can already find out whether your university is in Clearing for Law at all by checking the UCAS Clearing website, which lists all courses that are open for any given year. Data on past years can be obtained through a web archive portal (such as that run by the British LIbrary: https://www.bl.uk/collection-guides/), access to which is also available for free.

b) UCAS publishes data on the number of students accepted outside of the Main Scheme each year. This data is available through the UCAS website for free, and goes back to 2007. The data is accessible here: https://www.ucas.com/file/208736/ (the relevant document is named EOC_data_resource_2018-DR4_017_01.csv). Thus, a rival institution that wishes to access said data in order to estimate just how many students enrol at your university following admission through UCAS Extra or Clearing is free to do so irrespective of my request.

c) Other information regarding the selectivity of the law course can be accessed online. All league tables contain information on the entry tariff of the average student who enrolled for a law course at the university. The website university.which.co.uk contains further information on offer rates and common subjects studied among students who have enrolled. Hence, the revelation that x many students enrolled for a law course at the university through Clearing is unlikely to change students’ or rival institutions’ perception of the law course or the university as a whole, and thus make it more or less desirable.

Reason 2: Many of the specific reasons provided by the university in its 13th September letter are no longer valid:

a) Competitors can already gain an insight into the movement of student grades across multiple intakes by consulting the Unistats dataset, past versions of which can be requested from HESA free of charge. The Unistats dataset contains a detailed breakdown of the entry tariff across the entire cohort (not just the relatively few individuals accepted through Clearing), and offers further information on the type of qualifications (A-Levels, Scottish Highers, the IB, etc.) held by the students who enrolled.

I also note that this data has limited predictive value, as it only covers one admissions cycle (2017/18), and will be two years out of date by the time it becomes commercially useful (Clearing 2020).

b) Competitors, even after the release of this data, would only have a partial insight into your recruitment strategy. They would still not know the degree to which you target different individuals from different school, academic or national backgrounds, and the degree to which this is successful. They would still not know the events, methods or channels that were used by the university to attract students with a certain academic profile. And they would still be able to view some of the university's recruitment strategy by e.g. viewing its publicly available promotional material through its website or through social media channels.

c) The 'level playing field' point is no longer valid. This summer, I have successfully requested data from several dozen institution using the exact same questions/format. The data they have provided is in the public domain, and can be browsed/accessed through my profile on whatdotheyknow.com (https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/user/geor...). If anything, a refusal on your behalf would result in a playing field that is not level, as you are in a position to view the data that these other universities have released, but without sacrificing your own data in order to do so.

I look forward to hearing about the outcome of this internal review.

Yours faithfully,

George Mounokoliavitz

FOI Requests, Aston University

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Mounokoliavitz

 

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

 

Kind regards.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Alice Mineyko

 

Alice Mineyko

Counsel

Office of the General Counsel

 

[1]cid:image001.png@01D4BA19.E69D8A60

 

Aston Triangle

Birmingham B4 7ET

 

[2]www.aston.ac.uk

 

The contents of this email and any attachments may be privileged and are
confidential.  It may not be disclosed to or used by anyone other than the
addressee, nor copied in any way.  If received in error, please notify the
sender and then delete it from your system.  Aston University does not
accept service by email.

 

From: George Mounokoliavitz
[mailto:[FOI #589950 email]]
Sent: 14 September 2019 10:43
To: FOI Requests <[Aston University request email]>
Subject: Internal review of Freedom of Information request - Law
Admissions - Clearing 2018

 

Dear Aston University,

 

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

 

I am writing to request an internal review of Aston University's handling
of my FOI request 'Law Admissions - Clearing 2018'. A full history of my
FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this
address:
[3]https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlo....

 

My request for data that related to Clearing was denied on the following
basis:

 

"We confirm that we hold the information requested in these questions, but
we consider that it would be contrary to the commercial interests of the
University to release it.

Information on how many students are recruited through clearing and the
University’s grade expectations for specific courses could be used by our
competitors to identify trends in relation to the success of the
University’s recruitment strategies. This would be likely to provide them
with a competitive advantage, which in turn would be likely to harm the
financial position of the University.

In particular, our competitors would be able to use information contained
in separate FOIs for different years to work out trends in the
University’s recruitment, in particular whether the grades of accepted
students were moving higher or lower, and how many places were available
through clearing year on year. As all FOI responses are by default in the
public domain, we consider that there is a high risk of such information
becoming available and being sought out for these purposes.

We therefore claim the exemption available under section 43(2) of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 and will not be releasing the information.

We have considered carefully whether it would be in the public interest
for us to provide you with the information, despite the section 43(2)
exemption being applicable. The University acknowledges that there is a
legitimate public interest in the interests of transparency and
accountability. However, there is also a public interest in protecting the
ability of universities to compete on a level playing field and to ensure
that there is fair competition between them. We have concluded that the
balance of the public interest in this case lies in withholding this
information."

 

I would like to seek a review of these grounds for refusal for the
following reasons:

 

Reason 1: The data I am requesting is less commercially 'useful' to rival
institutions than suggested in your refusal notice.

 

a) Rival institutions can already find out whether your university is in
Clearing for Law at all by checking the UCAS Clearing website, which lists
all courses that are open for any given year. Data on past years can be
obtained through a web archive portal (such as that run by the British
LIbrary:
[4]https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlo...),
access to which is also available for free.

 

b) UCAS publishes data on the number of students accepted outside of the
Main Scheme each year. This data is available through the UCAS website for
free, and goes back to 2007. The data is accessible here:
[5]https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlo...
(the relevant document is named EOC_data_resource_2018-DR4_017_01.csv).
Thus, a rival institution that wishes to access said data in order to
estimate just how many students enrol at your university following
admission through UCAS Extra or Clearing is free to do so irrespective of
my request.

 

c) Other information regarding the selectivity of the law course can be
accessed online. All league tables contain information on the entry tariff
of the average student who enrolled for a law course at the university.
The website university.which.co.uk contains further information on offer
rates and common subjects studied among students who have enrolled. Hence,
the revelation that x many students enrolled for a law course at the
university through Clearing is unlikely to change students’ or rival
institutions’ perception of the law course or the university as a whole,
and thus make it more or less desirable.

 

Reason 2: Many of the specific reasons provided by the university in its
13th September letter are no longer valid:

 

a) Competitors can already gain an insight into the movement of student
grades across multiple intakes by consulting the Unistats dataset, past
versions of which can be requested from HESA free of charge. The Unistats
dataset contains a detailed breakdown of the entry tariff across the
entire cohort (not just the relatively few individuals accepted through
Clearing), and offers further information on the type of qualifications
(A-Levels, Scottish Highers, the IB, etc.) held by the students who
enrolled.

 

I also note that this data has limited predictive value, as it only covers
one admissions cycle (2017/18), and will be two years out of date by the
time it becomes commercially useful (Clearing 2020).

 

b) Competitors, even after the release of this data, would only have a
partial insight into your recruitment strategy. They would still not know
the degree to which you target different individuals from different
school, academic or national backgrounds, and the degree to which this is
successful. They would still not know the events, methods or channels that
were used by the university to attract students with a certain academic
profile. And they would still be able to view some of the university's
recruitment strategy by e.g. viewing its publicly available promotional
material through its website or through social media channels.

 

c) The 'level playing field' point is no longer valid. This summer, I have
successfully requested data from several dozen institution using the exact
same questions/format. The data they have provided is in the public
domain, and can be browsed/accessed through my profile on
whatdotheyknow.com
([6]https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlo...).
If anything, a refusal on your behalf would result in a playing field that
is not level, as you are in a position to view the data that these other
universities have released, but without sacrificing your own data in order
to do so.

 

I look forward to hearing about the outcome of this internal review.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

George Mounokoliavitz

 

 

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Please use this email address for all replies to this request:

[7][FOI #589950 email]

 

Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be published on
the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:

[8]https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlo...

 

For more detailed guidance on safely disclosing information, read the
latest advice from the ICO:

[9]https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlo...

 

Please note that in some cases publication of requests and responses will
be delayed.

 

If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your web
manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------

References

Visible links
2. http://www.aston.ac.uk/
3. https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlo...
4. https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlo...
5. https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlo...
6. https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlo...
7. mailto:[FOI #589950 email]
8. https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlo...
9. https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlo...

FOI Requests, Aston University

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Mounokoliavitz

 

Please find attached our response to your request for an internal review
of our FOI response.

 

Kind regards.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Alice Mineyko

 

Alice Mineyko

Counsel

Office of the General Counsel

 

[1]cid:image001.png@01D4BA19.E69D8A60

 

Aston Triangle

Birmingham B4 7ET

 

[2]www.aston.ac.uk

 

The contents of this email and any attachments may be privileged and are
confidential.  It may not be disclosed to or used by anyone other than the
addressee, nor copied in any way.  If received in error, please notify the
sender and then delete it from your system.  Aston University does not
accept service by email.

 

From: George Mounokoliavitz
[mailto:[FOI #589950 email]]
Sent: 14 September 2019 10:43
To: FOI Requests <[Aston University request email]>
Subject: Internal review of Freedom of Information request - Law
Admissions - Clearing 2018

 

Dear Aston University,

 

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

 

I am writing to request an internal review of Aston University's handling
of my FOI request 'Law Admissions - Clearing 2018'. A full history of my
FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this
address:
[3]https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlo....

 

My request for data that related to Clearing was denied on the following
basis:

 

"We confirm that we hold the information requested in these questions, but
we consider that it would be contrary to the commercial interests of the
University to release it.

Information on how many students are recruited through clearing and the
University’s grade expectations for specific courses could be used by our
competitors to identify trends in relation to the success of the
University’s recruitment strategies. This would be likely to provide them
with a competitive advantage, which in turn would be likely to harm the
financial position of the University.

In particular, our competitors would be able to use information contained
in separate FOIs for different years to work out trends in the
University’s recruitment, in particular whether the grades of accepted
students were moving higher or lower, and how many places were available
through clearing year on year. As all FOI responses are by default in the
public domain, we consider that there is a high risk of such information
becoming available and being sought out for these purposes.

We therefore claim the exemption available under section 43(2) of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 and will not be releasing the information.

We have considered carefully whether it would be in the public interest
for us to provide you with the information, despite the section 43(2)
exemption being applicable. The University acknowledges that there is a
legitimate public interest in the interests of transparency and
accountability. However, there is also a public interest in protecting the
ability of universities to compete on a level playing field and to ensure
that there is fair competition between them. We have concluded that the
balance of the public interest in this case lies in withholding this
information."

 

I would like to seek a review of these grounds for refusal for the
following reasons:

 

Reason 1: The data I am requesting is less commercially 'useful' to rival
institutions than suggested in your refusal notice.

 

a) Rival institutions can already find out whether your university is in
Clearing for Law at all by checking the UCAS Clearing website, which lists
all courses that are open for any given year. Data on past years can be
obtained through a web archive portal (such as that run by the British
LIbrary:
[4]https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlo...),
access to which is also available for free.

 

b) UCAS publishes data on the number of students accepted outside of the
Main Scheme each year. This data is available through the UCAS website for
free, and goes back to 2007. The data is accessible here:
[5]https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlo...
(the relevant document is named EOC_data_resource_2018-DR4_017_01.csv).
Thus, a rival institution that wishes to access said data in order to
estimate just how many students enrol at your university following
admission through UCAS Extra or Clearing is free to do so irrespective of
my request.

 

c) Other information regarding the selectivity of the law course can be
accessed online. All league tables contain information on the entry tariff
of the average student who enrolled for a law course at the university.
The website university.which.co.uk contains further information on offer
rates and common subjects studied among students who have enrolled. Hence,
the revelation that x many students enrolled for a law course at the
university through Clearing is unlikely to change students’ or rival
institutions’ perception of the law course or the university as a whole,
and thus make it more or less desirable.

 

Reason 2: Many of the specific reasons provided by the university in its
13th September letter are no longer valid:

 

a) Competitors can already gain an insight into the movement of student
grades across multiple intakes by consulting the Unistats dataset, past
versions of which can be requested from HESA free of charge. The Unistats
dataset contains a detailed breakdown of the entry tariff across the
entire cohort (not just the relatively few individuals accepted through
Clearing), and offers further information on the type of qualifications
(A-Levels, Scottish Highers, the IB, etc.) held by the students who
enrolled.

 

I also note that this data has limited predictive value, as it only covers
one admissions cycle (2017/18), and will be two years out of date by the
time it becomes commercially useful (Clearing 2020).

 

b) Competitors, even after the release of this data, would only have a
partial insight into your recruitment strategy. They would still not know
the degree to which you target different individuals from different
school, academic or national backgrounds, and the degree to which this is
successful. They would still not know the events, methods or channels that
were used by the university to attract students with a certain academic
profile. And they would still be able to view some of the university's
recruitment strategy by e.g. viewing its publicly available promotional
material through its website or through social media channels.

 

c) The 'level playing field' point is no longer valid. This summer, I have
successfully requested data from several dozen institution using the exact
same questions/format. The data they have provided is in the public
domain, and can be browsed/accessed through my profile on
whatdotheyknow.com
([6]https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlo...).
If anything, a refusal on your behalf would result in a playing field that
is not level, as you are in a position to view the data that these other
universities have released, but without sacrificing your own data in order
to do so.

 

I look forward to hearing about the outcome of this internal review.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

George Mounokoliavitz

 

 

 

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