Masters

Mr Park made this Freedom of Information request to Imperial College London

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 successful.

Dear Imperial College London,

Could you please provide for the following masters courses:

* MSc Environmental Engineering
* MSc Hydrology and Business Management
* MSc Hydrology and Water Resources Management
* MSc Soil Mechanics
* MSc Petroleum Geoscience; and
* MSc Environmental Technology

1. What the total number of applicants, offers, and acceptances were for each respective master's program for the academic years 2015-16 and 2016-17.
2. The number of full time and part time students for each respective master's program for the academic years 2015-16 and 2016-17.
3. The past exam papers taken by the students on the above master's courses for each course for the academic years 2015-16 and 2016-17.

Yours faithfully,

Mr Park

IMPFOI, Imperial College London

To Mr Park,

To be valid under the FOIA, a request must fulfil the criteria set out in Section 8 of the Act, which includes the requester providing enough of their real name to give anyone reading that request a reasonable indication of their identity. Please provide your first name so that your request can be valid.

Kind regards,
Alex Fisher

show quoted sections

Dear IMPFOI,

As noted in the Information Commissioner Guidance (see paragraph 25 of the guidance at https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio...) a title and surname fulfils the identification requirement under the Act.

Please proceed with my request and if you require any additional information please ask.

Yours sincerely,

Mr Park

IMPFOI, Imperial College London

Dear Mr Park,

This is to acknowledge receipt of your request below, made under the Freedom of Information Act. The College aims to respond to your request within twenty working days of receipt of your request.

We will contact you again in due course.

Kind regards,
Alex Fisher

show quoted sections

Dear IMPFOI,

The freedom of information request is now overdue by a week. Please can you provide the information as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely,

Mr Park

IMPFOI, Imperial College London

Dear Mr Park,

Thank you for your email.

I apologise for the delay. We are in the process of preparing a response to your request and will write to you again shortly.

Kind regards
Alex Fisher

show quoted sections

Dear IMPFOI,

The information requested is now two weeks over due. Can you provide an ETA for the information and explain the reason for the delay.

Yours sincerely,

Mr Park

IMPFOI, Imperial College London

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Park,

Thank you for your recent FOI request.

Please find below the College's response to your questions.

Could you please provide for the following masters courses:

* MSc Environmental Engineering
* MSc Hydrology and Business Management
* MSc Hydrology and Water Resources Management
* MSc Soil Mechanics
* MSc Petroleum Geoscience; and
* MSc Environmental Technology

1. What the total number of applicants, offers, and acceptances were for each respective master's program for the academic years 2015-16 and 2016-17.

Please see table 1 in the attached spreadsheet.

Figures of five or fewer (including zero) have been replaced with an asterisk. This is because, due to the small numbers involved, individuals may otherwise be identifiable from the data provided. This information is therefore exempt from disclosure under Section 40 (2) of the Freedom of Information Act, which states that "any information to which a request for information relates is also exempt information if - (a) it constitutes personal data."

2. The number of full time and part time students for each respective master's program for the academic years 2015-16 and 2016-17.

Please see table 2 in the attached spreadsheet.

Figures of five or fewer have been replaced with an asterisk. This is because, due to the small numbers involved, individuals may otherwise be identifiable from the data provided. This information is therefore exempt from disclosure under Section 40 (2) of the Freedom of Information Act, which states that "any information to which a request for information relates is also exempt information if - (a) it constitutes personal data."

3. The past exam papers taken by the students on the above master's courses for each course for the academic years 2015-16 and 2016-17.

Please see the attached exam papers.

The 2016/17 MSc Environmental Engineering and MSc Hydrology and Water Resource Management exam papers cannot be provided. This is because the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department may reuse questions at a later date. Consequently, the provision of the examination papers would undermine the integrity of the examination and assessment process within the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering through conferring an unfair advantage on individuals who viewed the papers, and disadvantage those who did not. This would have an adverse effect on the College's ability to fairly assess the academic achievement of students in the Department and would likely prejudice public confidence in the College's assessment processes and the validity of our degree awards.

As the Department would not be able to reuse the questions on the papers (if they were disclosed) for the reasons set out above, the disclosure of these papers would be disruptive and necessitate the preparation of entirely new papers. This would increase the burden not only on staff within the Department, but also on individuals external to the College who act as the Department's external examiners (who would need to review and approve the new papers). This would be disproportionate given the number of students involved in taking re-entry examinations.

Consequently the College considers the disclosure of the requested information to be exempt under section 36(2)(C) of the Freedom of Information Act, as the disclosure of the 2016/17 MSc Environmental Engineering and MSc Hydrology and Water Resource Management papers would prejudice the effective conduct of public affairs.

As section 36 is a qualified exemption, we have also undertaken a public interest test. Although the College recognises past papers can assist students in their learning, and that there is a public interest in the standards of course testing at the College, it is the College’s view that, for the reasons outlined above, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in this information.

I am obliged, under the Freedom of Information Act, to inform you of our complaints procedures in case you are unhappy about the way in which your request has been dealt with. If you wish to complain about this response, you should contact the College Secretary at the address below.

The College Secretary
Imperial College London
Exhibition Road
London
SW7 2AZ
E-mail: [email address]

If you are unhappy about the way in which the College Secretary handles your complaint then you may have recourse to the official regulator for the Freedom of Information Act who is:

The Information Commissioner
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
http://www.ico.gov.uk

Kind regards,
Alex Fisher

show quoted sections

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 'Masters'. Specifically regarding the delay and being asked for my full name in contravention of published guidance.

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

Yours faithfully,

Mr Park

IMPFOI, Imperial College London

Dear Mr Park

This is to acknowledge receipt of your email below. We will write to you again in due course.

Kind regards
Catherine Mitchell

show quoted sections

Hancock, Jon B, Imperial College London

Dear Mr Park,

 

I am writing in response to your request for an internal review of the
handling of your FOI request for the release of information about a number
of environmental MSc courses at the College.

 

Although the College has responded to your request, and provided you with
most of the information requested (the 2016/17 MSc Environmental
Engineering and MSc Hydrology and Water Resource Management exam papers
you had requested were withheld under section 36), I understand that you
are dissatisfied with the College’s response because the information was
provided to you outside the statutory 20 day timescale, and because you
were initially asked to provide your first name to confirm your identity. 
As you state in your review request:

 

I am writing to request an internal review of Imperial College London's
handling of my FOI request 'Masters'. Specifically regarding the delay and
being asked for my full name in contravention of published guidance.

 

I have now had an opportunity to review your request.

 

As you know, for an FOI request to be valid, it must be made in writing
and state the name of the applicant.  The ICO confirms in its guidance
that requestors should provide their real name, and that “if the staff
processing the request cannot identify the requester from the name
provided, that request will be invalid”.  The College has in the past
received requests from individuals who have refused to identify
themselves, or who have used an obvious pseudonym.  For this reason, the
College normally asks requestors to identify themselves where the
requestor has not provided a name, or where there is any doubt about the
identity of the requestor.  This is what happened in your case, and the
College’s initial response to the request you submitted on 21 January 2018
was to ask you for your first name so that the College could confirm your
identity.

 

However, as you noted in your response on 23 January, the ICO’s definition
of what constitutes a ‘real name’ explicitly includes the combination of
title and surname that you had provided:

 

Any variation of the requester’s title or first name combined with their
surname (e.g. Mr Smith or John Smith) will be sufficient to meet this
requirement. However, a first name or surname provided in isolation, or a
set of initials, will not.

 

There was therefore no need for the College to ask you to provide your
first name, as the name you had already provided (“Mr Park”) was
sufficient to meet the ICO’s definition of a real name.  I am sorry that
on this occasion, in trying to make sure we only respond to valid
requests, we got this wrong.

 

With regard to the time taken to respond to your request, as you also
know, under the FOIA public authorities may take up to 20 working days to
respond to a request for information.  As your request was received on 21
January 2018, you should normally have received the College response by 19
February 2018.  Unfortunately, the College was not able to provide you
with the information you had requested until 9 March 2018, 14 working days
after the normal deadline.  This was in part because some of the
information you had requested was subject to a section 36 exemption and
the College was considering the public interest arguments for and against
disclosure.  However, as the College had not informed you that it needed
extra time to consider these public interest arguments, this does not
excuse the delay in providing you with the information you had requested. 
I must therefore also apologise for the College’s failure on this occasion
to meet the normal timescale for responding to FOIA requests.

 

This completes the review of your FOIA request.

 

If you are unhappy about the way in which I have handled your complaint
then you may have recourse to the official regulator for the Freedom of
Information Act who is:

 

The Information Commissioner

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

[1]http://www.ico.gov.uk

 

Kind regards,

 

Jon Hancock

 

Mr Jon B Hancock BA (Hons)
Head of Central Secretariat & Assistant Clerk to the Court and Council
Level 4, Faculty Building
Imperial College London
South Kensington campus
London SW7 2AZ, UK

(: + 44 (0)20 7594 5535
7: + 44 (0)20 7594 8802
8: [2][email address]

Before you print, think about the Environment

show quoted sections

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

[6][FOI #458670 email]

 

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

[7]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offi...

 

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

[8]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/ico-...

 

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
1. http://www.ico.gov.uk/
2. mailto:[email address]
3. mailto:[FOI #458670 email]
4. mailto:[Imperial College London request email]
5. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/m...
6. mailto:[FOI #458670 email]
7. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offi...
8. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/ico-...