Dear University of Leeds,

I am writing to make a request for the following statistics for the previous five admission cycles:

1) Total number of applications
2) Total number of interviews
3) Total number of offers
4) UCAT threshold
5) If there was no threshold: the lowest UCAT score
6) Interview scoring sheet
7) Weighting of each component (such as UCAT, Personal Statement, and GSCE’s) in offering an interview

Yours faithfully,

Younus Rahman

Dear University of Leeds,

My apologies for the incorrect request sent in the previous message. For point 4, 5, and 7, please could you answer the following amendments:

4) BMAT threshold
5) If there was no threshold: the lowest BMAT score
7) Weighting of each component (such as BMAT, Personal Statement, and GSCE’s) in offering an interview

Yours faithfully,

Younus

Freedom of Information, University of Leeds

Dear Younus Rahman,

Freedom of Information request reference K/21/402

Thank you for your Freedom of Information (FOI) request dated 17 August 2021. Your request has been allocated the reference number K/21/402. Please include this number in all further correspondence related to your enquiry. I confirm that we have received both your original email and your clarification.

The University of Leeds aims to respond to all FOI requests within 20-working days of receipt. If there is any change to the expected timeframe for response, I will write to provide you with an update.

If you have any questions about your request, please contact us at [University of Leeds request email]

Yours sincerely

Chloe Wilkins
Freedom of Information Officer
E: [University of Leeds request email]

show quoted sections

Freedom of Information, University of Leeds

Dear Younus Rahman, 

 

Freedom of Information Response (Our Ref: K/21/402)

 

Thank you for your Freedom of Information (FOI) request dated 17 August
2021, reference K/21/402. .

 

The subject line of your email read:

 

            “Freedom of Information request - Medicine Admission
Statistics (A100)”

 

Your request (amended) read:

 

“I am writing to make a request for the following statistics for the
previous five admission cycles:

 

1) Total number of applications

 

2) Total number of interviews

 

3) Total number of offers

 

4) BMAT threshold

 

5) If there was no threshold: the lowest BMAT score

 

6) Interview scoring sheet

 

7) Weighting of each component (such as BMAT, Personal Statement, and
GSCE’s) in offering an interview”

 

The University of Leeds holds some of this information.

 

 1. Total number of applications
 2. Total number of interviews
 3. Total number of offers

 

Please find the information we hold set out in the table below.

 

+------------------------------------------------------------------------+
|  |2016/17 |2017/18 |2018/19 |2019/20 |2020/21 |
|--------------+-----------+-----------+-----------+----------+----------|
|Applications |2137 |2142 |2474 |2427 |2570 |
|--------------+-----------+-----------+-----------+----------+----------|
|Interviews |628 |665 |1056 |1012 |960 |
|--------------+-----------+-----------+-----------+----------+----------|
|Offers |345 |359 |394 |368 |304 |
+------------------------------------------------------------------------+

 

 4. BMAT threshold
 5. If there was no threshold: the lowest BMAT score

 

We do not hold this information. We do not retain raw BMAT scores and do
not use a threshold score to determine who is offered an interview. Please
refer to the information provided in response to question seven for more
detail on how BMAT scores are used.

 

 6. Interview scoring sheet

 

We hold this information. However, we are withholding it under section
36(2)(c) of the FOI Act. However, we are withholding the information we
hold under section 36(2)(c) of the Freedom of Information Act. Section
36(2)(c) sets out that information is exempt from disclosure if, in the
opinion of the organisation’s Qualified Person, its release would or would
be likely to otherwise prejudice the effective conduct of public affairs.
We have outlined the reason for engaging the exemption below, including an
explanation of the public interest factors for and against disclosure.

 

We consider that to release this information would unduly prejudice the
applications process. While we encourage applicants to prepare for their
MMIs, to provide them with the interview scoring sheet would enable them
to simply rehearse the ‘best’ answers in an attempt to unduly influence
the process and increase their own chance of securing a place. However, if
all candidates give a prepared ‘best’ answer, the interview process loses
all meaning.

 

Applications and interview answers must be made based on the candidates’
individual merits, and the process is designed to test not only the
applicants’ academic achievements, but also a range of wider skills which
are required for a career in dentistry. To pre-empt this process would
therefore undermine the process as a whole.  

 

Candidates who attempt to ‘learn the test’ or ‘game the system’ may well
have short term success (i.e. a score sufficient to secure an offer) but
lack the inherent values and attributes to study medicine. Equally,
candidates who are determinedly pursuing a particular score may fail to
demonstrate their wider personal skills, as they are too focussed on ‘the
number’ they are trying to achieve. It is therefore important to ensure
that candidates are offering an honest account of themselves at interview;
it would be imprudent to release information which could increase the
likelihood of candidates being coached to pass the selection process, only
to struggle while on the course, or vice versa.  

 

As outlined above, to release this information would prejudice the
admissions process. It would also be likely to unduly damage the prospects
of prospective applicants to the medicine course; disadvantaging genuinely
strong candidates who may lose out on places in favour of candidates whose
artificially strong applications belie poor overall suitability.
Accordingly, we are satisfied that disclosure would be likely to result in
prejudice to the effective conduct of our ordinary business. It is
therefore the opinion of Professor Simone Buitendijk, the Qualified Person
for the University of Leeds, that the exemption is engaged.   

 

As the exemption is engaged, it is also necessary to consider whether the
public interest is in favour of withholding or releasing the information.
 

 

There is an extremely strong public interest in maintaining the integrity
of the admissions process, and in turn protecting the value of the
medicine degree offered by the University of Leeds. Allowing the
admissions process to be undermined as outlined above would limit our
ability to train and develop future generations of healthcare
practitioners and leaders. This would de-value the course, which is
recognised as being of extremely high quality and is therefore necessarily
selective. This would not be in the interests of applicants and students,
who would suffer as a result of the de-valued course. Nor would this be in
our interests, as any de-valuing of the course would be likely to result
in fewer applications, a reduction in student income and therefore a
reduced ability to provide excellent teaching. It is therefore clear that
the release of this information would not be in the public interest.   

 

It is therefore the opinion of Professor Simone Buitendijk that the public
interest is overwhelmingly in favour of withholding the information.  

 

7) Weighting of each component (such as BMAT, Personal Statement, and
GSCE’s) in offering an interview

 

Invitation to interview is determined by a ranking, taking place after
calculating the candidate’s academic score (i.e. GCSE and A-level or
equivalent) when added to a score calculated from BMAT and is out of a
total maximum score of 37. Within this score, 24 points are available for
GCSEs (or equivalent) and 8 for predicted/achieved grades at A-level (or
equivalent). The maximum score for BMAT is 5 points. 

 

In order to achieve the full 27 points for GCSEs, candidates had to secure
8 GCSEs with A* or 8/9 in each subject. 3 points were awarded for A* (or
8/9), 2 points for A (or 7), and 1 point for B (or 5/6). 

 

8 points were available for A-level grades already gained or predicted,
with 8 points being awarded to candidates predicted AAA or above. 

 

The BMAT raw scores are used in the following manner: All scores from
applicants to MBChB Leeds are put into a normal distribution curve. Those
candidates who are in the highest 20% receive a score of 5/5. Candidates
who are in the lowest 20% receive a score of 1/5. Candidates in between
are then scored according to where they are placed in this distribution. 

 

We hope this information is helpful. If you have any questions about this
email, however, please do not hesitate to contact us on [1][University of Leeds request email]

 

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your
request and wish to make a complaint or request a review of our decision,
you can request an Internal Review. Requests for Internal Review should be
made in writing using the following contact information:

 

Post:               Mr D Wardle

Deputy Secretary

The University of Leeds

Leeds

LS2 9JT

 

Email:             [2][University of Leeds request email]

 

Requests for Internal Review should be submitted within 40 working days of
receiving the University’s response to your request. Further information
about how the University manages Freedom of Information requests and about
our complaints procedure is also available on our website
([3]www.leeds.ac.uk).

 

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision.  Generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have
exhausted the review/complaints procedure provided by the University.  The
Information Commissioner can be contacted at:  Information Commissioner’s
Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Chloe Wilkins

Freedom of Information Officer

 

Secretariat

University of Leeds

 

 

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[University of Leeds request email]
2. mailto:[University of Leeds request email]
3. http://www.leeds.ac.uk/

Dear Freedom of Information,

Thank you for your detailed response! I have a further three questions from your response:

1. Are the applications of widening participation applicants considered any differently to other applicants? If so, how are they considered differently?

2. Would it be possible to obtain the admission statistics for 2021 entry?

3. For your answer to Question 7, has this selection process been used throughout the past few admission cycles? And are you able to disclose whether this same system is likely to be adapted for the upcoming admission cycle?

Yours faithfully,

Younus

Freedom of Information, University of Leeds

Dear Younus Rahman,

Freedom of Information request reference K/21/430

Thank you for your Freedom of Information (FOI) request dated 4 September 2021. Your request has been allocated the reference number K/21/430. Please include this number in all further correspondence related to your enquiry.

The University of Leeds aims to respond to all FOI requests within 20-working days of receipt. If there is any change to the expected timeframe for response, I will write to provide you with an update.

If you have any questions about your request, please contact us at [University of Leeds request email]

Yours sincerely

Chloe Wilkins
Freedom of Information Officer
E: [University of Leeds request email]

show quoted sections

Freedom of Information, University of Leeds

Dear Younus Rahman,

 

Freedom of Information Response (Our Ref: K/21/430)

 

Thank you for your Freedom of Information (FOI) request dated 4 September
2021, reference K/21/430. Your request was sent in the form of follow-up
questions to the information provided to you in response to Freedom of
Information request K/21/402.

 

Your request read:

 

“Thank you for your detailed response! I have a further three questions
from your response:

 

1. Are the applications of widening participation applicants considered
any differently to other applicants? If so, how are they considered
differently?

 

2. Would it be possible to obtain the admission statistics for 2021 entry?

 

3. For your answer to Question 7, has this selection process been used
throughout the past few admission cycles? And are you able to disclose
whether this same system is likely to be adapted for the upcoming
admission cycle?”

 

The University of Leeds holds some of this information.

 

1. Are the applications of widening participation applicants considered
any differently to other applicants? If so, how are they considered
differently?

 

We have a number of programmes that help students from underrepresented
groups to get a place on an undergraduate degree at Leeds. Please refer to
our [1]Alternative Admissions web page for more details.

 

One of these widening participation programmes is [2]Access to Leeds,
which provides students who meet specific criteria with the opportunity to
study a degree with lower entry requirements than those which are
published on our course pages. Typically, and Access to Leeds offer is two
grades below the published entry requirement. 

 

2. Would it be possible to obtain the admission statistics for 2021 entry
[for A100 medicine]?

 

In our response to your first FOI request, reference K/21/402, you were
provided with the number of applications, interviews and offers for 2021
entry. We have reproduced this information below.

 

  2020/21
Applications 2570
Interviews 960
Offers 304

 

Enrolment has not yet commenced and as such we do not hold any information
in relation to the number of students who have registered onto the course.
Please let us know if you had a specific type of ‘admission statistic’ in
mind.

 

3. For your answer to Question 7, has this selection process been used
throughout the past few admission cycles? And are you able to disclose
whether this same system is likely to be adapted for the upcoming
admission cycle?

 

For ease of reference, we have reproduced question seven, and our
response, below.

 

7) Weighting of each component (such as BMAT, Personal Statement, and
GSCE’s) in offering an interview

 

Invitation to interview is determined by a ranking, taking place after
calculating the candidate’s academic score (i.e. GCSE and A-level or
equivalent) when added to a score calculated from BMAT and is out of a
total maximum score of 37. Within this score, 24 points are available for
GCSEs (or equivalent) and 8 for predicted/achieved grades at A-level (or
equivalent). The maximum score for BMAT is 5 points. 

 

In order to achieve the full 27 points for GCSEs, candidates had to secure
8 GCSEs with A* or 8/9 in each subject. 3 points were awarded for A* (or
8/9), 2 points for A (or 7), and 1 point for B (or 5/6). 

 

8 points were available for A-level grades already gained or predicted,
with 8 points being awarded to candidates predicted AAA or above. 

 

The BMAT raw scores are used in the following manner: All scores from
applicants to MBChB Leeds are put into a normal distribution curve. Those
candidates who are in the highest 20% receive a score of 5/5. Candidates
who are in the lowest 20% receive a score of 1/5. Candidates in between
are then scored according to where they are placed in this distribution. 

 

This selection process has been used since at least 2013; this is as far
back as we hold information for, It is likely to be changed for the
upcoming cycle. No decisions have yet been made on the selection process
for 2022 entry and as such we hold no further recorded information on this
subject. 

 

We hope this information is helpful. If you have any questions about this
email, however, please do not hesitate to contact us on [3][University of Leeds request email]

 

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your
request and wish to make a complaint or request a review of our decision,
you can request an Internal Review. Requests for Internal Review should be
made in writing using the following contact information:

 

Post:               Mr D Wardle

Deputy Secretary

The University of Leeds

Leeds

LS2 9JT

 

Email:             [4][University of Leeds request email]

 

Requests for Internal Review should be submitted within 40 working days of
receiving the University’s response to your request. Further information
about how the University manages Freedom of Information requests and about
our complaints procedure is also available on our website
([5]www.leeds.ac.uk).

 

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision.  Generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have
exhausted the review/complaints procedure provided by the University.  The
Information Commissioner can be contacted at:  Information Commissioner’s
Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

 

Sincerely

Chloe Wilkins

Freedom of Information Officer

University of Leeds

 

References

Visible links
1. https://www.leeds.ac.uk/undergraduate-ap...
2. https://www.leeds.ac.uk/access-to-leeds
3. mailto:[University of Leeds request email]
4. mailto:[University of Leeds request email]
5. http://www.leeds.ac.uk/

Dear Freedom of Information,

I apologise for Q2. However, thank you for your response!

Yours faithfully,

Younus