Oxford and Cambridge formal warnings regarding access and participation plans

Julian Todd made this Freedom of Information request to Office for Students

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Office for Students should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear Office for Students,

Under the July 2018 heading your "Monthy bulletin of regulatory activity",[1] it states:

* The University of Oxford has a specific ongoing condition of registration imposed in relation to Condition A1 (access and participation plan).

* The University of Cambridge has a specific ongoing condition of registration imposed in relation to Condition A1 (access and participation plan).

In your blog for the relevant day there is a post entitled "The Times: Oxbridge bursaries failing to attract poorer students"[2] which links to an article in The Times Newspaper that leads with the paragraph: "Oxford and Cambridge have been formally warned by the university watchdog over access for students from poorer backgrounds."

Unfortunately, most of this article is paid-per-view, which is an inappropriate place to make the only disclosure of the details to the public.

I have conducted a thorough search of the Office for Students website and can find no record of the details of this formal warning, not even in the most recent "Access and participation plans" for these two institutions.[3] (You would think that they would include a comment on the matter, if these plans were drawn up after the date of the warning.)

Please may I have copies of:

(a) The formal warnings, letters and other materials sent to the two Universities concerned in connection with these warnings and conditions.

(b) The letters of acknowledgement from these Universities confirming that they have received and understood the conditions.

I would prefer for these letters to be posted on your website on the Access and participation plan page for each University so that they may be seen by those who are interested.

This is bearing in mind that, while Cambridge is informing potential donors that they need vast donations to fund access for students from low-income households, they are failing at their current obligations in a such a way that suggests that additional funds may be counter-productive, as it puts them further away from undertaking a serious reconsideration of their policies.

[1] https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/adv...

[2] https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/new...

[3] https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/adv...

Yours faithfully,

Julian Todd

FOI@hefce.ac.uk, Office for Students

Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of
Information Act (FOIA) 2000. We will respond to your request as soon as
possible and no later than 20 working days as required by the Act.

 

Best wishes

FOI team

 

FOI@hefce.ac.uk, Office for Students

Dear Julian,

Freedom of Information Request : S2019/245 - Acknowledgement

Thank you for your recent request for information, received by us on 6^th
February. I write to advise you that we will handle this request in
accordance with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, and
will respond within twenty working days.

Best wishes,

FOI Team | Governance | 0117 931 7292 | 
[1]www.officeforstudents.org.uk | Twitter [2]@officestudents |  

 

 

References

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FOI@hefce.ac.uk, Office for Students

Dear Mr Todd

Freedom of Information Request: S2019/245

I am writing to update you on progress with your FOI request. We have been working on our response but unfortunately this is proving more complex and taking more time than anticipated. Therefore, I regret that we will not be able to respond by the 20 working day deadline. Please be assured we are working on your request and will send our response to you as soon as possible.

Please accept our apologies for the delay and thank you in anticipation of your understanding.

Best wishes

FOI team

FOI Team | Governance | 0117 931 7292 | www.officeforstudents.org.uk | Twitter @officestudents |

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Dear [email address],

Thanks for your 6th March update of on my request made on 6th February for copies of the Oxford and Cambridge formal warnings explaining that there has been a delay due to the complexity of drafting a response.

Can you at least confirm, under Section 1(a) of the FOI Act, that you have successfully located the information of the description specified?

If you have found the information, are you able to disclose what is the nature of the delay? For example, are you still waiting in the queue for some legal advice to be provided, or has the advice been given and you are now in the process of executing the advice, such as making redactions to the documents?

To be honest, I had expected a Section 21 (Information accessible to applicant by other means) response to my request, on account of the information already being on your website, but I just couldn't find it. Usually the whole point of a "formal warning" is that it is made on the record, ie it is published.

Yours sincerely,

Julian Todd

FOI@hefce.ac.uk, Office for Students

Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of
Information Act (FOIA) 2000. We will respond to your request as soon as
possible and no later than 20 working days as required by the Act.

 

Best wishes

FOI team

 

FOI@hefce.ac.uk, Office for Students

1 Attachment

Dear Julian,

Freedom of Information Request : S2019/245

Please find attached our response to your recent request for information. Please accept our sincere apologies for the delay in responding to you.

Best wishes,

FOI Team | Governance | 0117 931 7292 |
www.officeforstudents.org.uk | Twitter @officestudents |

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CADENCE - Barry Lane, Office for Students

Dear Julian Todd

Thank you for your recent request for information. I write to advise you that we are handling this under the provisions of the FOIA and will respond to you as soon as possible, and no later than twenty working days from receipt of your request.

Best wishes,

FOI Team | Governance | 0117 931 7203 |
www.officeforstudents.org.uk | Twitter @officestudents |”