Request for Admission Statistics of Undergraduate Courses for Chinese Applicants

The request was refused by University of Manchester.

Dear University of Manchester,

I am writing to request admission statistics for undergraduate courses at Univeristy of Manchester for all first-year Chinese applicants during the application cycle of 2018 to 2023. I would appreciate if you could provide me the following information:

-Number of overall first-year applicants (regardless of the nationality) for each course

-Number of offers for each course

-Number of overall first-year Chinese applicants for each course

-Number of offers for each course for Chinese applicants

-The predicted A-level breakdown of all Chinese applicants offered admissions by course, for example, for students whose predicted grades are A*A*A / A*AA/ AAA, how many received an offer place in each course

The information will help me understand the admission process for Chinese students and assist me in making an informed decision about applying to UOM.

Thank you for considering my request. I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours faithfully,

Martin Ma

MTRS FOIA, University of Manchester

Dear Martin Ma,

I am writing to acknowledge your request under the Freedom of Information
Act 2000 received by The University of Manchester on 29 May 2023, our
reference as per the subject line.

The University will respond to your request within 20 working days.

Kind Regards

Paula

Paula Egerton| Information Officer | Information Governance Office |
Directorate of Compliance and Risk |Professional Services | G.007 Christie
Building | The University of Manchester | Oxford Road | Manchester | M13
9PL | [1]www.manchester.ac.uk

I am currently unavailable by telephone but happy to speak via Teams.

 

My usual working days are full days Monday Tuesday and Thursday mornings. 
I job-share with Polly Smith who usually works Wednesday, Thursday and
Friday.

 

 

 

show quoted sections

MTRS FOIA, University of Manchester

Dear Martin,

 

Thank you for your request for information received by The University of
Manchester on 30 May 2023 which was as follows:

 

I am writing to request admission statistics for undergraduate courses at
University of Manchester for all first-year Chinese applicants during the
application cycle of 2018 to 2023. I would appreciate if you could provide
me the following information:

 

-Number of overall first-year applicants (regardless of the nationality)
for each course

 

-Number of offers for each course

 

-Number of overall first-year Chinese applicants for each course

 

-Number of offers for each course for Chinese applicants

 

-The predicted A-level breakdown of all Chinese applicants offered
admissions by course, for example, for students whose predicted grades are
A*A*A / A*AA/ AAA, how many received an offer place in each course

 

The information will help me understand the admission process for Chinese
students and assist me in making an informed decision about applying to
UOM.

 

The University has now considered your request and unfortunately the
information you are seeking cannot be provided at this time. This is
because it is deemed to be exempt from disclosure by virtue of the listed
exemption at Section 43 (2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 –
Commercial Interests. Further details of this follow in the refusal notice
below. 

 

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,
the Heads of Teaching, Learning and the Student Experience in Faculties as
well as the University’s Head of Student Data, Analysis and Records. 

 

All felt that releasing information of the type requested 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 and offers 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) 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, offers and/or
acceptances). 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.  

 

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 offer 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. 

 

We can, however, see that you are after more information that you might
find helpful for making a decision as to whether to apply to The
University of Manchester or not so we would highlight the following
website link:
[1]https://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/under.... This
includes our entry requirements for each course we offer (noting that you
seem to be looking at A level grades). If you are applying to us with
predicted grades then we would expect these to, at least, match the grades
of our standard offers (as stated on our webpages). You will also see the
English language requirements (and note: that some courses have other
requirements as well).

 

I hope that this advice is help however 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 [2][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 [3]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 | [4]www.manchester.ac.uk

 

Please contact me via Teams or email as I may not be in the office to take
your call.

 

Have you refreshed your Data Protection & Cyber Security training? Details
of how staff can access the new course, are on the following IGO StaffNet
page: [5]https://www.staffnet.manchester.ac.uk/ig...

 

References

Visible links
1. https://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/under...
2. mailto:[email address]
3. http://www.ico.org.uk/
4. http://www.manchester.ac.uk/
5. https://www.staffnet.manchester.ac.uk/ig...