Dear University of Leeds,
Could you tell me the number of undergraduate students who have dropped out this academic year (2020-2021, up until this December), compared to the two previous academic years (2018-2019 and 2019-2020, for the whole year)?
Could you also break down this information into monthly categories (x number of students dropped out in September); UK/EU/international students; and into different faculties?
It would be great if you could provide this information in an excel spreadsheet, if possible.
If you need any clarification do not hesitate to contact me. Under section 16 of the Freedom of Information Act it is your duty to provide advice and assistance and so I would expect you to contact me if you find this request unmanageable in any way.
Dear Chloé Meley,
Freedom of Information request reference K/21/020
Thank you for your Freedom of Information (FOI) request dated 12 January 2021. Your request has been allocated the reference number K/21/020. 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]
Freedom of Information Officer
University of Leeds
Dear Chloé Meley,
Freedom of Information Response (Our Ref: K/21/020)
Thank you for your Freedom of Information (FOI) request dated 12 January
2021 reference K/21/020.
Your request read:
“Could you tell me the number of undergraduate students who have dropped
out this academic year (2020-2021, up until this December), compared to
the two previous academic years (2018-2019 and 2019-2020, for the whole
Could you also break down this information into monthly categories (x
number of students dropped out in September); UK/EU/international
students; and into different faculties?”
The University of Leeds holds this information.
We are withholding the number of students who have withdrawn from study so
far in 2020/21 under section 22 of the Freedom of Information Act. Section
22 sets out that information is exempt from disclosure if it is intended
for future publication, either by the public authority themselves, or by
The Higher Education Statistics Authority (HESA) is the Designated Data
Body (DDB) for higher education in England as defined by the Higher
Education and Research Act 2017 (HERA). This means that HESA is
responsible for the publication of a range of information and statistics
about university students, including non-continuation statistics. . This
information is published in January each year. Information in relation to
the 2020/21 academic year will be published in January 2022. While this
does not preclude individual providers from publishing information, to do
so would result in unnecessary repeated effort on the part of the teams
and staff members who compile our submissions to HESA. We also consider
that an early release would undermine HESA in their DDB role.
Section 22 is a qualified exemption, which means that we are required to
consider whether the public interest in the information outweighs the
public interest in withholding it as this time. We have set out our
We appreciate that there is an interest in student numbers, particularly
given the ongoing covid-19 pandemic. However, we also consider that this
information may be valuable to other provider organisations; allowing them
to compare their own admissions and non-continuation statistics to ours,
and in turn make some basic assumptions regarding our student-based
income. This in turn may affect our own commercial sustainability in the
higher education marketplace, since such information may be useful to
competitor institutions and could inform their own policies regarding how
to deal with changing student numbers. If potential students were
attracted to other institutions as a result, then the university would
suffer financially. This would not be in the public interest. There is
also a strong public interest in preserving the role of HESA as the DDB.
We are therefore satisfied that the public interest is in favour of
withholding the information under section 22.
The information which we are able to release is set out in the attached
We hope this information is helpful. If you have any questions about this
email, however, please do not hesitate to contact us on [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
The University of Leeds
Email: [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
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.
Freedom of Information Officer
E: [University of Leeds request email]
1. mailto:[University of Leeds request email]
2. mailto:[University of Leeds request email]
3. mailto:[University of Leeds request email]
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