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One of the uni's I applied to requested details of what other schools I've applied to Watch

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    (Original post by PQ)
    It depends on why you're CCing tbh. If using BCC I'd recommend contacting the person BCCd separately and explaining that you wanted them to be aware of the situation but don't want any direct intervention that can be tied back to your application...so in the OPs situation where they're concerned that escalating could damage their chances it might be a route to get the situation resolved without being outed as the whistleblower.

    I think I just mixed about a billion metaphors there....time for caffeine.
    :coffee:
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    (Original post by soal)
    My current line of thought was that I'd reply telling them that they're the only programme I've applied to (my white lie, since they have no right to even ask and can't find out till after making me an offer/rejection it seems like fair play from me) explaining why and giving course-specific reasons for wanting to attend their university, while at the same time softly pointing out as a worried student that I was under the understanding that universities aren't allowed ask what other programmes a student has applied to and that this question from them is making me worried. The purpose of this would be to remind them if forgetful/ignorant of the fact that they're asking me an illegal unethical question but in a soft, non-challenging way where I show the worried student side of me which would hopefully let them feel the pressure of their ill-doings. Any thoughts?

    Lastly, what do you figure is the most likely reason for them asking about my other applications?

    -Is it that they're contemplating what priority I might give them by considering the competitiveness of my other choices since every university for several reasons prefer to make offers to students they know will accept?

    -Or is it more likely that if they're on the fence and feel I might get an offer elsewhere that they might abstain from making me an offer hoping I'd get one elsewhere?

    -Or am I missing another alternative?

    PQ, Origami Bullets, SlowlorisIncognito, apronedsamurai
    While I understand why you'd want them to think you're only applying to them it might have the converse affect of them thinking you're not truly serious about medicine, having only made 1 choice. That would set off an alarm bell in my head as it is not the norm.


    They're expecting you to have applied to 3. I would do with what everyone else is saying and say "I have applied to 3 other UK based medical schools".

    - This basically:

    (Original post by PQ)
    Med schools know that almost every offer they make will be accepted.

    The concern here is that med schools could be talking about applicants between themselves to ensure that applicants only receive a single offer (something that used to happen before invisibility was brought in) but also that as many applicants as possible receive an offer (ie not end up with a situation where some applicants get 2/3 offers and others get no offers).

    I would suggest that you reply to the person who has emailed you with the information they requested but excluding the details about exactly which universities. Confirm that you have applied to 3 other UK medical schools (like you say that's pretty much a certainty anyway) but ask why they are asking what your other choices are. Play dumb and just say you thought that information was withheld from universities. CC or BCC in the head of admissions for the university concerned.
    PQ is an expert in this area and I don't think you'll get better advice than this :nah:.
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    (Original post by soal)
    This. Seeing as it would prove exceedingly difficult if not impossible to prove that my rejection was due to the "illegal" request, or my lack of acquiescing to it, I feel it wouldn't be in my best interest to "challenge" or confront the university about it, nor "threatening" / informing them of my reporting this to UCAS. Reporting this to UCAS would have to occur in the aftermath of my rejection, or that's what I'm wondering at this moment.

    They gave me until Thursday February 18th to reply to the latest correspondence today. I will send in the copies of my grades, however I am still undecided on what to answer their second query about my other applications.

    Do I tell them, do I not?
    Or do I simply ask why whilst reminding them of the UCAS invisibility rule which runs the risk of me appearing as "uncooperative"?
    PQ's advice and insight on this issue is the best you'll get from anyone. What I would add, however, is that the uni would be well-advised to make sure that it has good reasons for rejecting your application - as in, to reject you at this point would indeed raise strong suspicions that they were doing so simply because you didn't comply with a manifestly inappropriate request. I think you should respond along the lines of "I have applied to three other UK medical schools" and leave it at that. If they then have the nerve to come back and press you for specifics they really are putting themselves in the firing line, and you should definitely involve UCAS at that point if not earlier.

    It is worth remembering that (given the usual run of these things) the odds were always in favour of a rejection, unfortunately, so although this has been disturbing, don't be too ready to blame a rejection on your not 'co-operating'.
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    TSR Towers has gone to UCAS and has asked for advice about your situation (and has reformatted this thread into an article) - and the response is that you should report it http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/cont...r-UCAS-choices
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    Perhaps for the benefit of the OP I should explain why seeking information about other applications is the UCAS equivalent of Original Sin and why all the experts on TSR have reacted in this way.

    Before invisibility was introduced, the UCAS (then called UCCA) system was beset by petty jealousies between universities which they took out on applicants. Applicants once had to place their applications in numerical order (however you enter them now they are placed in alphabetical order) and universities would simply discard applications because applicants would place them too low. Moreover applicants would be rejected because they ranked a particular university below other universities individual admissions tutors considered inferior. There were books published giving advice on how to rank universities in such as way as not to put admission tutors noses' out of joint.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    Perhaps for the benefit of the OP I should explain why seeking information about other applications is the UCAS equivalent of Original Sin and why all the experts on TSR have reacted in this way.

    Before invisibility was introduced, the UCAS (then called UCCA) system was beset by petty jealousies between universities which they took out on applicants. Applicants once had to place their applications in numerical order (however you enter them now they are placed in alphabetical order) and universities would simply discard applications because applicants would place them too low. Moreover applicants would be rejected because they ranked a particular university below other universities individual admissions tutors considered inferior. There were books published giving advice on how to rank universities in such as way as not to put admission tutors noses' out of joint.
    Indeed. Much time and energy was spent on working out the best order for your choices - the only ranking acceptable to everyone was to have Oxford or Cambridge at the top of the list.
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    (Original post by Minerva)
    Indeed. Much time and energy was spent on working out the best order for your choices - the only ranking acceptable to everyone was to have Oxford or Cambridge at the top of the list.
    York would have a hissy fit if they weren't at the top, as well.
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    (Original post by Carnationlilyrose)
    York would have a hissy fit if they weren't at the top, as well.
    They were quite happy with me putting them joint second with King's, behind Oxford.

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    (Original post by ageshallnot)
    They were quite happy with me putting them joint second with King's, behind Oxford.

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    Well, aren't you the lucky one?
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    (Original post by Carnationlilyrose)
    Well, aren't you the lucky one?
    Probably before your time! 😁

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    ageshallnot
    I think we've had this conversation before, and it isn't...
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    I sent my response today to the last email asking me for a second time after stating outright that I hadn't answered the question (well in the manner they liked). I'll reveal what I wrote after I get their response.

    PQ, Origami Bullets: Should I concurrently also send a letter attaching the entirety of my correspondence to the Head of Admissions, with a cover letter and expressing my worry and the other points you advised me about? Or should I await the reply and re-evaluate afterwards?


    You have both stated an advantage of the Head of admissions probably not knowing about what's occurring in their offices and might appreciate the chance from me to handle this internally and quietly. This might work in favour of my application. What say ye?

    Oh, and by the by, you two are awesome.
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    (Original post by soal)
    I sent my response today to the last email asking me for a second time after stating outright that I hadn't answered the question (well in the manner they liked). I'll reveal what I wrote after I get their response.

    PQ, Origami Bullets: Should I concurrently also send a letter attaching the entirety of my correspondence to the Head of Admissions, with a cover letter and expressing my worry and the other points you advised me about? Or should I await the reply and re-evaluate afterwards?


    You have both stated an advantage of the Head of admissions probably not knowing about what's occurring in their offices and might appreciate the chance from me to handle this internally and quietly. This might work in favour of my application. What say ye?

    Oh, and by the by, you two are awesome.
    They most certainly are.
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    (Original post by Carnationlilyrose)
    York would have a hissy fit if they weren't at the top, as well.
    (Original post by ageshallnot)
    They were quite happy with me putting them joint second with King's, behind Oxford.

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    Memories :tongue:
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    (Original post by soal)
    I sent my response today to the last email asking me for a second time after stating outright that I hadn't answered the question (well in the manner they liked). I'll reveal what I wrote after I get their response.

    PQ, Origami Bullets: Should I concurrently also send a letter attaching the entirety of my correspondence to the Head of Admissions, with a cover letter and expressing my worry and the other points you advised me about? Or should I await the reply and re-evaluate afterwards?


    You have both stated an advantage of the Head of admissions probably not knowing about what's occurring in their offices and might appreciate the chance from me to handle this internally and quietly. This might work in favour of my application. What say ye?

    Oh, and by the by, you two are awesome.
    Doing this won't make any difference to your chances of success. However, for the benefit of others, making sure that the Head of Admissions is aware of a training need within the Medical School team is worth doing.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    ...........
    But since this - which is now many admissions evolutions ago, admissions teams have no inclination or capacity to do this. I worked very closely with the admissions processes for one of the most popular RG universities, with a very popular medical school, and we just wouldn't and couldn't of bothered with this. The data is all available after the date - and the only reason we would want to know is to see who our competitors are and then look into why etc. There isn't time to do this in the admissions cycle, so just buy the data from UCAS afterwards and do the analysis then.

    This all sounds much more like the central admissions team in the Uni getting a bit ahead of themselves - perhaps having been asked to do a special project on mature admissions, and asking for the data on a case by case basis, rather than waiting for the big UCAS bundle and filtering the data out for mature students.

    Where else you are applying to would never be a factor in whether you got an offer or not from a university.
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    This happened to me today, at my interview one of them asked me what other unis applied to. Completley froze because I had no idea what to say and he kept asking and asking for the unis but obviously I know they're not allowed to know. This lasted for like 5 minutes as well

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    (Original post by threeportdrift)
    But since this - which is now many admissions evolutions ago, admissions teams have no inclination or capacity to do this. I worked very closely with the admissions processes for one of the most popular RG universities, with a very popular medical school, and we just wouldn't and couldn't of bothered with this. The data is all available after the date - and the only reason we would want to know is to see who our competitors are and then look into why etc. There isn't time to do this in the admissions cycle, so just buy the data from UCAS afterwards and do the analysis then.

    This all sounds much more like the central admissions team in the Uni getting a bit ahead of themselves - perhaps having been asked to do a special project on mature admissions, and asking for the data on a case by case basis, rather than waiting for the big UCAS bundle and filtering the data out for mature students.

    Where else you are applying to would never be a factor in whether you got an offer or not from a university.
    I didn't suggest that what happened in the past was a present risk. However I don't regard this as benignly as you do. I think there is a real risk of market sharing as described by PQ.

    What I was setting out to do, was explain to the OP why there was a metaphorical look of horror on everyone's face; why this breach of rules above all other rules breaches was regarded with such significance.

    I described knowing the other universities to which applicants had applied as UCAS's Original Sin. It brought an evil that lasted almost 30 years. As a result, the very idea of transparency provokes a reaction in UCAS and those wishing fair admissions, that is like no other.
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    (Original post by CaitlinN15)
    This happened to me today, at my interview one of them asked me what other unis applied to. Completley froze because I had no idea what to say and he kept asking and asking for the unis but obviously I know they're not allowed to know. This lasted for like 5 minutes as well

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    You should have said "I thought it was against the rules to ask this" and smile sweetly.

    If they pressed you should have told them and asked them specifically to record the information in the interview notes.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    ..........
    My quote of you wasn't a specific 'go' at your response, just that yours was the first factual response that set up another input into the discussion.

    Having worked as the Director of Strategic Planning in a RG university, I've worked very closely with the admissions processes and the statistics behind them.

    For a risk to be real, rather than just theoretical, you need both capacity and intent. I would make the case that no university with a medical school would have the intent to purposely mi-use application data to make admissions decisions. Just look at how much Oxford, Cambridge etc put into outreach activities (about £5mill iirc) that have little or no effect, but satisfy OFFA and media demands - then look at how long even non-events stick around eg Bristol and independent candidates story. It's just too stupid and unnecessary to purposely do something wrong.

    On capacity, who does what, where and when with the data varies subtly between universities, but by and large the central admissions teams know to about 3 decimal places what applicant habits are, by course, with regard to making offers and likely acceptances etc. They track this daily or weekly through the application cycle and there are daily/weekly meetings about offer and acceptance rates and tweaking what they can of the system. This takes up pretty much every waking moment!

    The bigger statistics about competitors, A level grades, predictions versus actual grades etc is usually managed by the strategic planning team, and is bought from UCAS with their standard delay (about 18 months iirc).

    Again, it comes back to the difference between real risk, versus theoretical risk. Theoretically, I could crunch the data and tell the admissions team that the Maths teacher in School X routinely over predicts candidates by one whole A level grade. However, crunching that data, which has a significant delay ie is 2 years out of date, and delivering it to every admissions team for every course, which all the data handling and cleansing issues would cost about £500k per year in hardware/software alone. Add into that the staff costs for a data warehouse manager, a couple of data clerks, and an analyst, their office space, management, on-costs etc and it becomes a million pound a year enterprise. So we can talk about the risk of universities making admissions decisions on the basis of individual school/teacher under or over predicting, and the data could be used, but there is no real risk that it would, it's just far too costly, inaccurate and doesn't bring any significant benefits.

    It's the 'look of horror' that I was trying to temper - we have to understand risk as the combination of both capacity and intent. We don't 'look in horror' at every man because there is a 'risk' he is rapist, just because he has the capacity. We accept that intent is the primary risk factor and very, very few men have that intent, and thank goodness society works on that principle.

    We should be careful fuelling fires of panic among applicants by supporting ideas of risk where no real risk exists. The advice for the OP to go back and query why the Uni wants to know is fine, but why has everyone followed up with very unlikely ideas of devious intent, rather than the almost certain issue of mis-co-ordination of projects on mature student recruitment between two teams in the university?
 
 
 
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