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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 threeportdrift)
    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 However, crunching that data, which has a significant delay ie is 2 years out of date, and delivering it to every admissions team for every course, which all the data handling and cleansing issues would cost about £500k per year in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?
    I understand your position, but the point about what I call Original Sin is that there are some issues that cannot be addressed in the way you suggest, and this is UCAS's issue.

    It doesn't matter why some European bureaucrat wants or needs to know whether someone is of Jewish origin. It doesn't matter why some American one wants or needs to know whether anyone has ever been a member of a left wing organisation. Some subjects have a past that means you simply cannot rationalise them. For UCAS that issue is transparency/opacity of other university choices. Universities simply have to accept "as is" and realise the enormity of what they have done.

    There is a second point that I don't want to over-stress. You are seeing this as an issue of "big data", that to behave improperly, you need a system and processes to behave improperly. That is not the history of improper practices in other industries. Impropriety is usually an informal overlay on an otherwise non-corrupt system.
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    nulli tertius and threeportdrift:
    So what are both of your individual suggestions? What should I have replied? What should I write in the email to the Head of admissions, if anything? What should I tell UCAS, if anything? I have no wits or specific knowledge about this. I'm just trying to handle this the most appropriate way possible, which is very difficult given the very inappropriate position the university has put me in.
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    (Original post by soal)
    nulli tertius and threeportdrift:
    So what are both of your individual suggestions? What should I have replied? What should I write in the email to the Head of admissions, if anything? What should I tell UCAS, if anything? I have no wits or specific knowledge about this. I'm just trying to handle this the most appropriate way possible, which is very difficult given the very inappropriate position the university has put me in.
    Not an expert but I would assume you should explain the situation and attach the email in question with the 'illegal' question. I think you're overthinking this and wasting time by not reporting it ASAP. What the university have asked of you is highly inappropriate and against UCAS guidelines so you need to let UCAS know!
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    (Original post by Manexopi)
    Not an expert but I would assume you should explain the situation and attach the email in question with the 'illegal' question. I think you're overthinking this and wasting time by not reporting it ASAP. What the university have asked of you is highly inappropriate and against UCAS guidelines so you need to let UCAS know!
    This.
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    (Original post by soal)
    nulli tertius and threeportdrift:
    So what are both of your individual suggestions? What should I have replied? What should I write in the email to the Head of admissions, if anything? What should I tell UCAS, if anything? I have no wits or specific knowledge about this. I'm just trying to handle this the most appropriate way possible, which is very difficult given the very inappropriate position the university has put me in.
    I would say, as others have suggested, answer the University admissions person that asked for the information and just explain that you thought that information was held back until it was formally made available, on a cohort basis, after the admissions round, by UCAS. At the same time, contact UCAS and explain the request and ask for clarification on whether universities should be asking - and name names, I would forward the original Uni request so UCAS have all the details.

    All I am saying is don't get yourself worked up into a pickle about how this might affect your application. It won't, it is almost certainly just the university getting its timing wrong and one department asking for data before they are allowed to, for a project on mature applications.
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    Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.
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    In the event of being asked to spit or swallow, you are chewing.

    Report it to UCAS. They will advise you.
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    Definitely know which uni it is, QUB are notoriously difficult to even contact for an update about your application.

    A friend of mine had issues with them too
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    (Original post by raconner)
    Definitely know which uni it is, QUB are notoriously difficult to even contact for an update about your application.

    A friend of mine had issues with them too
    It could be any med school. They all act like a law unto themselves
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    (Original post by PQ)
    It could be any med school. They all act like a law unto themselves
    True, but in this case, it's definitely QUB

    I can say that with certainty
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    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.
    They've emailed me as well now asking about them. .. think I should defiently report them to Ucas tbh

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    (Original post by soal)
    Hi

    I applied to 4 medicine programmes in the UK: KCL, Keele's, Leicester's and Queen's University Belfast.

    I was under the understanding that the individual schools, as a right of the student, do not have rights to know what other programmes/universities a student applies to so as to protect from bias/prejudice.

    Well one of the universities I applied to above sent me an email requesting information about all my previous UCAS applications, including the one I made this year and to what other programmes and universities I applied to. Is this question even allowed? Does the university in question even have a right to know let alone ask?

    What would the most appropriate thing to do be here? Officially, UCAS does not provide details to the universities about the student's application to other schools. However, should one refrain from sharing these details risking perhaps the university in question already knowing, or should you risk bias/prejudice by revealing all of your choices? It's not as if you could "lie" and say you only applied to their university, who in their right mind only applies to 1 of their 4 allowed choices for medical schools?
    Tell them to shut up because it's illegal.
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    (Original post by RomanKing)
    Tell them to shut up because it's illegal.
    Illegal? Not so. Against UCAS' terms and conditions, that they've signed up to? Yes.
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    (Original post by threeportdrift)
    I would say, as others have suggested, answer the University admissions person that asked for the information and just explain that you thought that information was held back until it was formally made available, on a cohort basis, after the admissions round, by UCAS. At the same time, contact UCAS and explain the request and ask for clarification on whether universities should be asking - and name names, I would forward the original Uni request so UCAS have all the details.


    I concur.
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    Report it to UCAS! Stop waiting around and report them, as the sooner you do it the less likely your application will be affected by this. If it's still in the processing stage, the uni will be yelled at and you won't be affected. If they've already made a decision, there's not a lot that can happen. So report it ASAP!
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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"?
    I really think you should contact UCAS straight away rather than waiting until after you're rejected/accepted.
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    It's no good second guessing what response will or won't affect your chances of being accepted by whatever university this involves. The question they asked is against the rules, it has put you in this massive spin of questioning what to do (which is exactly why it's against the rules - your application should have fair and equal consideration from the unis you apply to based on the information you give on your application and at interview, with no against-the-rules questions being asked).

    Basically, reporting to UCAS comes with zero risk to your application. If the uni was going to reject you based on not responding to correspondence that isn't even allowed then UCAS letting the uni know about this would actually save you being rejected for the wrong reasons. In the most event that this information is purely for research purposes, your application will continue to be considered despite UCAS getting involved and having a quiet word with the uni. I don't understand why you would keep second guessing what you should tell the uni when all the advice on here, and the only advice that makes sense, is to refuse the information and go to UCAS so UCAS can stop them asking for that information.
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    I would personally tell the police because they're not allowed to do that.


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    (Original post by RomanKing)
    I would personally tell the police because they're not allowed to do that.


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    They aren't, but it's not a criminal matter so you'd just be wasting their time (and yours).
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    (Original post by CaitlinN15)
    They've emailed me as well now asking about them. .. think I should defiently report them to Ucas tbh

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    :yep:
 
 
 
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