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Public information policy

The University is committed to openness and transparency and publishes a wide range of public information on its website.

Because of different legal and statutory requirements, information is published under a variety of headings: the Publication Scheme, Key Information Set, and the Wider Information Set are all freely available on the website, as are prospectuses and other information intended for prospective students.

The University’s policy on the management of information sets out the process for the publication of materials.

Legal requirements

The University meets its legal requirements in regard to the Freedom of Information Act (2000) through its Publication Scheme.

It includes information under seven headings:

  • What we are and what we do.
  • What we spend and how we spend it.
  • What our priorities are and how we are doing.
  • How we make decisions.
  • Our policies and procedures.
  • Lists and registers.
  • Services we offer.

Information not available through the Publication Scheme or from the University website may be available on request under the Freedom of Information Act.

Find out more about data protection and freedom of information

HEFCE requirements

HEFCE’s requirements for the Wider Information Set are intended to:

  • Provide information about the quality of higher education and in particular, provide potential students with information that will help them choose what and where to study
  • Help provide evidence to contribute to quality assurance processes in institutions (specifically review by the QAA)
  • Help provide information that institutions can use to enhance the quality of their higher education provision.

It includes information on:

  • The institutional context.
  • Aspects of courses and awards.
  • The quality and standards of programmes.

In practice, much of the information on institutional context overlaps with that provided through the Publication Scheme noted above.

The Wider Information Set recognises that there are different degrees of publication and categorises the information in three ways:

  • Publicly available information published on the website.
  • Information available internally only, for staff and students.
  • Information available on request.

As such, some of this information is not on the external website.

HEFCE also requires the publication of Key Information Sets, providing information on courses offered in 2013-14 under the following headings:

  • Student satisfaction.
  • Graduate employment data.
  • The proportion of student time spent on learning and teaching activities.
  • Data on assessment methods.
  • Professional accreditation.
  • Average accommodation costs.
  • Financial support.
  • Average fees.

Key Information Sets are published on the Discover Uni website, and made available through the course pages of this website.

QAA requirements

In addition, the University meets the requirements of the QAA Quality Code for Higher Education, Part C: ‘Information about higher education provision’, which articulates the expectations for the provision of public information for:

  • Prospective students and their advisers.
  • Current students.
  • Alumni.
  • Individuals with responsibility for quality assurance.

This section of the Quality Code details examples of information that universities provide to different audiences and acknowledges that institutions will provide this information in different ways. Because of the diversity of the information and of the other data requirements in the Quality Code, the information is not all located on a single site, but is provided in ways that best meet the needs of its users.