FOI legislation opens up UCAS and higher education…

As of this month, there are three more organisations that are under the scope of The Freedom of Information Act; and most appropriately for the Help Me Investigate education site, UCAS, the charitable organisation who organise the higher education application process, are now susceptible.

So, you can now look into the £21m of charitable spending from last year, the ways in which they facilitate the advancement of higher education by running charitable teaching programs and events for young people, or the running of the higher education admissions service itself.

However, the fact UCAS are a charity means that there are some conditions and exceptions and as a result, there is a limit on the information the public can access.

Basically, it’s key to differentiate between the commercial actions and the public actions; you can only gain access to information that makes them accountable to the public.

Their Guide to Information outlines what information can be accessed and points out the stores of information already available to the public.

They’ll also make it easy to access public information that is clouded or blocked by their commercial interests, as well as storing previous responses to previous Freedom of Information requests.

Under the new legislation, the College of Agriculture Food and Rural Enterprise is also subject to the Act.

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