Disclosure date: 2 June 2014
I would like to request the total number (out of the entire SOAS student population) of students who have not been previously privately educated in their former education? This is a request for the number and percentage of previously State Schooled SOAS students.
I would also like to request (on the basis of enquiring whether SOAS promoted the study of Asia and Africa to students of Asian and African descent) the number of non-white state schooled students who now study at SOAS. I would also like to request the number of self-defined black state schooled students now studying at SOAS.
This information is exempt from disclosure under section 21(1) of the Freedom of Information Act, which removes the obligation on public authorities to provide information that is reasonably accessible to the applicant through other means.
The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) collect data from all participating higher education institutions (including SOAS) and can provide data on request (albeit for a charge). Details can be found at Higher Education Statistics Agency.
The section 21 exemption applies even if information is only accessible on payment. There is no obligation on SOAS to consider the public interest in disclosure when applying this exemption.
You should note that it is very unlikely that HESA will be able to supply state school/non-state school data for anyone other than UK domiciled first degree students. If you are willing to restrict your enquiry to UK domiciled undergraduates, HESA can provide ethnicity and state/non-state school information.
HESA's ethnicity coding frame will help you to define "non-white" and "black" students: HESA Students Record 2013/14.