Disclosure date: 27 August 2013
1.) What is the total number of South Yorkshire domiciled students (that is, from the metropolitan county of South Yorkshire, including the metropolitan boroughs of Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield) on the academic roll?
2.) What subjects do they study?
2.) This information is held, but is being withheld under the exemption set out at section 40(2) and section 40(3)(i) of the Freedom of Information Act. This exemption protects personal information where its disclosure would contravene any of the data protection principles. Firstly, it is SOAS’s view that this information is personal information because if this information was put together with other knowledge held by some members of the public (notably members of the SOAS community or friends or relatives of the people affected), individuals could be identified and personal information relating to them thereby disclosed. Given the low numbers involved, it is likely that individuals could be identified in this way if the subject of study was provided. Information disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act is effectively disclosed to all, so this possibility has to be considered. SOAS believes that disclosure would breach the first data protection principle as students would not expect SOAS to disclose their personal information. It would therefore be unfair to disclose further details that could allow them to be identified.