Scottish students failing to obtain university placement for reasons other than grades: FOI review

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

FOI reference: FOI/18/02454
Date received: 29 October 2018
Date responded: 23 November 2018
Information requested
  • “Details of any correspondence sent to either John Swinney or Nicola Sturgeon from parents, pupils or organisations on the topic of Scottish students failing to obtain a university place for reasons other than grades e.g. the cap on the number of places.”
Further to your request for a review of FOI/18/02454 and my initial response of 01 November 2018, I have now completed my review of the Scottish Government’s response to your request under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA).
In this review I have considered the original request again and concluded that a different interpretation should be given to the term ‘details’ and, as you note in your email of 01 November 2018, that consideration of all correspondence should be included. I have, therefore, included a revised table below and enclosed a copy of most of the information you requested in the attached pdf files. 


Limit on funded places

Clearing places unavailable to Scots-domiciled student

Ineligible for Widening Access scheme

Unclear / not stated











Phone call





While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because an exemption applies to that information. A small amount of information has been redacted throughout these documents because an exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies. This exemption applies because it contains personal data of a third party, i.e. contact details of individuals. This information has been redacted throughout the documents which are being released. Disclosing this information would contravene the data protection principles in Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation and in section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018. This exemption is not subject to the ‘public interest test’, so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption.
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FOI-18-02454 - related email correspondence


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit 
Phone: 0300 244 4000 

The Scottish Government 
St Andrew's House 
Regent Road 

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