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  • Launch of new university FoI website

    Posted on March 1st, 2010 admin No comments
    Questions might be; how little work can I do? Will this course bankrupt my parents? Does she fancy me?

    Questions might be; how little work can I do? Will this course bankrupt my parents? Does she fancy me?

    News has come to me today of an interesting new website that has been set up which targets Freedom of Information requests to universities.

    The website is targeting lecturers and employees of the nation’s universities as a vehicle which they can use to ask FoI questions anonymously.

    It also says that it will take on interesting round-robin requests to all 125 universities and then compile a report of the results.

    In an e-mail to lecturers it says: 

    AcademicFOI.Com is a new website about Freedom of Information requests to UK universities.

    Academic staff are welcome to send us anonymous or off the record suggestions for Freedom of Information requests about topics of interest or concern to them. We will then submit these in our own name free of charge and publish the responses on our website.

    We hope that this service will be useful to academics who believe that submitting an FOI request in your own name to your own institution is unlikely to be a good career move.

    In addition to single requests we are also willing to consider suggestions for projects involving the submission of identical requests to all 125 UK universities.

    At the end of March we will be publishing a report based on FOI responses from all universities on the subject of employment tribunal claims and non disclosure agreements.

    You can sign up for our free regular e-mail bulletin with news of recent requests, responses and reports.

    It is an interesting concept. Perhaps one that could be transposed into the world of council employees, police forces and even Government departments?

    The website is operated by a man called Ian Benson founder of a company called UK Future TV [link]. It appears he has had a rather amusing spat with the University of Plymouth in the past [link]. He complained to the Advertising Standards Authority that their slogan “the enterprise university” was misleading when his FoI request revealed just two of the university’s 10,000 students went on to start a business with the institution’s help. The ASA ruled in the university’s favour saying “enterprise” had a much wider meaning.

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