Here we complement the previous posting with a study of the 10 worst performing Non-Russell Group Universities.

Again, we give total number of complaints to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), as well as complaints per 1000 staff (using publicly available estimates of the total number of employees). These statistics are a proxy for the openness of the University. Fewer complaints to the ICO indicate greater propensity to disclose data, as well as better staff-management relations.

We recollect that the worst performing Russell Group university was Oxford with 99 complaints. When normalised to total employees, this is ~ 6.7 complaints per 1000 staff.

The Non-Russell Group has produced six universities worse than Oxford. The performance by St Mary’s University, Twickenham is extraordinary with 70 complaints amongst barely 1100 employees. When normalised by head count, this is by some way the worst performance of any university in the UK. The 21 Group would be interested to hear of any explanation.

The next five universities — London Metropolitan, East London, Birkbeck College, Brunel and Northampton — all generate more complaints to the ICO per 1000 staff than Oxford. This suggest a closed culture, desultory management and poor employee engagement.

We recollect that the ICO is the last resort for Freedom of Information or data protection complaints. Consensual and open universities should not be generating such large numbers of complaints.

So far, we have merely looked at total number of complaints (whether or not the complaints were upheld). In the next posting, we will look at which Universities are failing to comply with the recommendations of the ICO in the case of upheld complaints.

Categories: Blog

1 Comment

Anonymous · 24 January 2024 at 20:09

Very interesting and chilling. Sadly, I’m not at all surprised to see that Kent is among the worst in terms of ICO complaints.

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