Policy on providing information about Imperial College to external publications, including study guides, reference publications and databases

Agreed in May 2006 by Registry and the Communications Division, with the approval of the Recruitment and Admission Policy Committee and the Chairs of the Graduate Schools. (N.B. This is current policy, 2011.)

It has been decided to limit the number of study guides, reference publications and databases to which the College contributes centrally, to those that make a significant contribution to maintaining the College's excellent reputation.

Under this policy, the College will continue to provide information to UCAS for undergraduates and to Graduate Prospects for postgraduates. This will ensure that information we do provide is published by reputable sources.

We will also continue to supply data requested by established national publications that publish league tables, such as The Times Good University Guide, The Guardian's quarterly postgraduate supplement and others. See our league table rankings.

All other requests for updated or new information received by Registry or Communications will be asked to research their own content from the College website and the reference sources above.

It is recommended that departments and divisions receiving such requests follow suit or contact the Communications and Public Affairs Division for advice.

Background

The supply of such information had been a matter for concern for some time, not only because of the very time consuming task of responding to requests by publishers, but also due to the sometimes inaccurate and idiosyncratic interpretation of our data.

The following points were considered prior to the approval of the new policy:

1. Whether the College should be providing information about Imperial for study guides, reference publications and databases

We concluded that we should provide information about the College but not necessarily to everyone who requests it.

2. Whether the publication of such information positively affects applications to the College

Market research undertaken in 2005 by Hobsons and commissioned by Melanie Thody, Director of Access, showed that information sources, such as careers directories and third party websites, were considered useful by only nine per cent of our target students, compared with 59 per cent and 43 per cent of our target students who thought university prospectuses and university websites were useful.

It was therefore decided that a change to our policy as described above would not be damaging to Imperial.