There will be “no prospect” of universities becoming exempted from the Freedom of Information Act.
The commission reviewing the act, headed by former justice secretary Jack Straw suggested the way to “level [the] playing field” would be to roll out the act to private firms who compete with public funded universities.
Submissions by the Russell Group and from Universities UK argued that they were “subject to bureaucratic requirements that other players in that market are not.”
It was argued Freedom of Information requests cost £10m a year, but Straw said it worked out as under £150 per request and wasn’t “bank breaking.”
Student media has successfully used Freedom of Information requests countless times, with the SPA even having a special FoI award for the best story.
Sarah Newey and Ivana Scatola won the FoI award from Bristol’s Epigram paper for reporting on a story that the Vice Chancellor and his wife took a £20k trip to the far east.
Jayna Rana, from Kent’s The Medwire, took the highly commended for her investigation into the cost of false fire service callouts to the student halls.