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Freedom of information disclosure log

In the interests of transparency, Birkbeck has opted to publish basic details of all freedom of information requests received and responded to over a rolling 12-month period.

If you have any queries, please .

RefDescriptionResponse dateResponse
2022-004Student drug use21/01/2022

I am making a freedom of information request about the outcome of any investigation of class A drug use of your students (of any course) from 1 August 2021 to 7 January 2022.

  • Response: No investigations took place.
2022-025Student marking08/02/2022

How many students' marks have been changed after the submission of marksheets by markers to administrators, in order to uplift the students' degree classifications, or in response to informal requests by staff or students asking to change the students' marks, within Department of Organizational Psychology's postgraduate examination board (chaired by Almuth McDowall), in the academic years 2021-22, 2020-21, 2019-20, 2018-19, and 2017-18?

  • Response:
    • 2017-18: Discretion considered - 40; discretion awarded - 17.
    • 2018-19: Discretion considered - 30; discretion awarded - 14.
    • 2019-20: Discretion considered - 40; discretion awarded - 29.
    • 2020-21: Discretion considered - 24; discretion awarded - 20.
    • Please note that we have not differentiated between the reasons for discretion being requested (i.e. mitigating circumstances). No degree classifications have been changed post-board.
2022-016Birkbeck bar11/02/2022

1. Could you please provide me with information about the permanent or temporary closure of Birkbeck Bar, located in the main operational building (Malet Street)?

2. Please provide things such as circulars, board meetings, or executive decisions about the plans for this bar.

  • Response: The decision to close the Birkbeck Bar was due to initial COVID-19 restrictions. The re-opening of the bar has not yet been discussed. This has not been discussed in meetings.
2022-006PhD information21/02/2022

1. Is the above-cited thesis (Taiwanese planning law: a historical review and comparison with Hong Kong) the final examined PhD thesis submitted by Mr Shih?

  • Response: Yes

2. Has Mr Shih eared his PhD degree in law from Birkbeck?

  • Response: Yes

3. If yes for question (2), when was this doctoral degree awarded?

  • Response: May 2019
2022-008Staff demographics21/02/2022

1. How many British Muslim employees have you recruited? Please provide figures for every year since 2010.

2. What is the average length of service?

  • Response: The College adopted a new database in 2016, and archived records from the previous system. This means that data for 2010-16 is only available for staff still employed by Birkbeck.
    • Started between 2005 and 2015: Number of posts/persons - 16; average length of service - 8.3 years.
    • Started in 2016: Number of posts/persons - 13; average length of service - 2.1 years.
    • Started in 2017: Number of posts/persons - 25; average length of service - 1.7 years.
    • Started in 2018: Number of posts/persons - 21; average length of service - 2 years.
    • Started in 2019: Number of posts/persons - 28; average length of service - 1.4 years.
    • Started in 2020: Number of posts/persons - 21; average length of service - 0.9 years.
    • Started in 2021: Number of posts/persons - 19; average length of service - 0.5 years.

3. How many British Muslims have you employed in communications/media roles since 2010?

  • Response: Less than five.
2022-023Student accommodation21/02/2022

1. How many students have you had staying in university-run accommodation and student halls, in the last five years?

2. How much rent has the university collected year on year for university-run accommodation and student halls, in the last five years?

3. How much money has been invested in university-run accommodation and student halls for upkeep/maintenance/renovations, in the last five years?

4. How many students staying in university-run accommodation and student halls, if any, have been indebted to the university for late rent payments, in the last five years?

5. How many students staying in university-run accommodation and student halls, if any, have been evicted for missing rent payments, in the last five years?

  • Response: Birkbeck does not have university-run accommodation, or student halls.
2022-005Student drug use28/02/2022

1. How many reports have been made regarding students taking recreational drugs in the last academic five years (2016-17 to 2020-21)?

  • Response: 0

2. Can I have a breakdown of which recreational drugs these were, please?

  • Response: N/A

3. What are the steps you take after a student has been reported for recreational drug use?

  • Response: Under the Student Discipline Policy a student can be suspended while a formal investigation is ongoing, and where an allegation of student misconduct made to the College is an offence committed against the College and could be considered a criminal offence, the Academic Registrar or nominee will determine whether the incident should be reported to the police. Possible penalties include restrictions or conditions (for example, issuing a no-entry order); suspension of studies; termination of registration with or without a specified period of non-reenrolment.

4. How many students have been suspended due to recreational drug use in the last academic five years (2016-17 to 2020-21)?

  • Response: 0

5. How many students have been expelled permanently due to recreational drug use in the last academic five years (2016-17 to 2020-21)?

  • Response: 0

6. How many students have been reported for dealing recreational drugs in the last academic five years (2016-17 to 2020-21)?

  • Response: 0

7. How many staff members have been reported for taking recreational drugs in the last academic five years (2016-17 to 2020-21)?

  • Response: 0

8. What are the steps you take after a member of staff has been reported for recreational drug use?

9. How many staff members have been suspended due to recreational drug use in the last academic five years (2016-17 to 2020-21)?

  • Response: 0

10. How many staff members have been fired due to recreational drug use in the last academic five years (2016-17 to 2020-21)?

  • Response: 0
2022-009CCTV28/02/2022

1. Supplier of the contract for CCTV maintenance and support.

  • Response: Electra-Locks Limited

2. How much the organisation spends annually with the supplier (if multiple suppliers please list the annual spend for each)?

  • Response: Approximately £7,000 per year.

3. What is the expiry date of this contract?

  • Response: 31/01/2022

4. What is the duration of the contract?

  • Response: N/A (it is currently under review).

5. What is the review date of this contract? If possible the likely outcome of this review

  • Response: Currently under review, outcome unknown.

6. The primary brand of the CCTV equipment. I don’t require the model just the brand. If there is various brands could you please list?

  • Response: Some Hikivision, other older type dome cameras, DVRs etc.

7. What is the total number of cameras in use/under this contract?

  • Response: Just under 150

8. The description of the services provided under this contract. Please state if this contract includes more than just CCTV services.

  • Response: Contract is currently under review.

9. Contact details of the employee responsible for the contract between the supplier and the organisation. Can you please provide me with their full contact details:

2022-011Estates28/02/2022

1. Do any of the university buildings have central deionised water plants?

  • Response: No

2. What are the age of the central water plants?

  • Response: 20-25 years outside Malet Street. New within Malet Street.

3. Are there any plans to replace the central water plants?

  • Response: No
2022-020Grants28/02/2022

1. The value of grants made to each of the organisations listed below. Please provide the information for each of the three financial years separately, and list all grants separately.

2. The value of loans made to each of the organisations listed below. Please provide the information for each of the three financial years separately, and list all loans separately.

  • Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH)
  • Independent Sage
  • NHS Confederation
  • Keep our NHS public
  • SOS NHS
  • Care and Support Workers Organise
  • UNITED VOICES OF THE WORLD
  • Health Campaigns Together
  • Doctors for the NHS
  • We Own It
  • The People's Assembly
  • Zero Covid Coalition
  • Health Campaign Together
  • Docs Not Cops
  • British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin
  • Association of Pakistani Physicians of Northern Europe
  • Royal College of General Practitioners
  • Royal College of Ophthalmology
  • Royal College of Psychiatrists
  • Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
  • Response: Birkbeck does not make grants or loans, and therefore has not made them to any of the organisations listed.
2022-021Ransomware28/02/2022

1. Has your university been subject to any ransomware attacks in the last 2 years?

  • Response: 0

2. If so, when did they take place?

  • Response: N/A

3. Have you paid a ransom/s in return for data stolen during a mentioned ransomware attack/s?

  • Response: N/A

4. If you've paid ransom/s, then what's the total amount you've paid?

  • Response: N/A
2022-022Past papers28/02/2022

Please may you release the following past theory and practical exam papers taken by geology undergraduates from 2015 to 2021?

  • Response: The following papers were supplied as attachments:
    • Earth's Resources and Raw Materials (May 2015, May 2016, May 2020)
    • Forensic Geology (May 2015, May 2016)
    • Geological Hazards (May 2015, May 2016, May 2019)
    • Global Tectonics (May 2016)
    • Introduction to Geochemistry (May 2015, May 2016, May 2020)
    • Introduction to Geology (May 2015, May 2016, May 2020)
    • Magmatic Processes (May 2016)
    • Palaeoclimatology (June 2015, May 2016, May 2020)
    • Palaeoecology (May 2015, May 2016)
    • Structural Geology 1 including accompanying sheets (May 2020)
    • Structural Geology 2 including accompanying sheets (May 2020)
    • Tectonic Geomorphology (May 2015, May 2016, May 2020)
2022-027Staff contact details28/02/2022

Chief Information Officer (or equivalent)

  • Response: N/A

Chief Technology Officer (or equivalent)

  • Response: N/A

Director of IT, ICT, IM&T

2022-037Research grants28/02/2022

Please can you provide me with any information you have about donations (financial or in kind), research grants/funding and loans to your institution from the companies and individuals listed below, from the start of the 2016-17 academic year until your most recent records:

Companies: Gazprom; Gazprom Neft; Rossiya; Jenn Bank; General Bank; Promsvyazbank; the Black Sea Bank; Sberbank; Aquind; Rosneft; Lukoil; Novatek; Nornickel; Yandex; Polyus; Surgutneftegas.

Individuals: Boris Rotenberg; Igor Rotenberg; Gennady Timchenko; Lubov Chernukhin; Alexander Temerko; Dmitry Leus; Lev Mikheev.

  • Response: We have not received any donations, grants, or loans from these companies or individuals.
2022-001Student demographics04/03/2022

1. Number of Chinese mainland applications and offers made (for each postgraduate programme) for the 2021 autumn admission cycles.

2. Number of all application and offers made (for each postgraduate programme) for the 2021 autumn admission cycles.

  • Response: Data provided as a spreadsheet.
2022-002Application information04/03/2022

Please can you email me, for each academic year between 2017-18 and 2021-22 inclusive, and for each master's degree qualification and other RQF Level 7 qualification offered by the University in that year, a) the number of applications and b) the number of admissions, with each number broken down into i) home students and ii) international students.

  • Response: Data provided as a spreadsheet.
2022-018Estates04/03/2022

1. The make and model of readers used.

  • Response: Salto XS Wall Reader

2. The company which manufactures/distributes the readers.

  • Response: Salto Systems

3. Any third-party installers/channel partners used to purchase the readers.

  • Response: These are available from various channel partners or from Salto directly

4. The security infrastructure provider.

  • Response: Salto Systems

5. The software used to manage the door controllers and readers.

  • Response: Salto Pro Access

6. Approximate quantity of doors at the university.

  • Response: 230 Doors

7. Name of the Head of Estates for the university.

  • Response: Daniel Xuereb
2022-031Advertising budget04/03/2022

1. What fraction of the Birkbeck University budget is dedicated to communications and PR?

  • Response: In 2020-21 approximately 0.13% was dedicated to communications and PR.

2. What fraction of Birkbeck's comms/PR budget was spent designing the "Hootie" graphic?

  • Response: In 2020-21 this would be zero, apart from some of the in-house designer's time in laying out work, which it would not be possible to calculate in terms of a fraction of the comms/PR budget as he does not keep records of his time spent on various jobs.

3. What amount of money was spent on posters/banners/window pieces which feature the "Hootie" graphic?

  • Response: During 2020-21 approximately £5,000 was spent on posters, banners and window pieces which feature the Hootie graphic. The majority of this was on COVID-related informational posters, banners and window stickers and was not charged to communications and PR budgets. We estimate that around £2,000 was charged to Marketing budgets.

4. Compared to the total communications/PR budget for Birkbeck, what do each of these costs represent?

  • Response: £2,000 represents around 2% of Birkbeck's communications and PR budget.
2022-012Graduation07/03/2022

1. Is it mandatory for distance learning Master's students of Birkbeck, University of London who have completed their studies to attend a graduation ceremony in person if they wish to graduate?

  • Response: No

2. If it is not mandatory for a distance learning master's student of Birkbeck, University of London to attend a graduation ceremony in person if they wish to graduate, what are the costs to the student to graduate if they do not attend the ceremony?

  • Response: None

3. If it is not mandatory for a distance learning master's student of Birkbeck, University of London to attend a graduation ceremony in person if they wish to graduate, is there a delay to when the student obtains the degree certificate? If so, how long is the delay?

  • Response: There is no delay.

4. If it is not mandatory for a distance learning master's student of Birkbeck, University of London to attend a graduation ceremony in person if they wish to graduate, what is the cost to a student to receive the certificate through the post to their home address?

  • Response: None.
2022-024 Sexual assault 15/03/2022

I am writing to request the number of sexual misconduct cases involving university students reported to the University.

I also require the data to include information on the following:

  • How many was investigated by yourselves.
  • How many faced disciplinary action.
  • How many were reported to the police.

For the following academic years: 2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-20, 2020-21.

To clarify both the victim and perpetrator must be or have been students.

  • Response:
    • 2017-18 - less than 5 cases (HO codes 12512 and 866), which were investigated by the College and faced disciplinary action, but were not reported to police.
    • 2018-19 - no cases.
    • 2019-20 - less than 5 cases (HO codes 12512 and 866), which were investigated by the College and faced disciplinary action, but were not reported to police.
    • 2020-21 - no cases.
2022-003Staff information17/03/2022Question and answer provided as spreadsheets.
2022-019Decolonisation18/03/2022What work is being done, or has been proposed in the above material, to tackle historic legacies of slavery, racism, or other contested legacies?
  • Response: The requested documentation was provided.
2022-010Student mental health services21/03/20221. Detail the amount spent on mental health and whether you have a dedicated mental health budget.
  • Response: There is a dedicated counselling budget and a separate mental health budget. Their total expenditure was as follows:
    • 2019-20 - counselling: £292,510.72; mental health: £132,067.41. In addition to this we spent £58,833.31 on mental health mentors where DSA wasn't available.
    • 2020-21 - counselling: £325,085.01; mental health: £161,416.64 - mentoring: £184,698.88
  • The two services also receive administrative support that is shared with the Disability and Dyslexia Service, and is costed outside of these budgets. These figures are for the College academic year rather than the specific dates listed.

2. Detail the amount of a) counsellors b) other clinical staff employed.

  • Response:
    • 9 June 2019-9 June 2020: four counsellors, one Deputy Service Manager and one Service Manager.
    • 10 June 2020-9 June 2021: Five counsellors, one Deputy Service Manage and one Service Manager.

3. Detail the a) median b) longest wait to see a counsellor.

  • Response: Average wait (working days)
    • Jun 2019: 18
    • Jul 2019: 15
    • Aug 2019: 9
    • Sep 2019: 61
    • Oct 2019: 8
    • Nov 2019: 13
    • Dec 2019: 21
    • Jan 2020: 25
    • Feb 2020: 20
    • Mar 2020: 18
    • Apr 2020: 27
    • May 2020: 25
    • Jun 2020: 8
    • Jul 2020: 9
    • Aug 2020: 13
    • Sep 2020: 7
    • Oct 2020: 5
    • Nov 2020: 8
    • Dec 2020: 12
    • Jan 2021: 15
    • Feb 2021: 13
    • Mar 2021: 15
    • Apr 2021: 20
    • May 2021: 17
    • Jun 2021: 16
  • Average wait (June 2019 to June 2020): 21 days
  • Average wait (June 2020 to June 2021): 12 days

4. Detail the number of students enrolled.

  • Response:
    • 2019-20 - 8,838
    • 2020-21 - 9,371
  • These figures refer to full-time equivalents. The actual number of individual enrolled students is closer to around 12,000.

5. Detail the number of students engaged with counselling.

  • Response:
    • 2019-20 - 463 students
    • 2020-21 - 445 students
2022-014Spam emails21/03/2022Please provide me with the total number of malicious emails blocked by your organisation over the last three calendar years (2021, 2020, 2019) broken down by year and categorised accordingly.
  • Response: This data is only retained for one calendar month. The data was provided in the form of a spreadsheet.