Dear Beatriz:

I have now read your document.

Let me first say that the general idea was simply to understand student performance in a very broad manner. any such study might have policy implications but it was never considered the main purpose. We do not perceive that we have any problems — neither with admissions, nor, in general, with course delivery and teaching. As such i would be deeply worried of your document being seen by anybody else.

It suggests there are problems where, in fact, we do extremely well. I would therefore urge you not share your document with anybody else.

With regards on how to practically proceed with the descriptive data exercise I can see very little in your document except the claim that it might be doable with Malcolm and Julie and a research assistant on board. Alas, this is not possible. neither Malcolm, nor Julie have the capacity to deal with this in much more detail nor is there any funding that would allow us the employment of a research assistant to work under your direction.

If I try to interpret your document as a feasibility study I must come to the conclusion that you are essentially telling me that you cannot undertake the task on your own. What puzzles me about this is that, basically, all of this should be just a matter of time. This is why I had asked you to prepare a document that precisely describes the next steps and how much time is required for them. We could then have developed a plan along which to proceed.

There are two options now. First, you might want to reconsider whether you can do the actual data job yourself (gather the files, read the files, interpret the data, enter the data) with a view of generating a usable comprehensive data set over the next two months or so. Second, we abort the project here and now and find you something else to work on.

With best wishes


Dear Steffen,

As agreed, please find attached my report titled: "UCL Econ Department:
Admissions Procedures and Student Performance". Kindly confirm that it reached you safely. I look forward to your comments.

I am also sending a copy to Malcolm, as his comments would be very much appreciated.

With kind regards,

Beatriz Armendariz

Steffen Huck
Professor of Economics and
Head of Department
University College London