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Non-proliferation Treaty

Mr. Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about his priorities for the non-proliferation treaty review conference. [111955]

Mr. Hain: We are unequivocally committed to our obligations under the NPT, which remains the cornerstone of our non-proliferation policy.

Our priority is to see a successful outcome to the Review Conference which furthers the government's goal of achieving a world free of nuclear weapons.

PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL

Millennium Bug

Mr. Plaskitt: To ask the President of the Council, pursuant to her oral statement to the House of 20 January 2000, Official Report, columns 975-77, if she will report on the immediate impact of the Millennium Bug on central Government Departments and Agencies. [111880]

Mrs. Beckett: I am pleased to update Members with the results of the detailed monitoring exercise on the impact of the Millennium Bug on central Government Departments and Agencies. Copies of the completed questionnaires have been placed in the Libraries of the House and published on the internet, as has been the Government's practice. This report follows on from my statement to the House on Thursday 20 January.

I can confirm that--as predicted--it continues to be business as usual across Central Government. Twenty- seven Departments and Agencies logged 82 Millennium Bug related incidents over the new year period. Almost all the incidents were assessed as having a low or very low impact, principally because either the problems were fixed before the return to work on 4 and 5 January or because the errors were very minor, such as incorrectly dated reports.

28 Feb 2000 : Column: 136W

There is no doubt this work on meeting the threat of the Millennium Bug had to be undertaken. The Bug was shown to have the capacity to wreak havoc among services, which, though essential, we take for granted. The Government's objective in that work was always to ensure that the Bug resulted in no material disruption to essential services. That objective has been achieved.

The Government will continue to lead by example and be open and transparent. I will report back to the House in March on the impact of the leap year date change on Central Government, which is expected to be low. This will be followed by a more detailed report on lessons learned and benefits captured.

EDUCATION AND EMPLOYMENT

Education Maintenance Awards

Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what the take-up was of Education Maintenance Awards in Stoke-on-Trent for 1999-2000. [111694]

Mr. Wicks: The number of students being paid the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) in Stoke-on- Trent to 21 January 2000 was 1,276.

We are very encouraged by the way the scheme is running in Stoke. Already, it is making a real difference to the life chances of many young people there.

Higher Education (Funding)

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what was public spending on higher education, excluding the science budget, as a proportion of GDP for each year from 1979 to 1999; and what is the forecast for (a) 2000-01 and (b) 2001-02. [110399]

Mr. Wills [holding answer 21 February 2000]: The proportion of GDP spent on UK higher education for each financial year, both including and excluding the DTI/OST science budget, is given in the following table. The figures including the science budget are as in our reply to the noble Lord, the Lord Baker of Dorking of 27 January 2000, Official Report, House of Lords, column WA206. Both sets of figures include expenditure from public funds on tuition fees, maintenance awards and student loans. Figures for 2000-01 and 2001-02 are current spending plans. The proportions will vary depending upon the performance of the economy, which determines the level of GDP. Funding for higher education in England will increase by 11 per cent. in real terms over the four years to 2001-02.

Percentage

Including scienceExcluding science
1979-801.231.08
1980-811.331.17
1981-821.331.16
1982-831.301.13
1983-841.281.11
1984-851.231.07
1985-861.161.00
1986-871.140.98
1979-801.110.96
1980-811.070.92
1981-821.080.92
1982-831.100.94
1983-841.191.03
1984-851.281.11
1985-861.291.11
1986-871.311.13
1995-961.291.11
1996-971.191.02
1997-981.161.00
1998-991.120.97
1999-20001.130.97
2000-011.140.98
2000-021.140.98

28 Feb 2000 : Column: 137W

Engineering Faculties

Mr. Fabricant: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will list the initiatives he has taken since 1 May 1997 to attract high-calibre academic staff into engineering faculties in universities in England. [111257]

Mr. Wicks: Higher education institutions are independent bodies which appoint and retain the staff they need to run their academic programmes. For their part, the Government plan to increase funding to the higher education sector by over £1 billion in the four years to 2001-02.

Mr. Fabricant: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many academic teaching posts in engineering faculties remained unfilled as at 30 September 1999 in universities in England. [111256]

Mr. Wicks: The information is not held centrally.

Mr. Fabricant: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what is the age distribution, in 10-year bands, of those holding academic teaching posts in engineering faculties in universities in England. [111258]

Mr. Wicks: The latest available data are given in the table:

Academic staff (34) in engineering faculties (35) in higher education institutions in England 1998-99

Age of staffNumberPercentage
21 to 304426.6
31 to 401,74826.1
41 to 502,07130.9
51 to 601,93428.8
61 and over5107.6
Not known20.0
Total6,707100.0

(34) Academic staff whose primary employment function is either teaching, or teaching and research.

(35) Includes the following cost centres, General Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Mineral, metallurgy and materials engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical, electronic and computer engineering and Mechanical, aero and production engineering


28 Feb 2000 : Column: 138W

Higher Education (UK Component Countries)

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many applications were made in 1999 by students based in the United Kingdom for enrolment on a course in a component country of the United Kingdom in which they were not resident. [110395]

Mr. Wicks [holding answer 21 February 2000]: The latest data on applicants via the Universities and Colleges Admissions Survey (UCAS) for entry in autumn 2000, based on students who had applied by 15 December 1999, are given in the table. Similar data for part-time courses are not available.

Applicants (36) for entry in 2000 by country of study and country of home domicile

Country of study (37)
Country of domicileEnglandScotlandWalesN. IrelandTotal
England241,70722,34733,815764298,633
Scotland5,74922,12641617228,463
Wales10,75771310,3423721,849
N. Ireland6,6225,68781411,55524,678
Total264,83550,87345,38712,528373,623

(36) The number of applicants who applied by 15 December 1999.

(37) Applicants are counted once for each county to which they apply i.e. a student who applied to one or more courses in England and one or more courses in Scotland will be counted once under England and once under Scotland.


Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many undergraduate students from European Union countries are currently enrolled on courses in each of the component countries of the United Kingdom. [110372]

Mr. Wicks [holding answer 21 February 2000]: The most recent information available is given in the table.

Students (38) from European Union countries enrolled on undergraduate courses in the United Kingdom 1998-99

Country of institutionStudents from the European Union (39)
England54,886
Scotland6,262
Wales4,139
N. Ireland3,431
Total68,718

(38) Full-time and part-time students

(39) Excluding students from the UK



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