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Ms Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will make a statement on the criteria which he will use to allocate planned extra resources for student places to particular (a) universities and (b) courses, with special reference to the academic excellence of particular institutions. 
Margaret Hodge: The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) determine the extra allocations for individual institutions through an annual bidding exercise for additional student numbers. The criteria for the allocation of these places for 200304 are set out in the HEFCE publication, XAdditional Student Places and Funds 200304", report number 2002/39. The strategy document on higher education, which will be published in January 2003, will set out our vision for the future funding of higher education.
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Mr. Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many students from Leeds West obtained places at a university in (a) 2002 and (b) 1997; and what percentage of those who had sat A levels went on to university. 
The available figures for Great Britain, showing the proportion of under 21-year-olds who enter higher education for the first time, are given in the table. There was an increase in the index in 199798 related partly to changes in the funding arrangements for higher education, with students choosing to enter HE rather than wait until 199899. There was a corresponding reduction in 199899 before the entry rates started to increase again in 19992000. Between 199798 and 200001, total HE students in English universities and colleges rose by 83,000. Nationally, around nine out of 10 18-year-olds who obtain two or more A levels enter HE by the time they are 21.
1 The API is defined as the number of GB domiciled initial entrants to full-time and sandwich undergraduate HE aged under 21, expressed as a percentage of the average number of 18 and 19-year-olds in the population.
2 Projected: final data on initial entrants not yet available.
Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much will be spent on (a) entertaining, (b) Christmas decorations and (c) other festive activities this Christmas season by his Department and government agencies answerable to his Department; and of this sum how much will be spent in ministers' (i) private offices and (ii) official residences. 
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expenditure in these categories is strictly for official purposes only, and is made in accordance with the departmental guidance on financial procedures and propriety, based on the principles set out in Government Accounting.
The total spent on entertainment, Christmas decorations and other festive activities for the FCO ministerial private offices and official residence at Christmas 2002 was #13,337.15. Of this #11,809.65 was spent on entertaining by ministerial offices and #1,527.50 in the official residence.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will specify the adjustments to the UN plan for Cyprus which were ratified to the parties on 10th December; if he will place a copy of the UN plan as adjusted in the Library; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. MacShane [holding answer 16 December 2002]: The United Nations' Secretary General has asked that the full details of the United Nations' negotiating process for a settlement in Cyprus remain confidential. It is for the UN Secretary General to decide on this plan's publication. I regret that it is therefore not possible to put a copy, as requested, in the Library.
The United Nations held intensive consultations with the two sides in Cyprus and also in Copenhagen on 12 and 13 December 2002. It did not prove possible, however, to achieve a comprehensive settlement. However, the parties' positions have never been closer and agreement seemed possible up until the last minute.
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Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the Final Report of the UN Panel of Experts on the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources and Other Forms of Wealth of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 
Mr. Rammell: The UK fully supports the work of the UN Panel and welcomes its latest report. This highlights the activities of Xcriminal elites" operating throughout the region to exploit the DRC's natural resources. We hope the information in the report can be used to call those involved to account, although more information will be required to substantiate many of the claims made.
The Panel's mandate expired on 18 October. We are still in discussion with the UN about the allegations. The Security Council is considering the extension of the panel's mandate to allow discussions to continue.
Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the clause in the EU draft constitution produced by the Convention on the Future of Europe requiring member states to do everything to further the aims of the EU. 
Mr. MacShane: The draft Constitutional Treaty of the Praesidium of the Convention on the Future of Europe is an outline for discussion by the Convention. It has a clause which 'sets out the obligation of loyal co-operation of Member States vis-a-vis the Union'. The principle exists in the present Treaties (Article 10 of the Treaty on European Community and Article 11(2) the Treaty on European Union).
Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the current draft of the European Constitution produced by the Convention on the Future of Europe contains a clause requiring a member state to join the euro. 
Mr. MacShane: The draft Constitutional Treaty of the Praesidium of the Convention on the Future of Europe does not contain a clause requiring Member States to join the Euro. The UK would not agree to a constitution that would compel us to join the Euro. The Government would only recommend membership of the Euro if it is in the national economic interest and the economic case is clear and unambiguous.
Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will publish (a) the latest draft EU constitution produced by the Convention on the Future of Europe and (b) the UK response. 
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Mr. MacShane: The Praesidium of the Convention on the Future of Europe's draft Constitutional Treaty is publicly available. It can be accessed through their website at http://european-convention.eu.int/. It is a basis for further discussion by the Convention.
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