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25 Feb 2003 : Column 462W—continued

Graduate Tax

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will publish his costings that underlie his estimate that the administration costs for a graduate tax would be in the region of £1 billion. [96671]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The estimate of up to £1 billion was not for administration costs, but for the additional upfront cash costs of implementing a graduate tax over and above the cost of variable fees and loans, as proposed in the White Paper "The future of higher education". The costs of a graduate tax system are greater for several reasons:

Higher Education

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to his statement of 22 January, Official Report, column 303, on higher education, what the evidential basis was for his

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description of universities having offered great research accompanied by shoddy teaching; and to which courses at which universities he was referring. [93943]

Mr. Charles Clarke: I was highlighting the new measures announced in "The Future for Higher Education" which are aimed at ensuring that teaching is of a universally high standard. These new arrangements will mean that reputation for research excellence will no longer be assumed to be a proxy for high quality teaching. Concerns about the quality of teaching were raised by students with Ministers during their visits to universities, and reflected in some reports by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education. The White Paper on Higher Education also identified a number of shortcomings in the way that University teaching was recognised, supported and awarded.

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to the answer by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury to the hon. Member for Eddisbury (Mr. O'Brien), of 6 February 2003, Official Report, column 396W, on higher education, what research the Department for Education and Skills commissioned to conclude that the proposals included in the White Paper would have a positive impact on the economy; and if he will publish the research. [99128]

Mr. Charles Clarke: We are confident that the proposals in the White Paper will have a positive benefit on the economy and more widely on the quality of life.

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The proposals were informed by a range of research that has been published by the Department, by academics and by other organisations including:

In many cases, references to the underpinning research are made in footnotes to the White Paper; and the research itself can be found in these organisations' publicly available websites. The Department's own research publications are at http://www.skillsbase.

Higher Education

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many people entered higher education from (a) Lancashire and (b) the North West of England in 1997 and each subsequent year. [94131]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The latest available information is shown in the table.

Accepted applicants to full-time and sandwich undergraduate courses by area of home residence(26)

Year of entry
Students from:199719981999200020012002
Blackburn with Darwen(27)591802847801869
The North West(28)26,38526,29127,25327,08128,33229,144

(26) As a result of local government reorganisation, Blackburn with Darwen and Blackpool which were previously part of Lancashire, became separate LEAs in 1998.

(27) Not applicable.

(28) Includes Lancashire, Blackburn, Blackpool, Cheshire, Warrington, Halton, Cumbria and Greater Manchester.


Universities and Colleges Admissions Service.

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what proportion of the planned increase in higher education funding is (a) tied to particular schemes and (b) for specified purposes. [98505]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The table on page 19 of the White Paper "The future of higher education" (Cm 5735) includes details of higher education funding in England from 2002–03 to 2005–06.

Based on that table, the analysis in the following table shows how each of the spending categories contributes to the total increase of funding between 2002–03 and 2005–06 of £2.3 billion.

£ million

2002–032005–06Increase of 2005–06 over 2002–03% of total increase in funding
Knowledge transfer62114522
Teaching and learning, of which:3,9434,9631,02044
Centres of Teaching Excellence035352
Expansion(29) 32321
Access and widening participation86132462
Management, Leadership and strategic development1534191
Student support1,5781,99641818

(29) Foundation degree development and incentives

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As shown in the table above, the funding allocated to 'teaching and learning' will increase by £1,020 million between 2002–03 and 2005–06. Of that increase, £287 million will be for capital and £733 million for recurrent expenditure, made up of funding to cover increased costs and the anticipated increase in student numbers. The recurrent increase also includes additional funding for human resources and pay differentiation for those who teach well (which will be consolidated into all institutions' block grants and allocated by formula once they develop satisfactory human resources strategies) and Centres of Teaching Excellence. The funding allocated for the Centres of Teaching Excellence, and other smaller initiatives that will not be allocated to all institutions by formula, will make up around 6 per cent. of the total recurrent increase in teaching and learning.

IT Contracts

Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will list IT contracts in his Department and its predecessors above £50 million in each of the last 10 years; what the inception date for each system was; when it became fully functional; when it became fully debugged; and what the cost of over-runs has been. [98995]

Mr. Charles Clarke: We have no IT contracts in my Department or its predecessors for systems costing £50 million or more in the last ten years.

IT Staff (Higher Education)

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what studies he has carried out into the shortage of IT staff in higher education since 1997; and if he will make a statement. [98693]

Mr. Charles Clarke: No such studies have been made by the Government itself; but the Universities and Colleges Employers Association has undertaken surveys of university staff in general. The findings indicate recruitment and retention is an issue in certain disciplines only, including some aspects of information technology. In 2000, the Government announced funding of £50 million, £110 million and £170 million in England for the years 2001–02 to 2003–04 to underpin human resource strategies in each higher education institution to address recruitment and retention among other things. The Government have recently announced further funding of £50 million in 2004–05 and £117 million in 2005–06 for the same purpose.

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many IT teaching posts in higher education were unfilled in each year since 1997. [98694]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The information is not held centrally. Individual universities and higher education colleges, as employers, are responsible for monitoring their own vacancies.

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