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19 Nov 2003 : Column 995W—continued

Royal Mail Group

Mr. Connarty: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will list foreign acquisitions by the Royal Mail Group since May 1997; what the cost of the acquisition was in each case; what their contribution to the Royal Mail Group's profit and loss account was in the most recent period for which figures are available; which acquisitions have since been divested from Royal Mail; and what the net contribution to the Royal Mail Group was in such cases. [139854]

Mr. Timms: Royal Mail's overseas investments are the responsibility of the Royal Mail Board. I have therefore asked the Deputy Chairman to reply direct to my hon. Friend.

Small Business Council

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the (a) cost and (b) remit of the Small Business Council was in 2002–03; what use has been made of the council by businesses in Middlesbrough, South and East Cleveland; and if she will make a statement. [139570]

Nigel Griffiths: The cost of the Service in 2002–03 in millions was £349 million, which includes programme budgets.

Information about the use of the service in the Middlesbrough, South and Cleveland, East constituency is not collected separately. In the Middlesbrough area the Tees Valley Business Link has helped 465 businesses to start up and has provided advice and guidance to 1,151 businesses during 2002–03. Further information is available from Tees Valley Business Link.

The remit of the Small Business Service is to help build an enterprise society in which small firms of all kinds thrive and achieve their potential, with an increase in the number of people considering going into business, an improvement in the overall productivity of small firms, and more enterprise in disadvantaged communities.

19 Nov 2003 : Column 996W

The SBS Annual Report (HC 807) placed in the Libraries of the House on 14 July 2003 gives an overview of national progress, costs and impact.

Small Loans Guarantee Fund

Sir Archy Kirkwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many (a) applications have been received and (b) awards have been granted by the Small Loans Guarantee Fund in the last six years for which figures are available within (i) the Scottish Borders, (ii) Scotland and (iii) the UK. [139484]

Nigel Griffiths: Since 1997, 29,205 UK businesses have received loan guarantees through this scheme.

The total number of loans guaranteed for the Scottish Borders, Scotland and the UK over the last six years are shown in the following table.

(April to September)44012,866

There is no figure for the number of loan applications made to banks and other lenders.


Mr. Pike: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent discussions she has had with (a) the Department for Education and Skills, (b) the Learning Skills Council, (c) voluntary sector training providers and (d) other interested parties regarding training and re-training in manufacturing and industry; and if she will make a statement. [139426]

Jacqui Smith: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, works closely with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, meeting regularly to discuss areas of joint interest. They jointly lead and chair the Skills Alliance, which brings Government together with key Social and Economic partners, and delivery agencies, including the LSC and SSDA, to drive the implementation of the Government's Skills Strategy.

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The Skills Strategy, published in July 2003, aims to ensure that employers have the right skills to support the success of their businesses and organisations, and individuals have the skills they need to be both employable and personally fulfilled.

Through the Government's Manufacturing Strategy we are working closely with industry and other stakeholders to ensure that UK manufacturing has the skills it needs as it increasingly moves to high value, knowledge intensive operations.


Higher Education White Paper

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what his estimate is of the additional cost of implementing the proposals in the higher education White Paper in the first three years that they come into effect] [139752]

Alan Johnson: We plan to publish a Regulatory Impact Assessment before the end of the year which will set out the impact of this change alongside the financial implications of the other policies announced in the Higher Education White Paper.

Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to his Answer of 12 November, Official Report, columns. 354–5W, on the Higher Education White Paper, how many responses to the consultation on the White Paper on Higher Education were received from honourable Members; how many were included in the total in the Government's response to the consultation; and how many other responses received by (a) his Department and (b) other Government Departments and agencies within the time limit for the consultation were not included in the total in the Government's response. [139453]

Alan Johnson: Seven hon. Members responded to the invitation to comment on the White Paper and were included in the total in the Government's commentary of responses.

All other responses similarly were included in the total in the commentary of responses which was published on 28 July 2003.

Non-EU Students

Mr. Jon Owen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will list the 50 (a) universities and (b) further education colleges with the highest numbers of non-European Union students registered for courses, giving the number of non-European Union students registered at each institution for the last year for which figures are available. [131724]

Alan Johnson: The latest available figures are given in the table.

Non EU overseas students studying in English institutions, 2001–02

HE Institutions(18)
Middlesex University3571
London School of Economics and Political Science3425
The University of Oxford3265
The University of Cambridge3065
The University of Nottingham3042
The University of Warwick3038
University College London2933
The London Institute2911
The University of Leeds2855
The University of Birmingham2827
The Victoria University of Manchester2795
The University of Sheffield2440
The University of Westminster2104
Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine2014
City University1872
King's College London1869
Oxford Brookes University1825
University of Luton1759
The University of Leicester1710
The University of North London1678
The University of Northumbria at Newcastle1618
The University of Central Lancashire1582
University of Hertfordshire1567
The University of Bristol1565
The University of Liverpool1544
The University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne1539
The University of Hull1533
The University of Essex1521
The University of Salford1509
The University of Reading1466
The University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology1459
Anglia Polytechnic University1457
The University of Greenwich1453
The University of Lancaster1383
The University of Portsmouth1381
The University of Bath1348
Coventry University1344
Leeds Metropolitan University1328
South Bank University1308
The University of Surrey1302
The University of East London1299
The University of Wolverhampton1295
De Montfort University1233
Queen Mary and Westfield College1183
The University of Southampton1147
Loughborough University1134
The University of Bradford1108
The University of East Anglia1100
The University of Kent at Canterbury1081
London Guildhall University1072
Further Education Colleges(19)
City College, Birmingham810
Brooklands College747
Bradford College731
Liverpool Community College704
Guildford College of Further and Higher Education656
Richmond Adult and Community College603
South Tyneside College591
Kingston College581
Bournville College of Further Education538
Crawley College500
Oxford College Of Further Education483
Lambeth College477
Solihull College398
City College, Manchester392
Newham College of Further Education380
Birmingham College of Food, Tourism and Creative Studies379
Chichester College376
West Herts College376
Reading College and School of Arts and Design360
Barnet College351
Manchester College of Arts and Technology338
Croydon College317
Dudley College of Technology317
Leicester College313
Harrow College304
Lewes Tertiary College302
South Thames College298
Oaklands College295
New College, Nottingham281
Gloucestershire College of Arts and Technology279
East Berkshire College276
Blackpool and The Fylde College271
Bournemouth and Poole College265
Northampton College247
Swindon College243
Wigan and Leigh College235
City of Bath College217
Southgate College216
Park Lane College214
Thomas Danby College213
Southampton City College206
Stratford upon Avon College205
Barnfield College206
Northbrook College, Sussex203
Bracknell and Wokingham College201
Broxtowe College, Nottingham194
The Henley College190
Suffolk College185
Walsall College of Arts and Technology179
Havering College of Further and Higher Education178

(18) HE figures cover Non-EU overseas students studying HE and FE in English HEIs including the OU, based on a census count as at 1 December.

(19) FE data cover Non-EU overseas students studying HE and FE in English FECs, based on a census count as at 1 November.

Source: Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) and Learning Skills Council (LSC).

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Mr. Jon Owen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what percentage of non-European Union students at (a) further education colleges and (b) universities successfully completed their courses for each of the last five years for which figures are available; [131725]

Alan Johnson: The information requested is not held centrally.

For universities and other HE sector institutions, the available information on non-completion rates is published by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) in "Performance Indicators in Higher Education in the UK", but this information covers UK domiciled students only.

For the FE sector, the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) only publish success, retention and achievement rates for those learners funded by the council in further education colleges and external institutions in England. However, the majority of learners from countries outside of the European Union are not funded by the LSC—so figures are not available. Furthermore, the LSC do not publish further education institution success, retention and achievement rates based on less than 500 learners as they can be misleading. In 2001/02, less than 15 further education institutions in England had more than 500 LSC funded non-European Union students.

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