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14 Jan 2004 : Column 747W—continued

Give as You Earn Scheme

John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many and what percentage of staff in his Department contribute to a charity through the Give as You Earn scheme; how much money is donated to charity per month by staff in his Department through the scheme; and what steps he is taking to encourage greater participation in the scheme by staff in his Department. [143900]

Mr. Touhig: The Give as You Earn scheme is available to Wales Office staff and is regularly drawn to their attention. No staff currently contribute to charity through the scheme.

This does not fully reflect the charitable activities of Wales Office staff.

Security Passes

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many security passes have been reported (a) lost and (b) stolen by staff in his Department in the last 12 months. [147905]

Mr. Hain: None.


Guantanamo Bay

Mr. Dhanda: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the US Government since the state visit of President Bush in connection with the British detainees at Guantanamo Bay; and if he will make a statement. [146501]

Mr. Mullin [holding answer 8 January 2004]: Since the recent visit of President Bush to the UK, the position of the British nationals detained at Guantanamo Bay has continued to be the subject of discussions between the government and the US administration. We hope to resolve the situation soon.


Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether it is his policy to seek to persuade Israel to divest itself of all its weapons of mass destruction. [147402]

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Mr. Mike O'Brien: The UK government has consistently urged Israel to clarify its nuclear status by acceding to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as a non-nuclear weapons state, and signing a full-scope safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). We urge Israel to ratify both the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. The UK has also consistently supported UN Resolutions calling for the establishment of a Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction. That zone would include Israel.


Tom Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on his Department's policy regarding the return of Pakistan to full membership of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. [147543]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The United Kingdom wants to see Pakistan readmitted to the Councils of the Commonwealth, including to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.

However, it is the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) that will make a decision whether to recommend to Commonwealth Heads of Government that Pakistan should be readmitted on the basis of its return to democracy. The UK is not a member of CMAG, but the UK Government believes that the recent agreement between the Pakistani Government and opposition over the country's constitution and role of parliament marks an important step in the country's transition to full democracy. We hope this will facilitate progress on joining the full Councils of the Commonwealth.


Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the advice given to UK visitors to Thailand. [146481]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office does not advise against travel to Thailand. The vast majority of visits to Thailand are trouble-free. But due to a general threat to British and other Western targets from terrorism in South East Asia, including Thailand, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises that travellers should be particularly vigilant in public places, including tourist sites. It also advises travellers to watch out for crimes of opportunity and against the possession of even small quantities of drugs. The full Travel Advice for Thailand can be viewed on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website at


Education (Hemsworth)

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate he has made of the percentage of the population of Hemsworth constituency who have NVQ levels (a) 1, (b) 2 and (c) 3. [147456]

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Alan Johnson: The following table shows analysis of the qualification levels of the working age 1 population in the parliamentary constituency of Hemsworth. This is presented alongside England average data for comparison. Data comes from the Local Labour Force Survey for 2001–02.

1 Working age population refers to males aged 16–64 and females aged 16–59.


Qualification levelHemsworth England
NVQ 4 and above16.223.5
NVQ 312.614.8
Trade Apprenticeships9.37.0
NVQ 215.418.1
Below NVQ Level 221.320.5
No qualifications25.316.0

Higher Education

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment his Department has made of the effect on equality of opportunity for students of competition between higher education institutions on price. [147240]

Alan Johnson [holding answer 12 January 2004]: In his statement to the House on student support in higher education on 8 January my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Skills announced a package of support the purpose of which is to ensure that no student from a poor background would be worse off as a result of proposals in the Higher Education Bill, whichever university they attend and whatever the fee charged for the course. Higher Education institutions wishing to charge higher fees will have to enter into an access agreement with the Office for Fair Access. These access agreements will set out the measures that institutions will take to ensure that students from disadvantaged backgrounds are not deterred from higher education because of higher fees. My right hon. Friend also said that the Government would establish an independent review, working with the Office for Fair Access, to report to the House on the impact of variable fees, based upon the first three years of their operation.

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many (a) full-time and (b) part-time students are enrolled on courses at higher education institutions in the north-west. [143453]

Alan Johnson: The available information is given in the table.

All higher education enrolments(6),(7)at north-west higher education institutions, 2001–02

Institution regionFull-timePart-timeTotal
North West GOR(8)104,94445,037149,981
Total England(9)1,003,229591,1381,594,367

(6) Snapshot as at 1 December.

(7) Includes students from both home and overseas domiciles and covers enrolments to all levels of higher education course.

(8) Government Office Region.

(9) Including higher education institutions in the north-west and the Open University.


Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).

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Student Drop-out Rate

Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the most recent figures are for the drop-out rate for English university students is in their (a) 1st year of study, (b) 2nd year of study, (c) 3rd year of study and (d) further years of study. [143250]

Alan Johnson: The available information on the non-continuation of students beyond the first year in each university, and the projected course non-completion rate in each university is contained in "Performance Indicators in Higher Education in the UK", published by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, a copy of which is available from the House Library. The latest edition, published in December 2003, gives figures for students starting full-time degree courses in the United Kingdom in 2000/01. Table 3 shows that 9 per cent. of students did not continue beyond the first year, and that the projected non-completion rate over the whole course was 16 per cent.

No data are held covering those students who drop out of their course after two or three years. Nationally, the non-completion rate has remained broadly the same since 1991/92, a period of considerable expansion of student numbers.

Figures published in 2003 by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) show that the UK has one of the lowest non-completion rates among OECD countries.


John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many people domiciled in (a) Scotland, (b) the City of Edinburgh local authority area and (c) the Edinburgh West parliamentary constituency are attending a (i) English and (ii) Welsh university. [142620]

Alan Johnson: Data for students who enter HE are not collated centrally by constituency. The latest available data are shown in the following table.

Domicile of student by location of institution 2001/02

Location of higher education institution
City of Edinburgh3,79890


Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much income the university sector has earned from business in each year since 1997, broken down by university. [143135]

Alan Johnson: Details of the income of higher education institutions by source is published annually by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) in "Resources of Higher Education Institutions", copies of which are available in the House Library. Table 3 shows separately for each higher education institution income from UK industry, commerce and public corporations, although this does not include income from intellectual property rights which are shown separately in Table 4.

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Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many people from Cunninghame, South enrolled to study at a university in (a) 2001, (b) 2002 and (c) 2003; and how many failed to complete their course. [141929]

Alan Johnson: Enrolment figures at constituency level are not currently available. However, higher education enrolment figures from the county of North Ayrshire for the most recent three years are given in the table.

HE enrolments from North Ayrshire

Academic yearEnrolments


Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).

Non-completion rates are published annually by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) in 'Performance Indicators in Higher Education' and cover home domiciled students starting full-time first degree courses. The latest figure covers students starting courses in 2000/01, shows that non-completion rates in the UK are 16 per cent. HEFCE do not publish non-completion rates by any geographical breakdown.

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