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25 Feb 2004 : Column 469W—continued

Employer Training Pilot

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will make a statement on the roll-out of the Employer Training Pilot. [155808]

Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 23 February 2004]: Employer Training Pilots (ETP) were introduced in six local Learning and Skills Council areas in September 2002 to test new measures to improve access to training. ETPs offer a package of support to help low-skilled people in work gain their first level 2 or basic skills qualification. The pilots were subsequently extended for a further year (to August 2004) and doubled in number to cover a total of 12 LSC areas.

An independent evaluation of the first year of the pilots, published in December 2003, showed that ETPs are proving successful at engaging employers and their low-skilled employees in training. Building on this success, the Pre-Budget Report in December announced that ETPs are being extended for a third year and that a further six pilots will be launched in September 2004. This will mean that the pilots cover over a third of England and will enable the Government to explore further the impact of the pilots on the demand for training.

My officials are currently consulting with the Learning and Skills Council's Regional Directors over the locations for the new pilots and an announcement will be made in due course.

Foundation Degrees

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many students have started Foundation Degrees since they were introduced; and what proportion have completed the courses. [142032]

Alan Johnson: The latest data from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), showing the number of students starting Foundation Degrees, is given in the table. Completion rates are not calculated by the Department, but figures published in January by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) show that in 2002/03, 1,100 students successfully completed Foundation Degrees.

We welcome the increase in numbers. We now need to build on this as we look to make Foundation Degrees the standard two year qualification at this level.

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Students starting Foundation Degrees HE and FE institutions in England

Academic yearFull-timePart-time


Higher Education Funding Council for England.

Millennium Volunteers

Mr. Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when the Department will announce which organisations will deliver the Millennium Volunteers programme. [155980]

Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 23 February 2004]: Local projects should now know their funding allocations for the period to March 2006. We hope to notify national projects about their allocations in the near future.

Specialist Schools

Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many (a) specialist schools and (b) non-specialist schools are designated under section 102 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998; and how many and what percentage of pupils they have selected in each year since their designation. [155624]

Mr. Miliband: The Department does not collect data on the number of schools which have partial selection by aptitude as part of their admission arrangements; or how many individual pupils are selected as a result of such tests. However, we do know that of the 685 specialist schools operational in September 2001, 6 per cent. reported that they were selecting a percentage of their pupils on aptitude in a chosen specialist subject.

Student Finances

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to the answer of 5 February 2004, Official Report, column 1030W, by the Minister for Education (Lifelong Learning and Higher Education), to the hon. Member for Hertsmere, on student finance, if he will break down the financial assistance available to students by each £1,000 band of family income between £15,000 and £35,000 under (a) the present arrangements and (b) his proposed arrangements for higher education funding from 2006–07. [154768]

Alan Johnson: The following table summarises the financial assistance available to students by each £1,000 of income between £15,000 and £35,000 under the present arrangements:

Present arrangements—2003/04

Residual incomeFee remissionMaintenance loan


Maintenance loan rates given are for students living away from home and studying outside London (and not in the final year of their course).

25 Feb 2004 : Column 471W

I refer my hon. Friend to my response to the hon. Member for Epsom and Ewell (Chris Grayling) on 10 February 2004, Official Report, column 1398W, that indicates the size of loan available under the arrangements outlined in the Government's discussion paper "Moving toward a single combined grant for higher education".

More detailed information will be available in due course as details such as tapers for the single combined grant are finalised.

UK Students Overseas

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many UK students studied abroad on full-time courses in (a) the EU, (b) the USA and (c) the Commonwealth in the most recent year for which figures are available. [140898]

Alan Johnson: The latest available information is tabulated as follows. The figures are from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and show the number of students studying overseas. Mode of study is not available.

Students from the UK in tertiary education abroad: 2001

Country of studyStudent numbers
European Union: (reporting)
Commonwealth Countries (reporting)
New Zealand149


"Education at a glance 2003'' published by OECD

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Helen Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the age profile is of first degree entrants to UK universities (a) in 2003–04, (b) five years ago and (c) 10 years ago, broken down by those aged (i) 20–30, (ii) 31–40, (iii) 41–50, (iv) 51–60 and (v) 60 years and over. [142600]

Alan Johnson: The latest available data are shown in the table. Comparable data for earlier years is not held centrally.

Full-time First Degree Entrants to UK HE Institutions(3)

Under 20 years181,630212,270235,141
20–30 years97,46596,44496,661
31–40 years16,30116,09014,523
41–50 years5,3304,9855,011
51–60 years846984987
61 years or over249346257

(3) Figures cover all domiciles and are based on a census count as at 1 December.


Figures for 2002/03 are provisional.


Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).


Cyprus Travel Advice

Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what advice he provided to tourists inquiring about the safety of travel to Cyprus in mid to late March 2003. [155515]

Mr. MacShane [holding answer 23 February 2004]: Our advice to British holidaymakers and other visitors with effect from 19 March 2003 was:

25 Feb 2004 : Column 473W

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