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Student Numbers

Mr. Lilley: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) how many students were enrolled in full-time higher education courses at UK universities and colleges in each year since 1990; how many of those students were from other EU countries; and how many were from outside the EU; [193669]

(2) how many students from other EU countries studied at UK universities in each year since 1997; what the aggregate cost of tuition was for those students; and how much those students and their sponsors contributed towards that cost. [193670]

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Dr. Howells [holding answer 25 October 2004]: The student figures are shown in the table. The Department does not have either the aggregate cost of tuition for EU domiciled students at British universities or the private contribution to fees of these students.
Full-time undergraduate students in the UK(16)

Of which, those from:
Total studentsUKEUOther overseas

(16) Covers HE students studying at universities, HE institutions and FE colleges.
Figures may not sum to totals because of rounding.

Teacher Absence

Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will estimate the impact of stress-related sickness on teacher absences; and if he will make a statement. [195142]

Mr. Miliband: The Department collects information centrally on the number of teachers taking sickness absence, but not on the cause. The most recent figures show that in 2003 the average number of days lost to sickness absence was 5.4. This compares favourably with other occupations in both the public and private sectors. We nevertheless have a range of measures to ensure that teacher health and well-being is taken seriously, which include a focus on tackling sources of stress and excessive workload. Research conducted for the Department in the autumn term of 1999 by the School of Education at the University of Cambridge found that colds, influenza and associated respiratory tract infections were reported to be the most important causes of teachers' absence, followed by upset stomach, headache and stress or depression.

Tuition Fees

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much has been recovered in fees from students dropping out from a course of higher education (a) in total and (b) from those dropping out in the first year of their course, in each year since 1997. [194193]

Dr. Howells: Payments are made to Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in respect of tuition fees grants for those students confirmed to be in attendance three months after the beginning of their course. No payment is made in respect of those who have left a course within three months of the beginning of the academic year. No money is recovered from HEIs for those students who subsequently withdraw after three months.
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Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the average amount paid per student in respect of tuition fees has been in each year since their inception. [194194]

Dr. Howells: New student support arrangements came into effect at the start of academic year 1998/99 when new entrants to higher education were expected to contribute towards the cost of their tuition. The amount of the contribution depends on family income.

The average amount paid per student from public funds in respect of tuition fees for English and Welsh domiciled students for academic years 1998/99 to 2002/03 (latest year for which data are available) are shown in the table:
Average LEA/SLC fee expenditure per student (rounded to nearest £10) 1,2

Academic yearStudent support scheme students (19)

(17) Includes placement year sandwich students. For student support scheme students, the maximum fee contribution for these students was £540 in 2002/03.
(18) Public expenditure on fees assessed for payment from public funds. In 1998/99 these payments were made by LEAs; from 1999/2000 these payments in respect of student support scheme students were made by the Student Loans Company (SLC).
(19) Students starting their course from 1998/99 under the new arrangements.
Form F503G survey of local education authorities

National level data are published annually in the Department's Statistical First Releases (SFRs) (SFR 12/2004 for 2002/03). Updated data for academic years 2003/04 and 2004/05 will be published by the SLC in November 2004 (SLC SFR 01/2004).

University Admissions

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what plans he has to review the benchmarks for university admissions based on (a) state schools and (b) socio-economic status; and if he will make a statement; [192930]

(2) what plans the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has for additional benchmarks for universities; what consultations HEFCE carries out in respect of benchmarks; and whether he expects the Director of the Office for Fair Access to be included in such consultations. [193568]

Dr. Howells: The Performance Indicators Steering Group (PISG) is the body which approves the content and methodology of the Performance Indicators (PIs) and associated benchmarks. The PISG is chaired by HEFCE (The Higher Education Funding Council for England), and includes representatives from Universities UK, the Standing Conference of Principals, and HESA (Higher Education Statistics Agency). Individual Higher Education Institutions are notified of their provisional PIs well before publication and are able to comment and take up any issues with the HESA,
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and/or the HEFCE prior to publication. Suggestions for new PIs can come from a variety of sources and are considered by the PISG for approval. The White Paper "The Future of Higher Education" said that the Government favoured moving towards more sensitive indicators and I am in discussion with HEFCE about how best to do this. I am also looking at the benchmarks to see if there is any way they can be improved or better understood. There are no plans to consult with the Director of OFFA in relation to performance indicators or benchmarks.

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what reports he has received on the milestones presently in existence for universities in respect of their admissions; whether he plans to publish them; by what means they are publicly available; and whether he expects to be informed by universities of changes in their milestones. [194950]

Dr. Howells: The access agreements that institutions will have from 2006 with the Director of Fair Access will include the institutions' own milestones, or measures of success. The milestones may draw on a range of data. Access agreements will be published. The Secretary of State has not received any report in respect of these milestones. These milestones are separate from the Performance Indicators that were published recently by the Higher Education Statistics Agency. Published annually, these current indicators provide comparative data on the performance of institutions in widening participation, student retention, learning and teaching outcomes and research output. They cover publicly funded higher education institutions in the UK.



Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the implementation of Airwave technology to the police force. [195477]

Caroline Flint: The rollout of Airwave is progressing well. It is currently available in 41 forces with 78,000 live users to date. Users report excellent coverage and clarity of signal. All forces in England, Scotland and Wales are expected to be using Airwave by mid-2006.

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