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Bill Rammell: We have previously given an assurance to Parliament that before any changes could be considered to the real-terms maximum level of fees for full-time undergraduates, an independent commission will examine the evidence from the first three years of the new fees regimewhich was introduced from the start of the 2006/07 academic year.
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what recent discussions he has had on the demographic profile of the higher education workforce; and if he will make a statement. 
[holding answer 15 November 2007]: The Department has regular discussions with the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) about the capacity and composition of the higher education work force. We have asked HEFCE to produce a regular report on higher education work force trends across the sector. The council published its Higher Education (HE) Workforce Framework in July 2006, which will be updated on a tri-annual basis in consultation with the HE sector. In parallel, HEFCE
will publish an annual data report on trends in the HE workforce. This years report will be published on its website before the end of the year. The Framework Report is available here
The age profile of staff in English HEIs is shown in the following table. It shows that the profile remains consistent from 2003-04 to 2005-06 and that the majority of staff are between the ages of 30 and 60.
|Staff in English HEIs by age|
|Age group||Number of staff||Percentage||Number of staff||Percentage||Number of staff||Percentage|
HEFCEs analysis also produces subject specific information which is made available across the HE sector and this can be particularly helpful to higher education institutions in planning for the future.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what percentage of young people from each ward in the Peterborough city council area undertook (a) degrees and (b) other advanced courses at university in each of the last five years. 
|Young( 1) entrants from Peterborough local authority by level of study: UK higher education institutions( 2: ) academic years 2001/02 to 2005/06|
|Level of study|
|Academic year||First Degree||Other Undergraduate|
|(1) Young refers to undergraduates aged 20 and under.|
(2) Excludes the Open University.
The figures are on a HESA Standard Registration Population basis and are rounded to the nearest 5. They cover students on all modes of study.
Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).
The Government's main measure of participation in higher education is the Higher Education Initial Participation Rate (HEIPR). This is the sum of the HE initial participation rates for individual ages between 17 and 30 inclusive. It covers English- domiciled first time entrants to HE courses, which are expected to last for at least six months, at UK higher education institutions and English, Scottish and Welsh further education colleges, and who remain on their course for at least six months. The HEIPR is not available for smaller areas.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how much funding from the public purse has been paid to the Institute for Animal Health at Pirbright in Surrey for the last 12 months. 
Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills if he will visit Moulton College, Northamptonshire to meet staff and students and discuss future further education provision. 
Bill Rammell [holding answer 12 November 2007]: The Ministers and I are keen to visit as many colleges as possible to hear what staff and students have to say and have already been to 12 colleges since my Department was established in June 2007. My colleague, Lord Triesman, intends to visit Moulton college before the end of the year.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what plans the Government have to encourage businesses to (a) retain and (b) develop and enhance the skills of older workers. 
Mr. Lammy: The Department and the Learning and Skills Council are working closely with the Department for Work and Pensions and Jobcentre Plus to implement the proposals outlined in World Class Skills: Implementing the Leitch Review of Skills in England and the Green Paper: In Work, better off, both published in July this year.
Our reforms include supporting individuals, including older workers into sustainable employment and progression in work and in skills. We will give greater ownership and choice to individuals over their training through skills accounts backed up by a new universal adult careers service promoting personal advancement.
Similarly we are working with employers through Train to Gain and the Skills Pledge to meet skill needs and to ensure that all employees including older people have the basic skills, including literacy and numeracy and Level 2 skills (equivalent to five good GCSEs) needed to sustain and progress in employment. We are increasing funding for Train to Gain from £440 million in 2007/08 to over £900 million in 2010/11. We want to encourage all employers in England to make a Skills Pledgethat is, a specific promise that every eligible employee will be helped to gain basic skills, and a full Level 2 qualification.
Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills when the initial Sector Skills Councils' licences are due to expire; and if he will make a statement on plans for their renewal. 
Mr. Lammy: The original prospectus for Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) issued in 2001 suggested that licences would be granted for five years. The 25 SSCs received their licences between 2002 and 2006. The licences are valid until either the licence is withdrawn by the Secretary of State or the Sector Skills Development Agency ceases to contract with the SSC.
The Government have now published World Class Skills as its response for England to the Leitch Review of Skills. This set out Government's intention to re-license SSCs, based on a new re-focused remit. Building on what was said in World Class Skills, we are now working with the Devolved Administrations and other stakeholders to develop the arrangements which will apply to the issue of new licences. The new licences will be awarded by Ministers, in the light of advice the relevant Secretaries of State and Devolved Administrations receive from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills. The re-licensing process will set out clear performance standards and requirements that SSCs must meet.
Bill Rammell: Approximately 57 per cent. of students currently studying for equivalent or lower qualifications at university are women, which is broadly the same as the overall percentage of students who are women.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what the selection criteria are for the establishment of (a) student juries and (b) the National Student Forum. 
Bill Rammell: A working group of stakeholders from student representative bodies and other sector organisations will be meeting shortly to advise on the selection of participants for the student juries and the National Student Forum.
An independent company will undertake the recruitment of participants for the student juries, taking into account advice from the working group to ensure that juries are representative of the student population.
Members of the National Student Forum will be nominated by key student representation and advocacy groups. Those groups will be challenged to ensure that the forum is representative of the student population before making their final nominations.
Bill Rammell: The National Student Forum will be given broad terms of reference to look at issues affecting the student experience, and will be free to set its own agenda. It is anticipated that the forum will wish to provide a student perspective on emerging policy areas, help to evaluate the impact of existing policy on students in different circumstances, and initiate discussion on areas of potential policy development.
Bill Rammell: We currently have no plans to publish the findings of individual student juries. Reports from the juries will be received by the National Student Forum. We expect that the Forum will want to draw on views expressed by the juries in setting its own agenda. The Forum will publish an annual report setting out the issues it has looked at and any recommendations it wishes to offer, to which ministers will respond publicly, and it may choose to include material from the juries within that report.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills by what means the minutes of the National Student Forum will be made available to the public after each of its meetings. 
Bill Rammell: Once established, the National Student Forum itself will be invited to draw up its own ways of working. There is no expectation at this stage that the Forum will make public the minutes of its discussions. The Forum will, however, be expected to publish an annual report setting out the issues it has looked at and any recommendations it wishes to offer, to which Ministers will respond publicly.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what criteria were used to select London, Sheffield, Bristol and Manchester to hold student juries; and where the fifth student jury will be held. 
Bill Rammell: Two student juries will be held in London, and one in each of Sheffield, Bristol and Manchester. Our primary concern in selecting locations for student juries was to ensure a broad geographical spread and ease of access by public transport in order to maximise the number of potential participants.
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