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Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills (1) how many (a) full-time and (b) part-time mature students enrolled on a higher education course in each year since 2001; 
|UK domiciled entrants to undergraduate courses by age( 1) , higher education institutions in England, 2000/01 to 2006/06|
|(1) Mature students are defined as those aged 21 or over.|
(2) In 2004/05, there was undercounting of students by one large part-time provider which contributed to the fall in part-time entrants between 2003/04 and 2004/05.
Numbers are on a HESA Standard Registration population basis, and have been rounded to the nearest 5. Percentages may not sum to totals because of rounding.
Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).
Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills when the Higher Education Funding Council for England plans to respond to the recommendations of the report Islam at Universities in England. 
Bill Rammell: The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) set out a programme of work in response to relevant recommendations in the report Islam at Universities in England in September. This will lead to proposals from HEFCE in summer 2008.
Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills pursuant to the statement of the Prime Minister of 14 November 2007, Official Report, columns 667-72, on national security, when he plans to invite universities to lead the debate on academic freedom and associated issues as referred to by the Prime Minister. 
Bill Rammell: As a first step, I undertook to engage with the university sector by setting out my views in a lecture given to the Fabian Society on 27 November. A copy of this lecture can be found on the website of the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills. I am undertaking a number of visits to different universities to talk to students and staff about this issue as well as contact with sector bodies to encourage them to engage with and lead this debate. Academic freedom is one of the most powerful means at our disposal to challenge the views of violent extremists and to promote cohesive communities.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what estimate he has made of (a) the number of overseas students who had to withdraw from a course at a UK university due to delays in receiving their visa and (b) the number of overseas students who applied for university courses in the UK and subsequently applied for a student visa (i) successfully and (ii) unsuccessfully in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Bill Rammell: The Department does not have any figures on the numbers of overseas students who have had to withdraw from courses through delays in receiving their visas. There is no reason why applications for visas which are made in good time and with the necessary supporting documentation would be delayed. UKVisas latest published statistics for the F/Y 2005/2006 indicate that a total of 284,447 student applications were received, of which 194,827 visas were issued and 88,897 applications refused. These figures do not distinguish between level of study and thus cover higher education, further education and language study.
Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what steps his Department is taking to ensure that residents from each London borough will have the requisite skills to take advantage of jobs resulting from the Olympics in 2012; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what television programmes have been sponsored by his Department, its predecessors and its arms length bodies since 1997; how much public money was spent in each case; which departmental initiatives, bodies or programmes they were supporting; and what assessments were made of the effectiveness of the campaigns. 
Mr. Lammy: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given on 24 October 2007, Official Report, column 428W, which gives details of television programmes that have been sponsored by the Department, its predecessors and arms length bodies since 1997.
We hold only very basic information on marketing campaigns by our agencies and am therefore unable to provide more detail. I can provide details on those campaigns specifically commissioned by the Departments predecessors.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills if he will make a statement on the Department's proposal to stop funding at Higher Education Funding Council for England level for students undertaking study for equivalent or lower level qualifications at the Open University; what impact assessment he has made of the decisions with particular reference to students from lower income backgrounds and part-time students; and what other funding sources are available to those people. 
The Department took this decision which applies to every provider in order to target resources on our top priorities and the country's long-term needs. It will enable an additional 20,000 students without a first qualification whom we could not otherwise support to enjoy all the benefits of participating in higher education. Many of this group are likely to be part-time students from lower income backgrounds. The overall effect of these changes on the income of individual institutions will depend on how successful they are in attracting students who meet our
priorities. No students currently studying for equivalent and lower level qualifications will be affected, no institution will lose grant in cash terms and future students studying for such qualifications will be able to look at what is on offer at over 250 providers. But they cannot be more deserving of public funding than those who have not obtained a first qualification. The Higher Education Funding Council are currently consulting the university sector on the detailed implementation of this policy.
Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what assistance is afforded by his Department to UK-based students who wish to travel abroad for short periods to support their studies or career development potential or for volunteering and cannot afford the cost. 
Bill Rammell: Eligible students studying a course of higher education, who are attending an overseas institution as part of their UK course receive a maximum overseas rate of loan for living costs of £5,375 and receive travel grants to meet the cost of travel within and outside the UK for the purpose of attending the overseas institution. Those who attend their UK institution for less than 10 weeks of the academic year will have their tuition fee reduced by 50 per cent.
Career development loans are also available to individuals who want to undertake learning at institutions outside the UK, as long as they intend to take up employment in the UK, the EU, or the EEA when they complete their course. No specific support is available for volunteering abroad.
Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what percentage of first year undergraduate students, excluding those from other European Union member states and overseas, were from black and ethnic minority backgrounds in the (a) 2007-08 academic year and (b) in each of the last five such years, in (i) England and (ii) each university in the North East. 
|UK domiciled undergraduate entrants by ethnic background to English( 1) and north-east higher education institutions, academic years 2001-02 to 2005-06|
|English higher education institutions||White( 2)||Black and ethnic minority( 3)||Total known||Not known( 4)||Total||Percentage of known black and ethnic minority|
|(1) Excludes the Open University.|
(2) Includes White, White-British, White-Irish, White-Scottish, Irish Traveller and other white background.
(3) Includes Black or Black British-Caribbean, Black or Black British-African, other black background, Asian or Asian British-Indian, Asian or Asian British-Pakistani, Asian or Asian British-Bangladeshi, Chinese, other Asian background, Mixed-White and Black Caribbean, Mixed-White and Black African, Mixed-White and Asian, other mixed background, other ethnic background.
(4) Includes not known, information refused and missing.
Figures are on a HESA Standard Registration Population basis and have been rounded to the nearest five.
Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA)
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