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12 Dec 2007 : Column 746W—continued


English Language: Teachers

Mr. Boris Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many qualifying English for Speakers of Other Languages teachers with a degree from (a) a Russell Group and (b) another British university there were in each of the last 10 years in (i) England and (ii) London. [172491]

Jim Knight: The information is not collected centrally.

Further Education Funding Council: Finance

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills (1) what proportion of the Further Education Funding Council's budget was spent on in-house education and training in each of its last four years of existence; [165529]

(2) how much the Further Education Funding Council spent on administration costs in each of its final four years of operation. [165533]

Bill Rammell: The Further Education Funding Council (FEFC) was dissolved when the Learning and Skills Council became operational in April 2001.


12 Dec 2007 : Column 747W

The following table sets out the staff training costs of the FEFC and what proportion this was of the total spend on administration:

FEFC annual report In-house staff training costs (£000) Administration costs (£000) Percentage of spend on administration

1997-98

336

23,972

1.4

1998-99

362

23,323

1.6

1999-2000

482

25,526

1.9

2000-01

438

32,410

1.4


The following table sets out the administration costs from FEFC's annual reports published for each of the last four years of its operation:

£000
Administration costs

1997-98

23,972

1998-99

23,323

1999-2000

25,526

2000-01

32,410


Further Education: Fees and Charges

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what guidance has been issued to further education colleges on fee payments for courses by persons claiming income support; and what steps have been taken to enforce the rules on fee exemptions. [171969]

Bill Rammell: The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) issues annual guidance to colleges on which learners and which provision are eligible for fee remission or exemption. Guidance for the current academic year is in the ‘Funding Guidance for Further Education in 2007/081’ booklet issued by the LSC in March 2007 and the ‘LSC Learner Eligibility Guidance 2007/08’ booklet published in July 2007.

The guidance is clear that colleges have a mandatory duty to exempt from all costs learners aged 16-18 and all learners undertaking Skills for Life courses. It also describes other categories of LSC-funded provision where learners may be eligible for full fee remission. These include those on their first full level 2 qualifications, 19-25 year olds on their first full level 3 qualification and those in receipt of income-related benefits including income support. Colleges will be subject to audit arrangements on the funding they claim in respect of learners including those for whom they claim full fees.

Any provision funded by other funding bodies, including local authorities, will not be covered by the LSC guidance, but may be covered by separate arrangements for fee remission that are agreed with that funding body.

Higher Education: Admissions

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what definition the UCAS form uses of an EU national; who drew up the form using that term; whether the use of the term is a European Union requirement; and if he will review the UCAS form. [170566]


12 Dec 2007 : Column 748W

Bill Rammell: The term EU National on the UCAS application indicates that the applicant should identify him or herself as an EU national if he or she is a citizen of one of the 26 nation states which, in addition to the UK, make up the European Union. UCAS drew up the form using this term, which is not an EU requirement. The purpose of this question is to provide guidance to institutions on the residency of the potential student. I see no reason for UCAS to review the form.

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills which 10 universities attracted the (a) highest and (b) lowest numbers of students from socio-economic classes (i) C, (ii) D and (iii) E in each year since 1997. [172275]

Bill Rammell: The available information is shown in the accompanying tables. The figures show proportions of UK-domiciled young (aged under 21) entrants to full-time first degree courses at each higher education institution, who are from lower social classes over the period 1997/98-2001/02, and the proportions from lower socio-economic classes over the period 2002/03-2005/06. The social classification in the student data changed in the 2002/03 academic year, and the two classifications are not comparable.

This information is taken from the annual performance indicators in higher education, which are currently published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

For each institution, the social class/socio-economic class proportion is shown against a benchmark. This is a sector average which is adjusted for each institution to take into account the following factors: subject of study, qualifications on entry and age on entry.

The benchmarks can be used to show how a university is performing compared to the sector as a whole, and also help to determine whether a meaningful comparison can be drawn between two or more universities.

Figures for 2006/07 will be available in 2008.

There are some points which need to be considered when using the accompanying tables:

The proportion of students from low social classes/low socio-economic classes for each institution has been calculated using information on students whose social class/socio-economic class background is known. A significant proportion of students’ social backgrounds are unknown and so exact numbers cannot be determined.


12 Dec 2007 : Column 749W
Proportion of UK-domiciled young (under 21) full-time first degree entrants to higher education institutions, who are from socio-economic classes 4, 5, 6 and 7—2005/06
Number who are young Percent from NS-SEC classes 4, 5, 6, and 7 Bench mark (percentage)

Ten institutions with highest socio-economic class proportions:

Harper Adams University College

260

59.0

36.5

The University of Wolverhampton

2,490

50.0

38.1

The University of East London

1260

48.8

37.7

The University of Greenwich

1,825

47.1

37.2

The University of Teesside

1,500

45.6

37.6

Birmingham College of Food, Tourism and Creative Studies

370

45.4

40.3

Middlesex University

2,370

44.6

37.8

Newman College of Higher Education

330

44.3

36.1

The University of Bradford

1,500

43.7

34.6

University of Bedfordshire

685

43.0

39.4

Ten institutions with lowest socio-economic class proportions:

London School of Economics and Political Science

575

17.5

19.4

University College London

2,080

17.5

20,5

Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine

1,295

17.3

20.8

The University of York

1,885

17.1

20.5

The University of Nottingham

4,200

16.9

22.3

Royal Academy of Music

45

16.7

25.9

The University of Bristol

2,845

16.4

20.7

University of Durham

3,195

16.4

21.9

University of London (Institutes and activities)

30

12.0

19.9

The University of Oxford

2,790

11.4

18.3

Notes:
1. The socio-economic group classification was introduced in 2002/03 to replace the social class groupings. The two classifications are not directly comparable.
2. Numbers are rounded to the nearest 5.
Source:
“Performance Indicators in Higher Education”, published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA)

Higher Education: Age Participation Rates

Mr. Boris Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills whether he plans to extend the study of the young participation in higher education rate by local authority beyond 2000. [172593]

Bill Rammell: The Higher Education Funding Council for England will extend the analysis referred to in PQ 172593. This work is under way and nearing completion. Updated annual young HE participation rates covering the young cohorts who reached 18 between 2001 and 2004 will be released for local geographies, including local authorities, early next year.

Higher Education: Newcastle

Mr. Henderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what steps he plans to take to encourage an increase in undergraduate course applications from those school leavers who reside in the Newcastle local education authority area. [172761]


12 Dec 2007 : Column 750W

Bill Rammell: Attainment at GCSE level is a key factor in determining participation in higher education. Nationally, at GCSE, the A*-C pass rate increased to 63.3 per cent. in 2007 from 62.4 per cent. in 2006. Academies are challenging the culture of under-achievement and, in Newcastle, Excelsior Academy is opening in September 2008. We are also seeking to strengthen schools' partnerships with universities to raise standards further.

In July, we announced further improvements to the financial help available to students. No students need to be deterred from higher education because of the costs. We have also announced that the national Aimhigher programme, which runs a range of activities to raise aspirations and increase pupil attainment, will continue for another three years. The vast majority of schools and colleges in Newcastle have one or more Aimhigher-funded Progression Coaches to provide tailored support to groups and individuals. Aimhigher in Newcastle is also looking at ways to raise awareness of vocational higher education options through Foundation Degree taster courses, and is raising the attainment of learners by investigating awards such as the Certificate of Personal Effectiveness.

Learning and Skills Council for England: Recycling

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what (a) volume and (b) percentage of its waste the Learning and Skills Council recycled in each of the last five years. [172417]

Bill Rammell: In May this year the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) published its Sustainable Development Action Plan. Over the next 10 years the LSC aims to have become an exemplar organisation by integrating sustainable development into its policies and everyday practice. Information on the volume of waste recycled is not collected. The LSC currently recycles shredded waste paper, fluorescent tubes and toner cartridges.


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