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|Table 2: Percentage of UK-domiciled full-time other undergraduate entrants to English higher education institutions not continuing in higher education after their first year|
|Academic year||Young (under 21)||Mature (21 and over)|
Performance Indicators in Higher Education, published by HESA
According to the figures published by the OECD, the overall completion rate for type A (first degree equivalent) courses in UK universities and colleges of higher education is among the highest in the OECD countries.
Bill Rammell: The Governments student finance package is designed to ensure that finance should not be a barrier to a higher education course. Student loans from the Government are not like commercial loans: interest is paid at the rate of inflation, so in real terms students only pay back what they borrowed. For income contingent loans available since 1998, repayment is linked to earnings and borrowers only repay if their earnings are over £15,000; from April 2012 they will be able to take up to five years Repayment Holiday and those taking out a student loan from 2006 have their debt cancelled after 25 years.
During the passage of the Enterprise Act in 2002 there was a growing awareness about student loan borrowers declaring themselves bankrupt. There was a rise in the number of bankruptcies/Individual Voluntary Agreements (IVAs) notified in 2003. In addition, one of the effects of the Enterprise Act itself was to reduce the period of discharge from bankruptcy from three years to one.
Provisions were therefore included in the Higher Education Act 2004 to prevent student loans being written off on bankruptcy. Currently student loans are not exempt from IVAs.
The increase in student loan borrowers with bankruptcies and IVAs should be seen in the context of the increases in the general population. Figures from the Insolvency Service show that between 2002 and 2006 the number of individual bankruptcies in England and Wales more than doubled; the number of IVAs increased seven-fold.
Until 2004 IVAs and bankruptcies were not recorded separately in SLC data. After the change in legislation, only IVAs are recorded, as student loans are excluded from bankruptcy debts and are not written off on discharge from bankruptcy.
|English domiciled borrowers with publicly-owned student loans who notified the Student Loans Company (SLC) of their bankruptcy or Individual Voluntary Agreement (IVA)( 1) Calendar year of bankruptcy or IVA 1997 to 2004|
|Calendar year||Borrowers with bankruptcy or IVA||Percentage of all borrowers UK( 2)|
|n/a = not available|
(1) Bankruptcies and IVAs are not separately identified in the data. There may be delays between borrowers becoming bankrupt/taking an IVA and notifying SLC, therefore figures can increase overtime, particularly for the most recent years. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.
(2) UK Borrowers with bankruptcy or IVA in the calendar year as a percentage of all UK borrowers in the March of each year.
Student Loans Company
|English domiciled borrowers with publicly-owned student loans who notified the Student Loans Company (SLC) of their Individual Voluntary Agreement (IVA)( 1) Calendar year of IVA 2005 and 2006|
|Calendar year||Borrowers with IVAs||Percentage of all borrowers England( 2)|
|(1) There may be delays between borrowers taking IVAs and notifying SLC, therefore figures can increase over time, particularly for the most recent years. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.|
(2) English domiciled borrowers with bankruptcy or IVA in the calendar year as a percentage of all English domiciled borrowers in the March of each year.
Student Loans Company
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills if he will place in the Library a copy of the recent letter sent to university authorities regarding student juries. 
Bill Rammell: A letter inviting students to take part in the Student Juries was produced by the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, and circulated to all universities by GuildHE and Universities UK in December 2007. I have arranged for a copy to be placed in the Library.
Bill Rammell: The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) Statement of Priorities 2008-11 and the joint Grant Letter to the LSC from my Department and the Department for Children, Schools and Families published on 16 November set out the Governments funding strategy for learning and skills over the comprehensive spending review period (2008-09 to 2010-11).
The funding strategy reaffirms the Governments commitment to up-skilling British people to provide them with the skills required in a more competitive labour market, to get them off benefits and into jobs and to help them to advance from low skilled to higher skilled jobs. We will continue to help those who need to improve their skillsthe overwhelming majority of whom, but not all, are British.
The eligibility rules apply to any learner wanting to access the LSC funded learning places the Government announced on 16 November. For example, British citizens who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for the three years prior to the start of their course will be eligible for funding from the Learning and Skills Council (LSC). In addition, a national of any European country (or the spouse, civil partner or child of an EU national) who has been ordinarily resident in the European economic area (EEA) for the three years prior to the start of their course, will also be eligible for LSC funding.
Other categories of learners, including EEA migrant workers, nationals of non-EU countries, refugees and asylum seekers may also be eligible for LSC funding. The full set of eligibility criteria for access to LSC funded provision is set out in full in the LSC Learner Eligibility Guidance 2007/08. This can be found at www.lsc.gov.uk
Mr. Olner: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what estimate he has made of the proportion of employees in the computer game development sector that have a qualification at degree level or vocational equivalent. 
The Annual Population Survey (APS) collects information about occupation, industry and qualifications levels but employees in the computer game development sector cannot be specifically identified. Instead I am providing information about software professionals working in the computer related activities industry sector. Estimates from the 2006 APS indicate that 67 per cent. of employees in England
whose occupation was software professional and were working in the computer related activities industry sector were qualified to at least level 4 (degree level or vocational equivalent).
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what the unemployment rate of 18 to 24-year-olds who (a) have no post-16 qualifications, (b) have A-Levels, (c) have a higher educational qualification and (d) have a further educational qualification (i) is and (ii) was in each year since 1995. 
Bill Rammell: The exact information requested could not be derived as a time series. Instead, the Labour Force Survey (LFS) was used to produce a time series with a slightly different qualification categories to those requested. The following table shows the estimates of unemployment rates by qualification held for adults aged 18-24 in England, using the LFS spring quarter (March to May) results between 1995 and 2005 and Quarter 2 results (April to June) for 2006 and 2007. The fact that there was a change in the reporting period of the LFS results means that the figures for 2006 and 2007 and not strictly comparable with those for earlier years as these estimates are subject to seasonality. However, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) does publish on its website a seasonally adjusted time series of the unemployment rate for 18 to 24-year-olds in the UK. This shows for example, that the rate fell from 13.1 per cent. in spring 1997 to 12.0 per cent. in the last quarter of 2007.
|Unemployment rate( 1) for 18 to 24-year-olds by educational attainment, England|
|1995||1996||1997||1998||1999||2000||2001||2002||2003||2004||2005||2006( 6)||2007( 6)||Average 1995-2007|
|(1) The unemployment rate is defined as the unemployed (those actively seeking work in the last four weeks and available to start within two weeks) expressed as a percentage of the economically active (the unemployed plus the employed).|
(2) The 18-24 age range is not very suitable for measuring unemployment of graduates, since most of them are in full-time study for around half this period.
(3) The confidence intervals due to sample error for cells in the table do vary, but are at least plus or minus 1.0 per cent.
(4) The A levels category includes all A levels attained at all institutions (including further education institutions).
(5 )Further Education qualifications can be attained at a variety of levels. In this analysis the A level equivalents category largely consists of vocational level 3 qualifications, but will also include some with AS-levels and also apprenticeships which may be at level 2. Vocational level 3 qualifications are often but not always obtained at FE colleges.
(6) These figures are for Q2 (April to June); figures for earlier years are spring (March to May).
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