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25 Feb 2008 : Column 1290W—continued


Innovation, Universities and Skills

Aimhigher Initiative

Stephen Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how much his Department spent on the Aimhigher Initiative in each year since 2004. [186613]

Bill Rammell: Available expenditure for the Aimhigher programme for each year since 2004 to date is:

Expenditure for Aimhigher programme (£ million)

2004-05

136

2005-06

102

2006-07

87

2007-08

80


Aimhigher remains a central part of the Government's plans to widen participation in higher education (HE), and we have been happy to support it for a further period, to 2011.


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Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what the cost was of the Aimhigher programme in each year since its inception. [172276]

Bill Rammell: Since the launch of Aimhigher in 2004, expenditure to help to students from disadvantaged backgrounds to access higher education has increased considerably.

£ million
2004-051 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08

Aimhigher(2)

136

102

87

80

Student support(3)

1,117

1,333

1,558

1,831

Widening participation allocation

273

284

345

354

Total

1,526

1,719

1,990

2,265

(1) The unified Aimhigher programme commenced in August 2004. The amount shown includes the cost of predecessor programmes (Excellence Challenge and Partnerships for Progression) for the period April to July 2004. (2) The amounts shown include contributions from the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the Learning and Skills Council and the Department for Health. (3) Includes student loans RAB charge, fee loans, and student support grants. The Student loans RAB charge estimates the future cost to government of subsidising and writing off the student loans issued in that year; it does not represent the amount of cash lent to students, which has risen each year since the introduction of student loans.

In addition, the Office for Fair Access forecasts that around £300 million annually will be spent by higher education providers on bursaries and scholarships benefiting students from low-income and other underrepresented groups by the academic year 2008-09. Following passage of the Higher Education Act 2004, the Government decided to reduce the budget for Aimhigher to take account of the additional funding which was made available to support widening participation through alternative routes such as the large increases in student support.

We have reformed student finance, reintroducing grants and raising the income threshold at which repayments start. No-one is required to pay a contribution to their higher education up-front. These reforms, together with Aimhigher, have been instrumental in bringing about progress towards widening participation. The proportion of UK domiciled, young, full time, first degree entrants to English higher education institutions who were from lower socio economic groups rose from 27.9 per cent. in 2002-03 to 29.1 per cent. in 2005-06.

Aviation

Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills (1) how many air miles were travelled by Ministers in his Department in each year since its establishment; and what estimate he has made of the total amount of carbon dioxide emissions produced as a result; [172234]

(2) how many miles he and other Ministers in his Department travelled on short haul flights in the last 12 months; and what estimate he has made of the total amount of carbon dioxide emissions produced as a result of these flights. [172567]


25 Feb 2008 : Column 1292W

Mr. Lammy: Since 1999 the Government have published a list of all overseas travel by Cabinet Ministers costing over £500. Information for the last financial year was published on 25 July 2007. Details for the current financial year will be published as soon as possible after the end of the financial year. From next year, the list will include details of overseas visits undertaken by all Ministers. All ministerial travel is undertaken in accordance with the Ministerial Code.

All central Government ministerial and official air travel has been offset from 1 April 2006. Departmental aviation emissions are calculated on an annual basis and subsequently offset through payments to a central fund. The fund purchases certified emissions reductions credits from energy efficiency and renewable energy projects with sustainable development benefits, located in developing countries.

In addition, offsetting the flights of Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for International Development, and the Prime Minister has been backdated to 1 April 2005.

A list of Government Carbon Offsetting Fund members, their emission figures and what activities they have offset through the fund is available online at:

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how much has been spent by his Department on international flights since establishment. [174349]

Mr. Lammy: Since 1999 the Government have published a list of all overseas travel by Cabinet Ministers costing over £500. Information for the last financial year was published on 25 July 2007. Details for the current financial year will be published as soon as possible after the end of the financial year. From next year, the list will include details of overseas visits undertaken by all Ministers. All ministerial travel is undertaken in accordance with the Ministerial Code.

Information in respect of flights taken by officials could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Degrees

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what proportion of his staff dealing with universities hold a university degree. [178198]

Mr. Lammy: DIUS staff records are not yet kept on a single database system. Until this is the case, staff records are kept on systems in BERR and DCSF, depending on which Department the individual transferred from.

There have been no formal processes in the two Departments for gathering, validating and maintaining such records. It is therefore likely that any answer given could not be guaranteed to be accurate.

Departmental Correspondence

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what percentage of inquiries received from the public his Department
25 Feb 2008 : Column 1293W
responded to (a) within a week, (b) within 14 days, (c) within 28 days, (d) within two months, (e) within three months, (f) in over three months and (g) in over a year in the latest period for which figures are available. [167418]

Mr. Lammy: This Department does not hold the information in the format requested. The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) has only been in existence since June 2007 and brings together functions from two former Departments, science and innovation responsibilities from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and skills, further and higher education from the Department for Education and Skills (DfES). Our performance for correspondence from MPs and peers will be published annually by way of a written ministerial statement. Performance figures for DfES and DTI for 2006, were published on 28 March 2007, Official Report, column 101WS. Overall
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performance for all DIUS correspondence (MPs, peers and the public) will be given in the Department's annual report which will be available at:

Departmental Databases

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what databases are (a) owned and (b) maintained by (i) his Department and (ii) its agencies. [185425]

Mr. Lammy: The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) was created by the Prime Minister on 28 June 2007.

As far as we are aware, we believe the following represents databases that are owned/maintained by the Department or its agencies.


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25 Feb 2008 : Column 1296W
Database name Owned Maintained

DIUS

UK Innovation Survey (UK Part of Community Innovation)

Research Base/SIA

SIA/ONS

Certex (Certificate of Experience)

DIUS

ECCTIS Ltd.

Section 97

DIUS

DIUS

Student Loan Business Service (SLBS)(1)

DIUS

HMRC

Centre for Revenue Intelligence Images(2)

DIUS

HMRC

East Kilbride Student Loans Unit (EKSLU) Offline Management Tools(3)

DIUS

HMRC

UK Intellectual Property Office

Trade Marks Register

UK-IPO

UK-IPO

Patents Register

UK-IPO

UK-IPO

Designs Register

UK-IPO

UK-IPO

Human Resources

UK-IPO

UK-IPO

Financial Information

UK-IPO

UK-IPO

IP Crime Information

UK-IPO

UK-IPO

National Weights and Measures Laboratory

Goldmine Contact Database

NWML

NWML

NWML internet site information database

NWML

NWML

NWML intranet site information database

LNWML

NWML

ROMS internet site information and inquiry database

ROHS Section, NWML

ROHS Section, NWML

Trakker Enquiry Database

NWML

NWML

SUN finance database

Finance Dept, NWML

Finance Dept, NWML

Nortel phone system database

Records Dept, NWML

Records Dept, NWML

Central Time work recording database

NWML

NWML

Calibration Automatic Weighing system database

Calibration section, NWML

Calibration section, NWML

Projects Handler database

Type and Test dept.

Type and Test dept.

Local Authority Data

Enforcement dept.

Enforcement dept.

Lifelong Learning UK

Staff Individualised Records

LLUK

LLUK

Institute for Learning

Teacher Professional Registrations

IfL

IfL

Quality Improvement Agency

Internal QIA—HR Databases

QIA

Yes

HR Management Statistics

Recruitment Database

Monthly payroll reports

Performance Review Database

Training Records Database

Personal Details Database

Sickness Absence Database

Employees Contracts Database

Probationary Reviews Database

QIA Programme Specific Databases

QIA

Yes

STARs

STAR 2007: nomination details

STAR 2007: Beacon shortlisted nominations

STAR 2007: short and long-listed nominations (including citations)

STAR 20007: shortlisted (including winners and highly commended

High Quality Managers. High Quality managers: Cohorts 1 and 2

QIA

Yes

High Quality Managers; Equality and diversity information

QIA Research. QIA R and D Suppliers Register—approved suppliers

QIA

Yes

Student Loans Company (SLC)

CLASS Customer demographic details, applications, loan accounts and financial transactions: payments and repayments. Customer associated third party names and addresses

SLC

Authorised SLC staff, Third party authorised users e.g. Resource Handling Limited (External company dealing with call centre overflow)

Protocol Customer demographic details and applications. Sponsor demographic details and financial information

SLC

Authorised Local Authority personnel, customer self service, Authorised SLC staff

HEI database. HEI details, course, term data and fee amounts

SLC

Authorised SLC staff

Tallyman. Customers in arrears, or Trace

SLC

Authorised SLC staff

Hunter. Fraud detection and management database

SLC

Authorised SLC staff

Caseflow. Customers in Litigation

SLC

Authorised SLC staff

Loan Servicing System (LSS). Archive data pre-1997. Used in litigation cases

SLC

Authorised SLC staff

Data Warehouse. Historical and recent trend analysis for Customer Financial Transactions plus HE and FE application details

SLC

Authorised SLC, LA and DIUS staff

Foundation Degree Forward (fdf)

Foundation degree course listings(4)

fdf

fdf

(1) The Student Loans Business Service holds the information on customers(graduates) who have entered repayment.
(2) This system holds information on new customers (i.e. new graduates) into the repayments system who have failed to match up to an employer using existing national insurance numbers.
(3) This system is an Access database which allows for sifting of all the information held on SLBS, which is limited in its scope. The EKSLU Offline Management Tools allow the prioritisation and management of student loan repayment cases.
(4 )part of fdf’s official website listing Foundation degree courses by subject area, region, institution or keyword. As well as the course title, it shows both the validating HE Institution and delivering institution.

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