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25 Feb 2008 : Column 1312Wcontinued
International students bring an international perspective to our campuses, they help maintain the UK's world class research base, and they provide a valuable source of income for our universities and indeed for the economy more widely. The "Global Value" report published by the British Council in September estimated that the total value of international HE students to the UK economy was in the region of £5 billion per year.
The growth in international students is not at the expense of home and EU students. Student numbers from those domiciled in the UK and the EU have also grown. There is no question of UK students being squeezed out of the market by international students. International students are recruited in addition to the home (UK and other EU) students, whose places are subsidised by the Higher Education Funding Councils. International students pay the full cost of their tuition.
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what activities were recently undertaken as part of Student Finance week; and what the cost was of each. 
Bill Rammell: The information is as follows.
Student Finance Week 2008 was a week long programme of PR activity
The aim of the activity was to make the target audience aware of and direct them to view the new Student Finance DVD. The DVD contains detailed information on the package of financial support available for students entering higher education from September 2008
The activity was aimed at young people aged 16-19 and their parents
The total cost was £33,925.00
The activity provided an estimated 67 million opportunities to see
Based on the national press articles only, the reach is estimated as:
Parents of 16 to 18-year-olds with a household income of £25,000 to £60,000articles reached 33.4 per cent. of the audience
Parents of all 16 to 18-year-oldsarticles reached 32.6 per cent. of the audience
16 to 18-year-olds with a household income of £25,000 to £60,000articles reached 29.3 per cent. of the audience
16 to 18-year-oldsarticles reached 31.9 per cent. of the audience.
Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills if he will ensure that the Higher Education and Funding Council for England provides funding for students seeking postgraduate training in health, education, local government, food safety and hydrology. 
Bill Rammell: We have no plans to change arrangements for funding of postgraduate provision, except in those cases where a student already has a postgraduate qualification at an equivalent or higher level than the one for which he or she proposes to study. For such students, funding will be available for students on courses which are co-funded by employers, including those in the public sector as well as the private sector. That is and will be our priority as we respond to the challenges identified by Sandy Leitch.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many people continued to make payments to the Student Loan Company (SLC) after their incomes had dropped below the repayment threshold in each year since the SLC was established; what the mean number of months for which student loan deductions continued after the repayer ceased to be eligible to repay was in these cases; how many individuals received (a) one, (b) two, (c) three, (d) four and (e) five or more repayments subsequent to their becoming ineligible; what the (i) median and (ii) mean amount repaid in total to each individual was; and what the mean size was of the individual rebates made as a consequence. 
Bill Rammell: Neither the Department nor the Student Loans Company (SLC) hold the information requested.
For borrowers covered by the UK tax system, income-contingent loan repayments (deductions) are taken by the employer and passed to HMRC, on a weekly or monthly basis if the borrower's income exceeds the relevant threshold. If a deduction is taken in error when income does not exceed the threshold then the relevant deductions are refunded by the employer. The SLC does not hold information about these deductions.
However, in some cases a borrower's income for the year may be less than the threshold overall, but their earnings above the threshold in one or more pay periods. Such situations only become clear at the end of the financial year and the borrower may claim a refund from the SLC. (Note that such borrowers had deductions taken correctly when they were above the earnings threshold in the relevant pay period.) Available data on such refunds are shown in the following tables.
|Number of SLC refunds to income-contingent loan borrowers below the earnings threshold at the end of the year, England|
|Calendar year||Number of refunds( 1)|
|(1) Number of loans rounded to nearest 10|
Student Loans Company
|Number of income-contingent loan borrowers( 1) who received SLC refunds because they were below the earnings threshold at the end of the year, by numbers of refunds, England|
|Number of refunds|
|(1) Refunds up to 10 Oct 2007. Number of borrowers rounded to nearest 10.|
Student Loans Company
The mean amount of SLC refund was 130.
Borrowers with the older mortgage-style loans can apply for deferment of repayments if their income is below the relevant threshold. The SLC holds income details only for those mortgage-style loans borrowers who apply for a deferment. Some borrowers may wish to continue repayment rather than apply for deferment. Indeed borrowers threshold overall, but their earnings above the threshold in one or more pay periods.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many Access to Learning Loans were paid because of delays in the student loans system in each year since 2001. 
Bill Rammell: The information is not available.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills whether he plans to sell off student loans accrued by non-UK EU citizens as part of the sale of the student loan book. 
Bill Rammell: We envisage that the sale of student loans will be a long-term programme, and in principle loans to non-UK EU citizens could be included in due course . However, tuition fee loans have only been available to non-UK EU citizens since the academic year 2006-07, and the first graduates will not enter repayment until 2010, so we do not expect such loans to be included within the first sales during 2008-09.
Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills by what means he intends to verify that students from (a) other EU member states, (b) England and Wales and (c) non-EU countries do not have a graduate qualification when applying for equivalent or lower qualification courses. 
Overseas students from non-EU and associated countries have not received public funding for over 25 years irrespective of the course qualifications they study. For other students, HEFCE will shortly be advising on the way this is dealt with. Most people will and do obey the rules, but there will need to be a random checking process to corroborate that particular students do not have a first HE qualification. That will need to be done in a way that gets the balance right between protection and not an overly bureaucratic system. In all cases HEFCE will work with institutions to audit feasible student
numbers and final HEFCE funding will be determined on a basis of audited returns through a robust audit process.
To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what proportion of entrants to (a) primary and (b) secondary school teacher training courses were (i) male and (ii) female in
each year since 1997, broken down by subject for secondary school trainees. 
Jim Knight: I have been asked to reply.
The following tables show the proportion of first year trainees, at the end of the first year of their Initial Teacher Training (ITT) course, who are male and female for:
1. Mainstream trainees between 1998/99 and 2005/06.
2. Employment Based ITT (EBITT) between 2001/02 and 2005/06.
|Table 1: Mainstream( 1,2,3,4,5) first year trainees|
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