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Family Planning

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what payments his Department has made to (a) Marie Stopes International, (b) International Planned Parenthood Federation, (c) British Pregnancy Advisory Service, (d) United Nations Population Fund and (e) Family Planning Association (UK) for (i) abortion, (ii) family planning and (iii) other reproductive health services in each of the last five years; what the total of grants made to each organisation in each of the last five years was; what restrictions there are on the use of these funds; and if he will make a statement. [186368]

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Gillian Merron: Details on DFID's core contributions to each organisation over the last five years are laid out in the following table.

DFID p rogramme 2002-03 to 2006-07
Organisation 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07

International Planned Parenthood Federation





UN Population Fund






Core contributions are provided in support of an organisation's overall development activities and are disbursed at the discretion of the organisation and can therefore not be broken down into sectors.

Project specific funding is also delivered via Marie Stopes International, the UN Population Fund and the International Planned Parenthood Federation. Consolidated records on the amount of project specific funding delivered via intermediary organisations are not held centrally.

No funding was provided to the British Pregnancy Advisory Service or the Family Planning Association (UK).

DFID does not promote abortion as a method of family planning. However, if a woman decides to have an abortion, she should be able to access care and services that are safe. Where it is legal, DFID works to ensure the saving of women's lives through abortion services that are safe. DFID also promotes awareness of unsafe abortion as a serious women's health issue.

Global Fund to Fight AIDS Tuberculosis and Malaria

Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what technical support his Department is providing to countries with high incidences of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria to (a) submit proposals for grants to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and (b) build internal capacity to maximise value for money from such grant funding. [187432]

Gillian Merron: The UK Government support health-related technical assistance in several developing countries. DFID also supports a variety of organisations, including UN agencies, such as the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), World Health Organisation (WHO) and Stop TB and Roll Back Malaria, which help countries to develop proposals for grants to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Through the International Health Partnership, the UK is also working with the Global Fund and others to minimise the administrative burden on countries of funding from external donors.

Infant Mortality

Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment his Department has made of progress towards meeting Millennium Development Goal 4; and if he will make a statement. [187777]

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Mr. Douglas Alexander: The latest assessment of progress towards Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 4 is included in the annual “State of the World’s Children Report” by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) published in January 2008. Overall in 2006, global child deaths reached a record low of 9.7 million, down from 13 million in 1990. The report showed that solid progress has been made in a number of countries such as Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Rwanda and Tanzania.

The report also highlighted that a concentrated push is required to accelerate progress in West Africa and parts of Asia to cut child deaths. MDG 4 is inextricably linked to MDG 5 (to improve maternal health) as 40 per cent. of children under the age of five are dying within a few days of birth. This is why the Prime Minister has called for 2008 to be a year of action towards meeting the MDGs especially those concerned with child mortality (MDG 4) and maternal health (MDG 5), which remain the most off-track.

Overseas Aid: Health

Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what progress has been made in the development of international health partnership compacts between international development partners and the governments of (a) Burundi, (b) Cambodia, (c) Ethiopia, (d) Kenya, (e) Mozambique, (f) Nepal, (g) Zambia and (h) Mali; whether he has identified inadequate funding as a hindrance in the development of any such compact; and what arrangements his Department has in place to overcome any such hindrance. [187434]

Gillian Merron: The international health agencies, under the leadership of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the World Bank, are now implementing the International Health Partnership (IHP). At the country-level, the governments are working with these agencies and other donors to develop country compacts. We do not have specific information on the progress in each of the IHP countries. There will be a meeting in Lusaka, Zambia this month to review progress in individual countries. Early indications are positive. WHO expects the first set of compacts to be ready by September 2008.

The health agencies have identified a budget of £7 million over two years in order to implement the IHP. To date £4 million has already been provided, with the UK funding £3.5 million and Norway £0.5 million. The WHO and the World Bank are approaching other countries to provide the balance of costs in year two of this work. Part of these funds are earmarked to offset the costs involved in developing country compacts.

Innovation, Universities and Skills

College of Chiropractors: Royal Charters

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills if he will make it his policy to support the application by the College of Chiropractors to the Privy Council for a Royal Charter. [175202]

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Bill Rammell: Decisions as to whether to grant a Royal Charter are matters for the Privy Council, who assess applications against the published criteria. Each petition is considered on its own merits and it would not be appropriate for me to make a policy statement concerning individual Charter petitions.

Education: Pharmacy

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills if he will add pharmacy courses to the list of courses exempt from the forthcoming changes to equivalent or lower qualifications students. [175744]

Bill Rammell: The vast majority of pharmacy students already study the subject as a first degree rather than as an equivalent or lower level qualification. The redistribution of £100 million by 2010 would enable the same number of pharmacy students to be funded as now but with even more studying the subject as a first degree. In that way we will increase and widen participation which is our top priority. We also value those who have already got a first HE qualification and who want to retrain in a different subject. There will be opportunities for them available, for example, through Foundation Degrees and employer co-funded provision.

In addition, there will be a review mechanism each year to look at individual subjects of particular economic or social importance. We are asking the Funding Council each year to look at levels of demand for subjects which might in future be regarded as key because of their economic or social significance, and to advise us on the best way forward. The first such review should take place starting in December 2008, in the light of entry data for the 2008/09 academic year. That would be an opportunity to have another look at pharmacy and other subjects in the light of the data that will then be available.

Foreign Students: Fees and Charges

Stephen Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what mechanisms are in place to collect retrospective tuition fees from students at UK universities from EU countries once they return to their home countries. [186620]

Bill Rammell: The Student Loans Company has established payment arrangements for borrowers from other European Union countries who dropped out of their studies and became due to make repayment in April 2007, or who have graduated and become eligible to repay from April 2008. These existing arrangements will continue to apply when the first full cohort of borrowers from EU countries enters into repayment in April 2010.

The SLC has written to all EU borrowers due to start repayment and asked them to confirm the address where they expect to reside after graduation. If they are staying in the UK, they will be expected to obtain a national insurance number and make repayments through the UK tax system. If they are going abroad they will be asked to supply an address and complete an overseas assessment form to allow repayments to be scheduled. These borrowers have been made aware of the variety of methods of repayment available to them.

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So that all who can pay contribute to the costs of their education we have put in place variable threshold bands which are dependent on where the borrower lives. Effective collection across the EU is underpinned by EC regulation 44/2001, which allows the SLC to obtain judgments in UK courts, which can be enforced by courts in other EU countries.

In support of the EU repayment process the SLC is developing an enforcement strategy for borrowers who move abroad but who do not provide income details. This work is focussing on the collection of penalties, arrears and the movement of borrowers into litigation where this is appropriate. The SLC is piloting work in these areas and expects to have final arrangements in place by April 2009.

Higher Education: Admissions

Stephen Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what proportion of those who gained A-levels enrolled on a degree course at a higher education institution in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. [186618]

Bill Rammell: Administrative data sources do not currently allow us to calculate the proportion of those who gained A Levels and enrolled on a degree course at higher education.

Some rates of entry to higher education by prior qualification are available from the Youth Cohort Study (YCS). The latest available figures are based on 19-year-olds in


Although the YCS cannot reliably be used to make comparisons over time, the data do suggest that conversion rates from A level to HE have been reasonably constant at above 80 per cent.

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what proportion of students applied for a university place on completion of their A-levels in (a) Cornwall, (b) the South West and (c) England in each year since 1979. [186628]

Bill Rammell: Administrative data sources do not currently allow us to calculate the proportion of those who gained A-levels who applied for a university place, nor is application information for 18-year-olds available by smaller areas.

The latest available information on all 18-year-old applicants is given in Table 1.

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Table 1: Number of English domiciled 18-year-old applicants to full-time undergraduate courses in the UK
Year of entry Applicants

















Note: Figures have been rounded to the nearest five. Source: Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

Figures are not available for earlier years than 2000. Also, figures for Cornwall and the South West are not available, only for England as a whole. It is not possible to separate applicants who have completed A-levels as opposed to other qualifications. Therefore figures for all English domiciled 18-year-old university applicants have been provided. Latest figures for 2008 entry show that, as at 15 January, 18-year-old applicants from England were up by 5 per cent.

The main measure for tracking progress on increasing participation in higher education is currently the Higher Education Initial Participation Rate (HEIPR). This is the sum of the HE initial participation rates for individual ages between 17 and 30 inclusive. It covers English-domiciled first time entrants to HE courses, which are expected to last for at least six months, at UK higher education institutions and English, Scottish and Welsh further education colleges, and who remain on their course for at least six months. An 18-year-old rate can be derived from this, and the available figures are shown in Table 2:

Table 2: Higher Education Initial Participation Rate (HEIPR)
17-30 age group 18-year-olds






















Source: “Participation Rates in Higher Education: Academic Years 1999/2000 to 2005/06 (Provisional)” Statistical First Release, published by DfES.

Figures are not available for earlier years than 1999/2000. Figures for 2006/07 will become available in 2008. The HEIPR is not disaggregated below national level. The HEIPR does not distinguish between students who have completed A-levels as opposed to other qualifications.

For information, the percentage of 17-year-olds achieving one or more A-level has changed over the period 1994 to 2007 as follows:

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17-year-olds achieving one or more GCE/VCE/Applied A-levels (or equivalent( 1) )





























(1 )Includes Advanced GNVQ between 1998 and 2001. Note: Figures relate to 17-year-olds (age at start of academic year, i.e. 31 August) in all schools and colleges. Source: The figures are taken from the 2006/2007 SFR, published on 9 January, and can be found at

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