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Table 2: Imputed UK Share of multilateral official development assistance (ODA) to Kenya, 2001-05











DFID provides funding to non-Government organisations in Kenya, but it does not collate statistics on the total amount of its bilateral programme that is delivered through NGOs.

Sudan: Overseas Aid

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether he has received reports of the hijacking of World Food Programme trucks in Darfur since 1 January 2008; and what assessment he has made of the humanitarian impact of such events in Darfur. [195671]

Gillian Merron: The latest statement from the World Food Programme (WFP) indicated that five WFP passenger vehicles and 45 WFP-contracted trucks have been hijacked in Darfur since the start of 2008. Some 37 trucks and 23 drivers are still unaccounted for.

The insecurity in Darfur has forced many agencies to scale back operations at a time on increasing need. Although existing food stocks are sufficient for the next two months, the insecurity is hampering the ability of WFP and other agencies to stock pile food, medicines, shelter materials and fuel before the onset of the rainy season in May/June when needs will rise dramatically and logistics become extremely difficult.

Innovation, Universities and Skills

Further Education

12. Paddy Tipping: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, what assessment he has made of the impact that the changes to regional administration will have on the funding of colleges of further education; and if he will make a statement. [196491]

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Bill Rammell: On 17 March with the Department for Children, Schools and Families we published "Raising Expectations: enabling the system to deliver". It sets out plans to tackle education and skills challenges and strengthen support for young people and adults.

In the proposals, colleges will receive funding for pre 19 provision from local authorities and for post 19 provision from the Skills Funding Agency. This continues the current practice of two distinct discussions for pre and post 19 provision.

National Apprenticeships Service

13. Ann Coffey: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, what the functions and objectives of the proposed National Apprenticeship Service are; and if he will make a statement. [196493]

Mr. Denham: The proposed National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) will have end to end responsibility for the Apprenticeship programme, including accountability for the national delivery of targets. Full functions and objectives of the National Apprenticeship Service are detailed in Section 4 of 'World-class Apprenticeships: Unlocking Talent, Building Skills for All' published on 28 January 2008. The NAS will be a distinct service within the Learning and Skills Council and will commence in April 2009.


14. Mr. Mackay: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, if he will take steps to improve access to bursaries for students from lower-income families. [196495]

Bill Rammell: This Government have put in place the most generous financial support package ever. At least 70,000 students from a lower-income background have received bursaries.

But we can and must do more. We have made improvements to the Student Finance Form to make it easier for students to consent to share financial information to be assessed for bursaries. We are also working with OFFA—the Office for Fair Access—and the sector on sharing good practice on encouraging bursary take-up.

Learning and Skills Council

15. Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what his policy is on the future role of the Learning and Skills Council. [196498]

Mr. Denham: The White Paper ‘Raising Expectations: enabling the system to deliver’, was published jointly with DCSF on 17 March 2008. This sets out proposals to replace the Learning and Skills Council with two new systems. Responsibility for 16-19 funding will transfer to local authorities, supported by a new Young People's Learning Agency. For adults we propose to strengthen the demand led approach, including through the creation of a new Skills Funding Agency and a strengthened advice and support service.

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These proposals will require legislation, and the LSC will continue to play an important role in securing effective delivery of post-16 learning until the new arrangements are in place.

Universities: Access

16. Christine Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, what discussions he has held with universities on enabling public access to their facilities. [196499]

Bill Rammell: This is already part of the business of higher education providers. For example, over two million people attend public lectures and performances put on by higher education providers, UK academics provide over 30,000 working days in support of museums, galleries and related education activity, benefiting millions of people, and the public can access top class sporting facilities as well. Our new “university challenge” initiative also emphasises that higher education providers make a real difference to the cultural life of towns, not least through the facilities which benefit both students and communities.

Learning and Development

17. Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what assessment he has made of the demand for learning and development in relation to sectors requiring highly skilled workers; and if he will make a statement. [196500]

Bill Rammell: Analysis undertaken for the Leitch review suggested that 18 million jobs would become vacant between 2004 and 2020, half of which would be in the occupations most likely to employ graduates and those with higher level skills. All sectors require highly-skilled workers to meet the increasing demand for knowledgeable, adaptable and innovative people and Sector Skills Councils articulate the needs of employers for learning provision at all levels in particular sectors.

Wirral Metropolitan College

18. Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills if he will make a statement on the future of Wirral metropolitan college. [196501]

Bill Rammell: The Corporation of Wirral Metropolitan College has recently announced plans to develop a new world class college for 2011, including investment to redevelop the college estate. These plans are at an early stage: they will require consultation and will need to demonstrate that they provide further education opportunities that meet the needs and demands of people in the Wirral.

Knowledge Transfer

19. Mr. Jamie Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what assessment he has made of the contribution knowledge transfer partnerships can make to university-created businesses. [196502]

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Ian Pearson: The aim of Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) is to strengthen the competitiveness and wealth creation of the UK by the stimulation of innovation in business through collaborative partnerships with the UK knowledge base. Businesses of all sizes in most industries and commercial sectors can take part.

No specific assessment has been made of the contribution KTPs can make to university spinout businesses. However, in July 2007 the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) took over responsibility for Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, and the TSB is currently considering how best to meet the needs of different types of businesses.

Higher Education

Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many students gained a place at a higher education institution in the last period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [196480]

Bill Rammell: The latest figures published by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) show that the number of applicants who have been accepted for entry to full-time undergraduate courses in 2007 was up by 6 per cent. compared to 2006. They have also exceeded the large increase in 2005, which means the 2007 figures are the highest ever. The small downturn which we saw in 2006, which we always anticipated, has been strongly reversed this year.

Age: Discrimination

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what steps the Government have taken to identify and record instances of age discrimination in the workplace. [164128]

Mr. McFadden: I have been asked to reply on behalf of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills.

Neither the European Framework Directive (2000/78/EC) nor the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations, which implement the age strand of the directive, require instances of age discrimination in the workplace to be identified and recorded. Instances of age discrimination that individuals have challenged through the employment tribunal system are recorded. Data about cases are available in the employment tribunal and EAT statistics for the year to 31 March 2007 at:

We shall be monitoring the effectiveness of the legislation through the second Survey of Employers Policies, Practices and Preferences Relating to Age in 2009 and through the second Fair Treatment at Work Survey later this year which looks at perceptions of discrimination in the workplace.

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Departmental Publications

Mr. David Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what guidance is issued to members of his Department on the authorship and publication on the internet of material relating to their official duties; and if he will make a statement. [196742]

Bill Rammell: The guidance currently offered to staff comprises:

We are working with the Cabinet Office to develop cross-government guidance on use of social media by Government, including the propriety and ethical issues raised. This is due for publication in April.

Departmental Video Conferencing

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills if he will set a target to increase the use of video conferencing by his Department to reduce the need to travel to meetings. [195861]

Bill Rammell: The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills is committed to reducing the need to travel to meetings where this is practicable and appropriate. Our departmental blueprint sets out our vision to be innovative and have exemplary business operations. In developing our new headquarters building, Kingsgate House, we have installed state-of-the-art video conferencing and telepresence facilities, as well as phone conferencing. E-conferencing is also being used to give people the ability to attend meetings from their desks by accessing a shared workspace which enables interaction with colleagues. Our wide range of video conferencing facilities provide for ad-hoc one-to-one conversations as well as formal planned meetings and committees. These are seen as really positive steps within the Department and I do not believe that to develop an artificial target to increase video conferencing usage would deliver any additional benefits.

Educational Institutions: Community Relations

Mr. Flello: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what guidance his Department has issued to educational establishments on promoting shared values and combating violent extremism. [196494]

Bill Rammell: On 22 January, we issued guidance to higher education institutions on promoting good campus relations, fostering shared values and preventing violent extremism on HE campuses.

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On 11 February we also launched a consultation with the further education sector on its role in this area and the support providers need.

Higher Education: Business

Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what his assessment is of the contribution universities make to business. [196497]

Bill Rammell: Universities make an important contribution to business through research, knowledge transfer, innovation and work force development, in addition to supplying skilled and knowledgeable graduates. We have invested in university-business collaboration through increases in the Higher Education Innovation Fund and Knowledge Transfer Partnerships and a stronger focus on the economic impact of research. Work force development is less developed and we will consult through a Higher Level Skills Strategy on how universities can better meet this challenge.

Personal Records: Databases

Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills which (a) companies based in the United States and (b) UK subsidiaries of US companies have been contracted by his Department and its agencies to provide services involving the use, storage, processing and analysis of databases of personal information held by the Government on UK citizens during the last five years. [183857]

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



Student Loans Company

The Government takes the protection of personal data extremely seriously. Data exchanges between the Student Loans Company and HMRC have all been reviewed following the Chancellor’s statement on
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20 November to ensure they meet the appropriate security standards. No breaches of data protection protocols have occurred in respect of student loan administration. Furthermore, the provisions catering for the sharing of information in the Sale of Student Loans Bill will
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strengthen the framework for legal protection of data in respect of all loans, whether sold or unsold. The Bill will extend an existing criminal sanction prohibiting the wrongful disclosure of HMRC information outside the terms of the legislative gateway.

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