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1 Apr 2008 : Column 842W—continued

Overseas Students

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many non-EU students attended English universities in each year since 1997. [170441]

Bill Rammell: The latest available information is given in the following table. Figures for 2007/08 will be available in January 2009.

Number of non-EU enrolments( 1) at English higher education institutions 1997/98 to 2006/07
Academic year Non-EU enrolments

1997/98

92,740

1998/99

92,875

1999/2000

97,500

2000/01

107,040

2001/02

117,940

2002/03

142,660

2003/04

161,250

2004/05

163,750

2005/06

164,975

2006/07

171,835

(1) Figures cover postgraduate and undergraduate students on full-time and part-time courses.
Note:
Figures are calculated on a snapshot basis as at 1 December to maintain a consistent time series across all years and have been rounded to the nearest 5.
Source:
Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA)

The figures indicate that international student numbers at English higher education institutions have increased by 85 per cent. since 1997. This is very much a success story as these students contribute to the cultural mix, the research capacity and the finances of our institutions. The growth of international student numbers has not been at the expense of home students as they are not in competition with each other for places.


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Skilled Workers: Construction

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what assessment he has made of the skills need forecast made by ConstructionSkills in 2005 of the number of recruits to the construction industry required in each year to 2010; and what steps he (a) has taken and (b) plans to take in response. [197495]

Mr. Lammy: Forecast data by ConstructionSkills anticipates that to meet the demand for new workers the construction industry in England will need to recruit 74,340 people per annum between 2008 and 2012. The Construction Industry has responded very positively to the Government's Skills Pledge, with over 1,000 employers already committed. For apprenticeships, the aim is to double the number of apprenticeships in the sector to 20,000 by 2012. The National Skills Academy for Construction was launched in 2007 and has a major programme of activities working with employers across England. The number of Inspire scholarships, offering support to individuals studying for a Built Environment degree, has increased this year to 300. Together these initiatives will make a strong contribution to help meet the skill needs of the sector.

Skilled Workers: Voluntary Organisations

Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what assessment his Department has made of the contribution of third sector organisations towards developing the skill set of specific groups, with particular reference to those with learning disabilities. [196853]

Mr. Lammy: Third sector organisations have a vital role to play in reaching specific user groups including those with learning difficulties and/or disabilities, providing opportunities to learn and train that might not otherwise exist, and supporting the Government's twin aims of economic success and social inclusion for all.

In 2006-07 the Government invested around £177 million in 2006-07 in post-16 further education and skills provision delivered by 543 voluntary organisations directly contracted with the Learning and Skills Council.

The Working Together Advisory Group (launched in December 2006) has brought together experts from across the third sector to advise the LSC on how it can work most effectively with third sector providers. The substantial progress that has been made was celebrated at a ministerial reception in January 2008.

The LSC is continuing to work with the Advisory Group to make sure the third sector's contribution to targets and priorities is recognised and understood, and that third sector organisations are treated equitably with all other providers of services.

Spaceflight: Finance

Dr. Blackman-Woods: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what the Government’s policy is on (a) participation in and (b) funding of a future European space flight mission. [194520]


1 Apr 2008 : Column 844W

Ian Pearson: The new UK Civil Space Strategy 2008-12 and beyond, published on 14 February 2008, stated that the European Space Agency (ESA) is a vital delivery partner. More than 60 per cent. of the UK Government’s civil space expenditure is invested in ESA activities. The Government through the British National Space Centre considers participation and funding of each proposed European space flight mission on its merits.

Students: Fees and Charges

Stephen Hesford: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what estimate he has made of the percentage of students from Wirral West constituency who are exempt from payment of tuition fees. [194420]

Bill Rammell: Fees are payable for all students. Tuition fee loans have been available since September 2006, so no student needs to find money up front to meet tuition fees. Borrowers start to repay loans in the April after they leave higher education. Repayment is linked to income and repayable at 9 per cent. on earnings above £15,000 a year. No repayment is required if income is below £15,000. Interest paid is linked to the rate of inflation, so in real terms what is paid back is equivalent to what was borrowed.

Some employers and other agencies pay fees on behalf of students, including the Training and Development Agency for Schools and the NHS.

Continuing students who entered higher education before 2006/07 are charged fees but those with lower incomes can apply for means-tested grants to cover part or all of the fees, and for non-means-tested fee contribution loans to cover any shortfall in the grant. These fee grants and fee contribution loans are paid direct to the HE institution. Information on fee grants and fee contribution loans is not available at constituency level.

Students: Finance

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills whether the new arrangements for funding students studying for qualifications that are equivalent or lower to qualifications they already hold will apply to all EU-domiciled students. [197142]

Mr. Lammy: All students, including EU-domiciled students, who wish to study an equivalent or lower level course of higher education in England will be affected by the new funding arrangements.

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills whether the new arrangements for funding students studying for qualifications that are equivalent or lower to qualifications they already hold will apply to students funded via Train to Gain. [197143]

Mr. Lammy: The new arrangements apply to students studying for higher education qualifications which are equivalent to or lower than ones they already hold, whereas Train to Gain funding has been predominantly focused on low and intermediate skills. We are clear that any eligible provision which is co-funded by employers
1 Apr 2008 : Column 845W
will continue to attract public subsidies. Since it was launched in April 2006, Train to Gain has helped over 170,000 people gain qualifications ranging from basic skills, such as literacy and numeracy, to intermediate level skills (level 3). It has also helped employers source other non qualification skills support, such as Investors in People, as well as more general business support from Business Link.

Our plans for the expansion of Train to Gain were set out in November 2007 in Train to Gain: A Plan for Growth. Our ambition is that employers will be able to both identify and then source, against existing funding rules, their skills needs at all levels, including higher education.

Students: Identity Cards

Stephen Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills whether English-domiciled home or EU higher education students will have to be in possession of an identity card in order to access student loans or other state or Institution-determined support related to their studies at English higher education institutions in 2009-10 or in any subsequent years. [195302]

Bill Rammell: There are no plans to require students to have an ID card to apply for a student loan or any other form of student support.

Students: Lancashire

Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many students in West Lancashire constituency entered higher education in (a) 2004, (b) 2005 and (c) 2006. [189739]

Bill Rammell: The latest available information is given in the table. Figures for the 2007-08 academic year will be available in January 2009.

Entrants to undergraduate courses at UK higher education institutions from West Lancashire parliamentary constituency—academic years 2004-05 to 2006-07
Academic year Entrants

2004-05(1)

1,200

2005-06

1,285

2006-07

1,185

(1) Figures for the Open University for 2004-05 have been included but these are known to undercount entrants to undergraduate courses at the Open University.
Note:
Figures are based on a HESA Standard Registration Population and have been rounded to the nearest five.
Source:
Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).

Overall, for all students from England, the UCAS figures show that, compared to 2006, applicants who had been accepted for entry in 2007, rose by 6.1 per cent. to 307,000, the highest ever. Latest figures for students applying for entry in 2008, show that applicants from England up by 7.1 per cent. compared to 2007.

Students: Loans

Stephen Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many people with student loans who graduated in (a) 2001, (b) 2002, (c) 2003, (d) 2004, (e) 2005, (f) 2006 and (g) 2007 have yet to make any repayments of a student loan. [188039]


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Bill Rammell: Available data are shown in the following table.

English domiciled borrowers who have not yet made repayments on their student loans by loan type( 1)
Cohort (repayment start)( 2) Mortgage-style loan Income-c ontingent loan( 3) All loans( 4)

April 2002

9,900

33,900

43,800

April 2003

3,100

56,300

59,400

April 2004

800

71,600

72,400

April 2005

200

103,800

104,000

April 2006

100

146,700

146,800

April 2007(5)

100

n/a

n/a

n/a = Not available.
(1) Figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Publicly-owned student loans.
(2) Repayment begins from the April following the year of graduation, when income reaches the threshold.
(3) Annual repayment information is passed to the SLC after the end of the tax year, to update borrowers’ records. Some of the borrowers covered in the table will have made repayments via their employers recently that have not yet been reflected in their SLC accounts, and therefore appear not to have made repayments.
(4) Borrowers with both types of loan may be counted twice.
(5) Details of income-contingent loan repayments collected through the tax system are passed to the SLC after the end of the financial year to update borrowers’ accounts. Therefore data are not yet available on repayments by 2006 graduates who became liable to begin repaying in the tax year 2007-08.
Source:
Student Loans Company (SLC)

Borrowers who graduated in 2007 are not required to begin repaying their student loans until April 2008. Income-contingent loans replaced mortgage-style loans from 1998; the table reflects this change. It also shows that many people who have recently left university have not yet begun to repay, but those in older cohorts are now repaying.

Borrowers with up to four mortgage-style loans repay over five years when their income exceeds the repayment threshold; those with five or more loans repay over seven years. The threshold for borrowers with mortgage-style loans is 85 per cent. of national average earnings, currently £25,287 from 1 September 2007. Borrowers are able to apply for deferment of repayments if their income is below this.

Borrowers with income contingent loans repay at a rate of 9 per cent. of earnings above £15,000 a year. Repayments are usually collected through the tax system by employers, in the same way as income tax and national insurance contributions. Self employed borrowers make repayments through the self assessment system.

Stephen Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills (1) how many full-time undergraduates qualified for 75 per cent. net income assessed loans of (a) £2,685, (living at home), (b) £3,470, (living away from home outside London) and (c) £4,855, (living away from home in London), in the latest period for which figures are available; [194197]

(2) how many full-time undergraduates qualified for maximum student loans of (a) £3,580, (living at home), (b) £4,625, (living away from home outside London) and (c) £6,475, (living away from home in London), in the latest period for which figures are available; [194198]

(3) how many full-time undergraduates qualified for 25 per cent. income assessed loans of (a) £895, (living at home), (b) £1,155, (living away from home outside London) and (c) £1,620, (living away from home in London), in the latest period for which figures are available. [194202]


1 Apr 2008 : Column 847W

Bill Rammell: Student maintenance loans consist of up to three elements: a non-means tested loan of around 75 per cent. of the maximum; a means tested loan for around 25 per cent. of the maximum; and an additional income-assessed amount for extra weeks if the course is longer than normal. The level of loan available is reduced for final year students. Students can choose to borrow less than their full entitlement.

Available data are shown in the following tables.

English domiciled students receiving non-means tested maintenance loans by entitlement category, year and loan rate( 1) , academic year 2006/07
Entitlement category—Living at: Full year or final year Students receiving loan at maximum rate Students receiving loan below maximum rate

Home

Full

90,700

6,200

Final

39,800

1,700

London

Full

51,900

3,700

Final

19,900

2,100

Elsewhere

Full

305,200

23,400

Final

123,500

11,100

(1) Table excludes students who move between entitlement categories during the year (e.g. Home and Elsewhere). Figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Source: Student Loans Company.

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