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21 Apr 2008 : Column 1616Wcontinued
Overall, for all students from England, the UCAS figures show that, compared to 2006, applicants to all full-time undergraduate courses who had been accepted for entry in 2007, rose by 6.1 per cent. to 307,000, the highest ever. This includes increases in accepted applicants to first degree courses in physics (up by 9.8 per cent.), chemistry (up by 8.8 per cent.) and maths (up by 9.3 per cent.).
Latest figures for students applying for entry in 2008, show that, as at the middle of January, applicants to all full-time undergraduate courses from England are up by 7.1 per cent. compared to 2007.
Geraldine Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many students in Morecambe and Lunesdale constituency entered higher education in (a) 2003-04, (b) 2004-05, (c) 2005-06 and (d) 2006-07. 
Bill Rammell: The information is shown in the table.
|Entrants to undergraduate courses at UK higher education institutions from Morecambe and Lunesdale parliamentary constituency, academic years 2003/04 to 2006/07|
|(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.|
1. Figures are based on a HESA Standard Registration Population and have been rounded to the nearest five.
2. Figures cover students on full-time and part-time modes of study.
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 are up by 7.1 per cent. compared to 2007.
Stephen Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what the higher education initial participation rate was in each year since 1997, broken down by (a) 18 to 21 and (b) 22 to 30 year olds in each local education authority area. 
Bill Rammell: The main measure for tracking progress on increasing participation is 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. The latest available figures are shown in Table 1:
|Table 1: Higher Education Initial Participation Rate for 17-30 year olds|
|HEIPR (17-30)||HEIPR (18-21)||HEIPR (22-30)|
| Notes: 1. The HEIPR is usually published to the nearest integer, but the figures are included to one decimal place to inform comparisons over time. 2. Numbers are quoted to the nearest thousand. Source: Participation Rates in Higher Education: Academic Years 1999/2000-2006/07 (Provisional) published by DIUS (2008). The HEIPR is not disaggregated below national level, and figures are not available for Earlier years than 1999/2000.|
Everyone has known for a long time that student applications fell for 2006/07the first year of variable fees. We also know that they recovered strongly for 2007/08, to resume an upward trend. The numbers fall of 2006/07 has affected the HEIPR for that year. Unsurprisingly it has fallen. A year from now, we will know how the counterbalancing rises of 2007/08 will affect the HEIPR, We expect to see an increase in the HEIPR.
Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many students formerly eligible for free school meals were admitted to a university in 2007. 
Bill Rammell: Analysts in the Department are currently working on producing progression figures for FSM and non-FSM pupils, and we are planning to publish these in May.
Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many pupils from maintained schools studied for a (a) physics and (b) chemistry degree in each year since 1997. 
Bill Rammell: The latest available information is shown in the following table. The figures are taken from data collected by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) and they show the previous school type of students who were accepted for entry to full-time undergraduate courses via the UCAS application system, in each year since 2002. The figures do not therefore cover part-time students, nor those full-time students who apply directly to Higher Education Institutions. Comparable figures for earlier years are not held centrally.
|Applicants from the UK accepted for entry to full-time undergraduate courses in physics and chemistryby previous school type, years of entry 2002 to 2007|
|Year of entry|
|(1) Includes accepted applicants from comprehensive schools, FE/HE institutions, grammar schools, sixth form colleges, sixth form centres, other maintained establishments, and other establishments.|
(2) Includes accepted applicants who did not provide details of their previous school type.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what non-government organisations and groups he consulted prior to his Department's decision to reduce equal and lower qualification funding. 
Bill Rammell: We took this decision from first principles in order to increase and widen participation in higher education. It would have been pointless to consult on an issue where we had already decided what to do, as a matter of principle, and successive Governments have all taken major strategic decisions about principled priorities in this way. However, we asked the Higher Education Funding Council for England to consult extensively on the details of how our decision might best be implemented and our final proposals reflect the results of that consultation.
Margaret Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills if he will encourage universities not to use information from social networking sites when making decisions on (a) student admissions and (b) staff recruitment. 
Bill Rammell: Admissions decisions are a matter for individual higher education institutions (HEIs) who, as independent bodies, have discretion over their own admission policies and procedures. HIEs are also responsible for their own staff recruitment and for determining the policies and practices that apply to this, in line with employment and equality legislation. The Department does not therefore issue guidance in these areas.
I have been reassured by the Supporting Professionalism in Admissions (SPA) team, who provide a centre of expertise in admissions matters, that such practices are not a feature of university admissions, despite press suggestions to the contrary. I expect admissions officers to continue to select suitable candidates based on their achievements and potential as they do now. Social and other networking sites will not provide reliable and authenticated evidence of the kind required to support such important decisions.
As outlined, above HE institutions operate within a legal framework in relation to recruitment, like other employers. As such, they would be responsible for determining their legal position if they chose to make use of material that candidates have placed in the public domain in their recruitment processes. Institutions must comply with the law and in our view they should also comply with best practice in their recruitment processes.
Stephen Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what proportion of the first-degree student population enrolled at higher education institutions were from non-EU countries in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. 
Bill Rammell: The available information is given in the table. Figures for 2007/08 will be available in January 2009.
|First degree enrolments by domicile English higher education institutions( 1) Academic years 1997/98 to 2006/07|
|Of which :|
|Academic year||Total first degree enrolments||Number from UK||Proportion (%) from UK||Number from EU||Proportion (%) from EU||Number from Non-EU||Proportion (%) from Non-EU|
|(1) Excludes the Open University.|
Figures are on a snapshot basis as at the 1 December to maintain a consistent time series across all years. Numbers have been rounded to the nearest 5 and percentages to the nearest 0.1 per cent.
The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).
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