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The figures indicate that international student numbers on first degrees at English higher education institutions have increased by nearly 62 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 and it can be seen that the number of home students has also increased by over 128,000 during this ten year period.

Higher Education: South Yorkshire

Jeff Ennis: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many residents of (a) Barnsley and (b) Doncaster entered higher education in each of the last 10 years; and how many of those were (i) mature and (ii) part-time students in each such year. [199441]

Bill Rammell: The latest available information is shown in the table. Comparable figures for the 2007-08 academic year will be available in January 2000.

Entrants( 1) to undergraduate courses from Barnsley and Doncaster local authorities, UK higher education institutions, academic years 1997-98 to 2006-07
Barnsley Doncaster
of a ll e ntrants( 2) of a ll e ntrants;( 2)
All Entrants Mature( 3) Part-time All Entrants Mature( 3) Part-time

1997-98(4)

1,070

620

420

1,205

465

225

1998-99

1,170

710

410

1,605

770

450

1999-2000

1,150

645

455

1,530

700

480

2000-01

1,285

730

545

1,515

715

495

2001-02

1,220

650

435

1,640

730

530

2002-03

1,315

795

565

1,770

900

695

2003-04

1,225

795

575

1,565

890

680

2004-05(5)

1,350

795

620

1,940

1,000

825

2005-06

1,630

970

730

1,966

955

765

2006-07

1,555

890

665

1,875

945

740

(1) Figures are on a snapshot basis as at 1 December to maintain a consistent time series across all years and are rounded to the nearest five. Figures include the Open university but exclude those on writing up, sabbatical or dormant mode of study. (2) Breakdowns for mature and part-time students contain double counting (i.e. part-time students over 21 years of age will be included in both columns). (3) Mature undergraduate students are aged 21 and over. Figures include a small number of students whose age was unknown. (4). Figures for 1997-08 exclude the Open University because there are no figures available for entrants to undergraduate courses at the Open University by local authority for this year. (5) Figures for the Open University for 2004-05 are known to undercount entrants to undergraduate courses in that year. 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 to full-time undergraduate courses in 2007 rose by 6.1 per cent. to 307,000, the highest ever. Figures at local authority level show that, for Barnsley, the number of accepted applicants for 2007 entry rose by 9.1 per cent. and, for Doncaster, accepted applicants rose by 6.3 per cent. Latest figures for students applying for entry in 2008 show that applicants to full-time undergraduate courses from England are up by 7.1 per cent. compared to 2007.


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Jodrell Bank: Finance

Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills if he will make a statement on (a) funding of the e-Merlin project and (b) the future of Jodrell Bank observatory. [196592]

Ian Pearson: Jodrell Bank, which is owned by the University of Manchester, is involved in a variety of radio astronomy activities, including the e-Merlin project. E-Merlin is the development of a network of seven UK radio telescopes run by the Jodrell Bank Observatory and funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) in partnership with the North West Development Agency and the University of Manchester. STFC provides the University of Manchester £2.4 million per annum for Merlin operations, and a further £874,000 for exploitation in 2007-08. STFC is currently considering future funding for e-Merlin as part of its Programmatic Review. STFC has yet to take a decision on its future level of support for e-Merlin. However, STFC has made it clear that the e-Merlin project is part of its strategy for radio astronomy and that it is in discussion with its partners about the issues raised by the review.

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how much his Department has allocated to Jodrell Bank in each of the last five years for which figures are available; how much he plans to allocate for the next three years; and if he will make a statement. [196725]

Ian Pearson [holding answer 25 March 2008]: Jodrell Bank, which is owned by the University of Manchester, is involved in a variety of radio astronomy activities, including the e-Merlin project, funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC). STFC is currently considering future funding for e-Merlin as a part of its Programmatic Review and has yet to take a decision on this. However, STFC has made it clear that the e-Merlin project is part of its strategy for radio astronomy and that it is in discussion with its partners about the issues raised by the review.

STFC allocated the following funds to activities at Jodrell Bank in the past five years:

£ million
Merlin/e-Merlin Exploitation

2003-04

2.147

0.670

2004-05

2.337

0.822

2005-06

2.383

0.779

2006-07

2.502

0.795

2007-08

2.441

0.874


JP Morgan

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how much his Department and its predecessors paid to JP Morgan in each year since 1997; and what the purpose of each payment was. [199614]

Mr. Lammy: The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills was created as a result of Machinery of Government changes in June 2007. DIUS has not made payment to JP Morgan in the 2007-08 financial year.


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Karian and Box

Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what the value was of each contract awarded by his Department and its predecessors to Karian and Box since 1997. [199644]

Mr. Lammy: Our financial records show that since its formation in June 2007, the Department has not made any payments to the company Karian and Box.

Mature Students

Geraldine Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what assistance his Department makes available to enable mature students to attend universities. [194725]

Bill Rammell: Mature students are generally eligible for the same student support package as other students. For full-time students, fee loans of up to £3,070 (£3,145 in 2008/09) ensure that no one has to pay their fees upfront. Students under the age of 60 are eligible for maintenance loans of up to £6,315 (£6,475 in 2008/09)(1). Means-tested grants of up to £2,765 (£2,835 in 2008/09) are available to new students. From 2008/09, we are increasing the income thresholds so that many more students will be eligible to receive a grant. At least one third of all students will receive a full grant; and two-thirds a partial grant. Students may also qualify for a bursary from their higher education institution.

In addition, students with dependants can claim additional grants including: adult dependants grant worth up to £2,510 (£2,575 in 2008/09); parents learning allowance worth up to £1,435 (£1,470 in 2008/09); and child care grant worth up to £7,735 for one child and £13,260 for two or more children.

Students may also apply for support from the Access to Learning Fund, a university-administered fund for students experiencing financial hardship. Student parents are eligible to receive child tax credit from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs. Mature students who do not qualify for undergraduate student support may be eligible for a Career Development Loan which has an element of subsidy from public funds.

Students over 25 years of age are treated as independent, and are assessed on their own income (and the income of their spouse or partner where applicable) and not on the income of their parents.

Extra support for the disabled is available in the form of Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs). DSAs can help students in higher education with the additional costs they may incur on their course as a direct result of a disability.

Part-time mature students receive the same support as other part-time students. A fee grant of up to £1,150 (£1,180 in 2008/09) is available, depending on the intensity of the course, together with a course grant of up to £250 (£255 in 2008/09). Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) are available to part-time HE students. The Access to Learning Fund (ALF) provides a child care grant which offers a contribution to child care costs for eligible part-time students. Students must have received confirmation that they are entitled to statutory support. During the time it takes to receive
21 Apr 2008 : Column 1624W
this confirmation institutions can, if they wish, provide help with child care from ALF to ensure that child care can be secured from the start of the course.

Measurements: EC Action

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what discussions he has had on recent European Commission statements on the legality of the use of imperial measures; and with whom. [198909]

Ian Pearson: The Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills has not held any such discussions.

Part Time Education: Finance

Stephen Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what proportion of part-time further education students completed level 3 courses funded by their employer in each year since 2001. [196902]

Bill Rammell: Data on part-time further education students completing level 3 courses funded by their employer is not collected.

Pre-School Education: Training

Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many and what proportion of those studying for the Early Years Foundation Degree at university were (a) white and (b) black and minority ethnic people in each year since 1997, broken down by sex. [197432]

Bill Rammell: No such data exists on the sex or the number and proportion of white and black and minority ethnic students studying for the Early Years Foundation Degree.

Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many and what proportion of (a) male and (b) female students studying for the Early Years Foundation Degree were from socio-economic backgrounds (i) 1 to 3 and (ii) 4 to 8 in each year since 1997. [197440]

Bill Rammell: No such data exists on the number and proportion of male and female students studying for the Early Years Foundation Degree.

Press

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what the cost of the press offices of (a) his Department, (b) its agencies and (c) its non-departmental public bodies was in each year since1996-97; what the cost was in each quarter since 1 April 2007; and if he will make a statement. [189658]


21 Apr 2008 : Column 1625W

Mr. Lammy: The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) was created as a result of Machinery of Government changes in June 2007. As such, the cost of the press offices of the Department, its agencies and its non-departmental public bodies prior to these changes will be reported within the figures presented by the Department for Children, Schools and Families and the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform. To disaggregate these numbers to provide a separate return for DIUS would represent a disproportionate cost.

The 2007-08 accounts for DIUS have not been audited and as such we are unable to provide information for the 2007-08 financial year.

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many press office staff were employed by (a) his Department, (b) its agencies and (c) its non-departmental public bodies (i) in each year since 1996-97 and (ii) at the latest date for which information is available. [189659]

Mr. Lammy: The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills was formed on 28 June 2007 as a result of the Machinery of Government changes. It currently employs 12 full-time press officers.

For much of its business, the Department operates through a number of arms length bodies including 20 non-departmental public bodies and other agencies. It is the responsibility of each body to manage its staff structure and costs. Therefore the Department does not hold the information requested centrally and there would be a disproportionate cost to gather the information requested.


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