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Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many foundation degree courses in English institutions were previously on offer as higher national certificates and higher national diplomas. 
Bill Rammell: This information is not held centrally. Higher national certificates and higher national diplomas have served employers well in the past, but the numbers applying for these courses have been declining in recent years. Foundation degrees are a modern qualification, developed in partnership with employers to address high-level skill needs, and their popularity is evident through the growth to 73,000 current students.
Sir Peter Soulsby: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what assessment he has made of the contribution further education colleges make to the promotion of community cohesion. 
Bill Rammell: Further education colleges contribute in many ways to community cohesion with the delivery of ESOLEnglish for speakers of other languagestraining being the most direct. Many FE institutions also provide a key opportunity for young people and adults to mix with others who have different experiences, cultures and faiths, building understanding, tolerance and mutual respect. As a result, FE colleges have an important role in helping young people and adults develop a sense of shared values.
Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills if his Department will commission independent research to assess the effect on all socio-economic groups of his Departments widening participation initiatives relating to medical studies. 
Bill Rammell: Aimhigher is our primary vehicle for widening participation in higher education. It has a comprehensive evaluation strategy in place which is designed to show the impact of the programme over time.
The Department will not be commissioning specific research to assess the impact of widening participation initiatives relating to medicine. However, the Department monitors and analyses data by subject of study and socio-economic class.
Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what (a) discussions he has had and (b) steps he has taken with the Department of Health to improve widening participation initiatives to encourage students from all socio-economic groups into medicine. 
Aimhigher is our primary vehicle for widening participation in higher education. The Aimhigher Healthcare Strand has been developed in partnership with the Department of Health and the Higher Education Funding Council for England. Aimhigher has a comprehensive evaluation strategy in place which is designed to show the impact of the programme over time.
Mr. Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many (a) mature and (b) part-time learners from the London Borough of Bexley entered higher education in each of the last 10 years. 
|Entrants( 1) to undergraduate courses from Bexley local authority UK higher education institutions. Academic years 1997/98 to 2006/07|
|Of all entrants( 2)|
|Academic year||All Entrants||Mature( 3)||Part-time|
|(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 modes 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 1997/98 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 )The increase in entrants between 2004/05 and 2005/06 may be greater than in reality as a consequence of a problem identified with data submitted by the Open University (OU) in the 2004/05 academic year.
Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).
Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills when he expects the Higher Education Funding Council for England to make a decision on the proposed new multi-campus university for North Northamptonshire. 
Bill Rammell: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State was pleased to meet a delegation from Northamptonshire to discuss the opportunities provided by our new University Challenge policy. The Funding Council will shortly be launching a consultation document to help those who want to extend higher education in North Northamptonshire and elsewhere to develop their plans for submission to the Funding Council and the other funding bodies that we expect to support such projects.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills pursuant to the answer of 23 April 2008, Official Report, columns 2084-86W, on midwifery students, whether the number of NHS midwifery training places commissioned for the 2007-08 academic year has now been confirmed. 
The Energy Technologies Institute will invest up to £1 billion over the next 10 years and the Technology Strategy Board is also expanding its portfolio of activities through a range of initiatives including Innovation Platforms.
Mr. Lammy: Subject to the outcome of the current consultation and the passage of legislation on time to train through the House, we expect to introduce a new right enabling up to 22 million employees in England to request time to train from their employer in 2010.
We will build on our current skills communications and marketing campaigns to promote time to train, help employers prepare for its introduction and ensure that it helps them drive their businesses forward.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how much timber and how many timber products were procured by his Department originating from independently verified legal and sustainable sources or from a licensed FLEGT partner since its establishment; and at what cost. 
Mr. Lammy: Details of exactly how much timber and how many timber products were procured and precise amounts of expenditure thereon could be isolated from wider expenditure on office fixture, furniture and other items only at disproportionate cost. However, I can confirm that all timber, including that in all the timber-based products procured for DIUS, originated from legal and sustainable sources. There are no FLEGT licence schemes in place as yet.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which countries will receive aid from his Department under the Advanced Market Commitment programme; and what role his Department will have in determining the pattern of distribution of vaccines delivered under the programme. 
Gillian Merron: The pilot Advance Market Commitment (AMC) will be implemented by the GAVI Alliance (formerly the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisations) and the World Bank. The Department for International Development (DFID) envisages that all countries that are eligible for support from GAVI will also be eligible for support from the AMC. GAVI's eligibility policy is determined by the GAVI Board, of which the UK is a member.
Presently, countries with gross national income of under $1,000 per capita are eligible for GAVI support and 72 developing countries currently meet this criterion. Eligible developing countries will decide whether they wish to apply to GAVI for support to introduce the new vaccines into their national immunisation programmes.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what monitoring programmes were put in place to assess the effects of the Emergency Human Resources Programme launched in Malawi in 2004; and what evaluation has been made of the programme. 
Gillian Merron: The Malawi Ministry of Health assesses progress against its health plans twice yearly, and the Department for International Development (DFID) draws on this information when conducting its own annual assessment of impact. In addition, an independent mid-term review of the six-year Malawi health plan reported in September 2007 and identified the need for further strengthening of monitoring and evaluation systems of human resources in the Ministry of Health.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions he has had on (a) the continuation of the Emergency Human Resources Programme in Malawi and (b) the possible extension of the programme to other countries. 
Gillian Merron: The Emergency Human Resources Programme is a government of Malawi programme that the Department for International Development (DFID) will support until at least 2011. DFID uses a variety of opportunities in country, and through visits, to discuss progress of the programme. It is too early for discussions about extending support beyond 2011, but any future extension will be the government of Malawi's decision.
DFID's approach in all the countries it works, subject to availability of funding and capacity of partner governments, is to support country plans. DFID has no plans to extend Malawi's solution to other countries, but is working with each partner government to respond to their own health worker crisis while learning the lessons from elsewhere.
John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what estimate he has made of the net enrolment ratio in primary education in (a) Malawi, (b) Liberia and (c) Zambia in (i) 2009-10, (ii) 2010-11 and (iii) 2011-12. 
In Malawi it is estimated that around 80 per cent. of primary school-age children are in school. The draft Malawi National Education Sector Plan (NESP) 2008-17 has a target of increasing this to 95 per cent. by 2012-13. This is only achievable with
increased investments in teachers, classrooms and teaching and learning materials. With these efforts, the Department for International Development (DFID) estimates the net enrolment ratio (NER) could increase to 86 per cent. in 2009-10; 89 per cent. in 2010-11 and 92 per cent. in 2011-12.
In Zambia the Ministry of Education national implementation framework is aligned to the Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP) 2006-10. Projections and targets for all programme activities are currently within the five-year period of development plans. The estimated NER in primary education in 2009-2010 is 97.3 per cent. The government is in very early stages of planning for the next development plan cycle. Therefore, there are no national estimates provided for 2010-11 and 2011-12.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department has taken to encourage the Asian Development Bank to become a more effective development organisation; and whether UK funding is linked to improved performance. 
Mr. Thomas: The UK Government recognise the significant contribution the Asian Development Bank (AsDB) makes to tackling poverty. This, however, can be increased further by the AsDB focusing more on ensuring that programmes achieve their anticipated results and improving the performance of its staff. Over the last year, the UK has pursued these objectives in formal discussions of the AsDB's work and strategy, in financing negotiations, and bilaterally with Banks President and management.
Last September, the UK formally withdrew the offer of additional funding that had been made subject to the AsDB implementing changes to improve its effectiveness. During the latest financing negotiations which finished in May 2008, the UK Government made clear again that the level of the UK contribution would be based on its effectiveness. The AsDB were able to show some improvements and gave a number of commitments to take further action. However, we reduced our share of total donor contributions (from 6 per cent. to 4.8 per cent.) to signal that we were not satisfied with the pace of reform.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department has taken to support the creation of the Asian Development Bank Clean Energy Investment Framework. 
Mr. Thomas: Since launching the Clean Energy Investment Framework at Gleneagles in 2005 the UK Government have worked closely with the Asian Development Bank (AsDB) to help design and implement a Clean Energy Investment Framework (CEIF) for the region.
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