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14 July 2008 : Column 83Wcontinued
Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills pursuant to the answer of 24 April 2008, Official Report, columns 7187-8W, how much debt incurred by students from EU member states receiving tuition fee (a) loans and (b) grants was (i) written off and (ii) behind schedule in each year for which figures are available. 
Bill Rammell: Since students from EU member states became eligible for tuition fee loans in September 2006, fewer than five student loan borrowers from EU member states have had their loan balances written off. The two main reasons for these loans being cancelled were death and permanent disability. These write-offs took place in the financial year 2007-08. To ensure that no individual can be identified and to maintain their confidentiality the exact number of borrowers has been rounded and the amount of money excluded.
On 31 March 2008, no EU students were behind schedule in making repayments.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how much was spent on (a) maintenance grants, (b) student loans, and (c) teaching costs for students at English universities who did not complete their studies in the most recent 12 months, broken down by (i) UK-domiciled undergraduates, (ii) EU-domiciled undergraduates, (iii) international undergraduates, (iv) UK-domiciled postgraduates, (v) EU-domiciled postgraduates and (vi) international postgraduates. 
Bill Rammell: Student retention rates at higher education institutions in this country compare very well internationally. The UK ranks 5(th) in the OECD for first degree completion rates, out of 23 countries who report data in this area. The Government are totally committed to providing opportunities for all people to achieve their potential and to maximise their talent. We have significantly increased the financial support for students, and working with Higher Education Institutions and other partners, improved guidance and other support to students. A university education is now open to more students than ever before.
|Grants and allowances and student loans made in academic year 2006/07 to students who Students Loans Company were subsequently notified had withdrawn from their course|
|Domicile||Students||Amount paid (£)|
|(1) Includes maintenance grants and other grants and allowances but excludes tuition fee grants. This information is not available for maintenance grants separately. Grants and allowances paid to students who withdrew from their courses represent 4 per cent. of all grants and allowances paid. Loans made to students who withdrew represent 3 per cent. of loans paid.|
Student Loans Company
Postgraduate students are not eligible for student loans and grants, except for those on courses of Initial Teacher Training who are eligible for the undergraduate package. Information is not available separately for postgraduate Initial Teacher Training students. EU students are not eligible for maintenance grants or maintenance loans, but can apply for tuition fee loans. Students from outside the EU are not eligible for student maintenance grants or loans. Fee loans are paid direct to the Institution if a student is in attendance three months from the start of the course. Students who withdraw from higher education are liable to begin repaying their tuition and maintenance loans in the April after they withdraw, if their income is above £15,000 per year. Where a student who withdraws has been in receipt of grants, the local authority has the discretion to make a reassessment and reclaim any overpayment based on the number of days the student was undertaking the course from the first day of the academic year to the date of withdrawal.
Teaching costs are around £4,000 per full-time student per year. This information is not available by domicile of student or level separately. Higher Education Institutions do not receive HEFCE funding for international students. They are able to charge these students the full cost of delivery.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills (1) how much is owed to the Student Loans Company by (a) people resident in each county of the UK, (b) people resident in other EU member states and (c) people resident outside the EU; and how much is owed to it in total; 
(2) how many people owe money to the Student Loans Company, broken down by their (a) county of residence, (b) sex and (c) region of residence. 
Bill Rammell: The information requested has been placed in the Libraries of the House.
Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how much his Department spent on (a) commissioning and (b) funding the production of television programmes (i) in each of the last three years and (ii) in 2008-09 to date; what programmes these were; and which companies made them. 
Mr. Lammy [holding answer 24 June 2008]: The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills was created as a result of machinery of government changes in June 2007. To date the Department has not spent any funds on the commissioning or funding the production of television programmes.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what his policy is on creating systems for the validation of non-formal and informal learning and the incorporation of such into the formal national qualification system, as referred to in section 2.1 of EU document 2008/C 86/01. 
Bill Rammell: The Government are developing the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to enable new unit and credit-based qualifications to be recognised. The distinction between informal, non-formal and formal learning in respect of this EU document is defined by the context (e.g. formal learning takes place in an institution), or by the process of learning (e.g. e-learning is non-formal learning) or by the content (e.g. basic literacy is informal learning). The QCF is concerned with the outcomes of learning, rather than context, process or delivery institution. It can recognise achievements through any of these definitions. Provided the outcomes of learning are organised into a unit format, they can be given a level and a credit value and count towards a qualification irrespective of the process of learning that leads to these outcomes.
Mr. Carswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what representations he has received from regional newspapers on the local video news services which the BBC proposes to develop. 
Andy Burnham: I have received a number of direct representations from regional newspapers on BBCs plans for online local news provision. However, this is a matter for the BBC. There is no provision for the Government to intervene in the BBCs day-to-day operational or editorial matters.
Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will discuss with the BBC coverage of any human rights protests during the Beijing Olympics. 
Andy Burnham: Responsibility for what is broadcast on television and radio rests with the broadcasters and the organisations that regulate broadcastingthe Office of Communications (Ofcom), the BBC Trust and the Welsh Fourth Channel Authority (S4C). They are independent of Government and it would, therefore, be inappropriate for the Government to have this discussion with the BBC.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 3 July 2008, Official Report, column 1046W, on bookmakers, if he will make it his objective for the negotiations to lead to a UK-wide agreement for how long racecourses will recognise on-course bookmakers' list positions. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: We wish to see racecourses negotiating contracts with the bookmakers who maintain pitches on them, including holders of existing pitch list positions. Inevitably these contracts will vary from course to course, taking account of local circumstances. In order for racecourses and bookmakers to agree contracts it will clearly be necessary for these to contain provisions on duration and renewability which are acceptable to both sides. The Government are keen to see examples of satisfactory agreements disseminated across the industry.
Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what payments Arts Council England made to the Clore Leadership Programme in each of the last five years; and for what purpose. 
Margaret Hodge [holding answer 26 June 2008]: According to Arts Council England, it has made payments to the Clore Leadership programme as set out in the following table. These payments were for a mixture of course participation and grant funding. Course participation refers to money spent on training courses, and grant funding refers to the funding of the Clore Fellows.
The cost in 2006-07 increased because of the introduction of the Clore Short Courses programme. 14 courses were run over a period of two years.
Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when he plans to answer Question 214008, tabled by the hon. Member for South West Surrey on 23 June, on the Clore Leadership Programme. 
Margaret Hodge: I answered the question from the hon. Member for South-West Surrey today.
Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the Answer of 16 May 2008, Official Report, column 1802W, on departmental accountancy, on what date he expects to (a) lay before Parliament and (b) publish his Departments annual resource accounts for 2007-08. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: The annual resource accounts for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport for 2007-08 will be laid before Parliament by 17 July 2008 with a publication target of 18 August 2008 subject to the completion of printing by the Stationery Office.
Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the value of the property held by (a) his Department and (b) associated public bodies was at the most recent date for which figures are available. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: Information for the latest year for which information is available is provided in the following table. The 2007-08 data are currently being compiled and will be available in the near future.
|Total||DCMS (including consolidated agency)||Other associated public bodies|
This information relates to the net book value (NBV) as shown in the Whole of Government Accounts (WGA) returns from NDPBs sponsored by DCMS, and also as
prepared for WGA by DCMS and its agency body. Public corporations that DCMS sponsors have not been included.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate he has made of (a) the number of computer devices left on overnight in his Department when not in use and (b) the cost of leaving computer devices on overnight when not in use in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: All staff are instructed to turn off computer devices overnight. No estimate of the cost of leaving computer devices on overnight has been made.
My Department is in the process of deploying a system to ensure that computer devices are turned off overnight.
Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many staff in his Department and its agency have been (a) dismissed and (b) disciplined for their conduct in the last two years. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: The information requested is as follows:
(a) There has been one member of staff dismissed in DCMS in the last two years and none from Royal Parks Agency.
(b) There have been no staff formally disciplined for their conduct in either DCMS of the Royal Parks Agency in the past two years.
Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many staff in his Department have taken early retirement in the last two years. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: In the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 10 staff have taken early retirement in the last two years.
Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what local area agreements his Department has entered into in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: 150 local area agreements were approved by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on 30 June 2008 on behalf of the whole of Government. Individual Departments, including the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, have been involved in negotiations with local areas.
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