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Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what steps the Government has taken to encourage colleges and universities to provide access to their facilities for the local community. 
Mr. Lammy: Further Education colleges provide a broad range of services to their local communities, not just in education but in support of broader aims relating to economic development, cohesion and social mobility. Colleges draw most of their students from the local area and work in partnership with other local organisations to determine how their strengths, including their premises and facilities, can best meet their communitys needs.
The Learning and Skills Council is currently assessing the extent and nature of colleges provision of wider community activities including the communitys use of college facilities and will publish its findings in November. We will draw on these findings to identify good practice and to see what more might be done to support this aspect of colleges work.
The DIUS consultation Informal Adult Learning - Shaping the Way Ahead identified the need for low cost, accessible learning venues as a key issue. DIUS will work with other Government Departments and local authorities to consider how access to a wide range of public spaces, including colleges, can be encouraged and supported to provide free or subsidised venues for book clubs, family history or other groups of people learning for pleasure.
Higher education institutions (HEIs) engage with the public in many ways, including providing access to sports facilities, museums, theatres and galleries; community volunteering by staff and students; and creating lifelong learning opportunities for a diverse body of learners. In 2006/07, over 110,000 people attended charged public lectures (and additionally 650,000 attended free events), and around 1,400,000 attended charged performance arts events organised by HEIs (and 412,000 attended free performance events). In addition, over 6,000 non-commercial partners, such as social, community and cultural organisations have benefited from the use of over £38 million worth of HEI facilities and equipments over the same period.
The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has recently published the confirmed distribution for 2008-11 of nearly £400 million to HEIs from the Higher Education Innovation Fund round 4 (HEIF 4), following approval of HEI strategies for its work to engage with social, cultural and community organisations, as well as businesses and public services (HEFCE Report 2008/34). An overview and assessment of these strategies is also available (HEFCE Report 2008/35).
Mr. Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on exploitation of intellectual property in universities in the last three years. 
The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills and its predecessors and agencies have commissioned four pieces of work on intellectual property and universities during the last three years. In August 2007, an independent report Streamlining University/Business collaborative research negotiations
was submitted to the Funders Forum of the Department. The SPRU (science and technology policy research unit, university of Sussex) reports Exploiting University Intellectual Property in the UK (January 2008) and Disentangling knowledge transfer: Maximising university revenue, or social and economic benefit, or both? (May 2008) investigated approaches and attitudes to IP exploitation at universities. Most recently Professor Paul Wellings, Vice Chancellor of Lancaster university, has undertaken a review of intellectual property and research benefits, and his report will be finalised very shortly.
Mr. Lammy: Working with the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) we have supported the continuing enhancement of high quality teaching and learning in higher education (HE) through the core grant and a range of targeted initiatives.
In 1997 an independent body, the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), was established to provide an integrated quality assurance service for UK HE. HEFCE has statutory responsibility for the quality assessment of HE in institutions that it funds, and it contracts with the QAA to fulfil this responsibility and to safeguard the public interest in sound standards of HE qualifications.
In addition to a programme of institutional audit, the QAA defines clear and explicit standards for HE, both for public information and as reference points for their quality assurance services. These include a framework for HE qualifications, subject benchmark statements, programme specifications, and the code of practice in HE.
We have encouraged the HE sector's introduction of the publication of a range of accurate and up to date information about each institution on the website www.unistats.ac.uk. This includes the results of the National Student Survey (NSS) which asks final year students for views on the quality of their teaching and learning experience. The results serve to inform prospective students and promote continuous improvement in institutions. Since it started the NSS has shown a high level of consistency in relation to overall student satisfaction with the quality of their courses around 80 per cent. from 2005 to 2008.
the introduction in 2000 of the national teaching fellowship scheme to reward and recognise teaching excellence and spread good practice;
the creation of the HE academy in 2004 to support institutions and individuals to provide the best possible learning experience;
the development of 74 Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (2005) with a focus on enhancing student learning through sharing excellent practice and promoting innovation; and
development by the HE academy in 2006 of new professional standards for teaching in HE.
Mr. Lammy: We are maintaining very good completion rates for first degrees with the latest statistics from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development showing that the UK ranks 3rd of the 27 countries reporting data in this area. This has been achieved and maintained during a period when higher education has been opened up to both increased numbers and a greater diversity of students.
However, the Government are not complacent and accept that there is more that we could do, which is why we welcomed the recommendations of the National Audit Office study and the follow-on Public Accounts Committee report on the retention of students in higher education.
The Higher Education Funding Council for England is taking forward these recommendations and working with the higher education sector to disseminate good practice and help higher education institutions learn from what works well elsewhere. HEFCE held regional workshops last spring to examine these issues and they are joint funding seven projects with the Paul Hamlyn Foundation over the next three years to inform better targeting of institutional support for students.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what recent steps the Government have taken to provide support to students who have learning difficulties. 
Mr. Lammy: The Higher Education Funding Council for England provides higher education institutions with funding to support disabled students through the mainstream disability allocation. The Council's overall disability funding allocation for the sector has increased from £7 million in 2000/01 (when it was introduced) to £13 million in 2008/09.
We also provide funding directly to students through disabled students allowances (DSAs), which can help to remove the obstacles that prevent disabled students (including students with specific learning difficulties) from entering and completing higher education courses. In 2006/07, the latest year for which figures are available, we provided approximately £81 million to 38,000 students.
the maximum amount of DSA for non-medical helpers has increased from £12,420 in 2007/08 to £20,000 in 2008/09 for full-time undergraduates, and from £9,315 to £15,000 for part-time undergraduates.
the maximum amount of the DSA for postgraduate students has increased from £5,915 in 2007/08 to £10,000 in 2008/09.
Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what estimate he has made of the number of over 16 year-olds who do not have a grade C or above in mathematics at GCSE or an equivalent qualification. 
Mr. Simon: The Skills for Life survey in 2003 estimated the literacy and numeracy levels and functional ability of adults in England. The Skills for Life survey reported that 13 per cent. of adults aged 16-65 achieved a D-G grade or equivalent in GCSE maths. 42 per cent. have a maths GCSE A*-C grade or equivalent and 45 per cent. do not have a maths qualification at GCSE level.
Mark Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what proportion of the student loan book has been sold in accordance with the provisions of the Sale of Student Loans Act 2008. 
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when a decision will be made on tenders for the construction of an airport on the Island of St. Helena; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Straw: I have received a number of representations in my capacity as Member of Parliament for Blackburn. I therefore understand fully the concerns of my hon. Friend about this matter. My officials are currently working with the Health and Safety Executive and industry stakeholders to clarify what health and safety legislation does and does not require in respect of assessing and dealing with risks presented by unstable gravestones and ensuring proper communication with relatives.
James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many notifications (a) his Department and (b) its agencies made to the Information Commissioner following the loss or mishandling of personal information or data in each of the last three years; and what was notified in each case. 
Mr. Wills: The Ministry of Justice has published details of the personal data related incidents notified to the Information Commissioners Office in 2007-08 in its resource accounts laid before this House on 21 July 2008.
I refer the hon. Member to the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 25 June 2008, providing the final report on measures for data handling procedures in government.
Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many encrypted memory sticks have been supplied to (a) prison service staff, (b) National Offender Management Service staff, (c) National Probation Service staff, (d) court and judicial staff and (e) District, Circuit and High Court Judges and Lord Justices of Appeal. 
Mr. Straw: The National Offender Management Service (including the National Probation Service and the Prison Service) has issued guidance to all staff, whether permanent or under contract, that they should only use encrypted memory sticks. Approved procurement arrangements have been put in place to enable staff to purchase suitable devices for their use. The rest of the Ministry of Justice has been instructed not to use non-approved memory sticks.
James Duddridge: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice with reference to the Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath of 7 July 2008, Official Report, House of Lords, column 61WA, on crime: new offences, what the timetable for the assembly of the information is; and if he will place a copy in the Library when it has been prepared. 
James Duddridge: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much (a) his Department and its predecessors and (b) its agencies spent on each of the external public relations and marketing companies included in the Central Office of Informations Public Relations Framework in each of the last 36 months. 
Mr. Wills: The following tables show how much the Ministry of Justice and its predecessor, (the Department for Constitutional Affairs) and its agencies has spent in each of the last 36 months through the Central Office of Informations Public Relations Framework.
|Ministry of Justice|
|Department area||2006-07 (£)||2007-08 (£)||2008-09 (£)||PR/marketing company|
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