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15 Oct 2008 : Column 1321W—continued


Arts: Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what progress has been made in establishing a knowledge transfer network for the creative industries. [227178]

Mr. Lammy: The formation of the Creative Industries Knowledge Transfer Network, Creative Industries Technology Innovation Network (CITIN), was announced by the Technology Strategy Board in May this year, and the KTN began work in August. It will be managed by the University of the Arts London, Imperial College London, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and Tiga, the trade association for games developers.

Departmental Pay

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many non-pensionable bonuses were awarded to members of staff in his Department in the last 12 months; and at what total cost. [226422]

Mr. Simon: In the Department annual non-pensionable bonuses are awarded on the 1 April 2008 for the 12 month performance reporting period ending on 31 March 2008. The number of non-pensionable bonuses paid to members of the senior civil service was 41 at a total cost of £312,000.

The pay award for staff below the SCS has not been agreed and therefore no awards have been made yet.


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Disabled People

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many and what proportion of staff in (a) his Department and (b) the executive agencies for which he is responsible are disabled; and what the average salary in his (i) Department and (ii) executive agencies is of (A) full-time disabled staff, (B) full-time non-disabled staff, (C) part-time disabled staff and (D) part-time non-disabled staff. [220185]

Mr. Simon: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office, my hon. Friend the Member for West Bromwich East (Mr. Watson) on 8 October 2008, Official Report, column 651W.

Graduates: Debts

Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills (1) how many students who left (a) Leeds University and (b) Leeds Metropolitan University since 2005 are not earning the £15,000 threshold to begin paying back their student loans; [226387]

(2) what the average wage was of graduates of (a) Leeds University and (b) Leeds Metropolitan University of (i) 2005-06, (ii) 2006-07 and (iii) 2007-08. [226388]

Mr. Lammy: The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) collects information on graduates’ salaries through the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey. The DLHE Survey captures the first destinations of graduates, six months after leaving university. The most recent information available is for those who graduated in 2006/07 who were surveyed in early 2008.

In 2006/07, 51 per cent. of UK domiciled leavers who obtained first degree qualifications and entered full-time paid employment in the UK disclosed their salary. 36 per cent. from the University of Leeds and 66 per cent. from Leeds Metropolitan University disclosed their salary. HESA therefore advises caution in analysis of leavers by salary. Respondents are asked to report their salary to the nearest £1,000.

The latest available information on salaries of graduates, six months after graduation, is shown in the following tables. Comparable figures for the 2007/08 academic year will be available in July 2009.


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Table 1: Number of UK domiciled leavers who obtained first degree qualifications by destination six months after graduation academic years 2005/06 and 2006/07
Higher education institution Destination 2005/06 2006/07

University of Leeds(1)

Total with known salary(2)

765

870

O f which:

Number earning under £15,000

200

195

Leeds Metropolitan University(3)

Total with known salary(2)

955

1070

O f which:

Number earning under £15,000

245

265

All UK HEIs

Total with known salary(2)

53,640

54,140

O f which:

Number earning under £15,000

13,315

11,095

(1) In 2006/07 36 per cent. of graduates from the University of Leeds, who responded to the DLHE survey, disclosed their salary.
(2) Who are in full-time paid employment in the UK.
(3) In 2006/07 66 per cent. of graduates from Leeds Metropolitan University, who responded to the DLHE survey, disclosed their salary.
Note:
Figures have been rounded to the nearest five.
Source:
Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey.

Table 2: Median salaries of UK domiciled leavers who obtained first degree qualifications and entered full-time paid employment in the UK—academic years 2005/06 and 2006/07
£
Higher education institution 2005/06 2006/07

University of Leeds(1)

18,000

18,000

Leeds Metropolitan University(2)

17,000

18,000

All UK HEIs

18,000

19,000

(1) In 2006/07 36 per cent. of graduates from the University of Leeds, who responded to the DLHE survey, disclosed their salary.
(2) In 2006/07 66 per cent. of graduates from Leeds Metropolitan University, who responded to the DLHE survey, disclosed their salary.
Source:
Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey.

Around 80 per cent. of eligible students choose to take out maintenance loans. Therefore not all leavers have student loans.

Repayments of income-contingent student loans are linked to a borrower’s income and not the amount owed. Repayment is at 9 per cent. of annual income over a threshold of £15,000, collected through the tax system, usually by employers each pay date for borrowers on PAYE, in the same way as income tax and national insurance contributions. This allows a greater degree of career flexibility—for example, if someone takes a career break, becomes unemployed or takes lower paid employment. In addition borrowers can voluntarily make repayments direct to the Student Loans Company, even if their income is below the repayment threshold.

Recent graduates will typically have lower salaries when entering the labour market than they will receive later in their careers. For students graduating in 2002/03 the first degree median salaries increased from £16,000 at the Early Survey (six months after graduation) to £22,000 at the Longitudinal Survey (three and a half years after graduation), an increase of 37.5 per cent. This compares with an increase in average earnings across the whole economy of around 11.5 per cent. over the same period.

Higher Education

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills if he will convene a Joint Ministerial Committee with counterparts in the devolved administrations to co-ordinate policies and action in the field of higher education. [226265]

Mr. Lammy: A good deal of higher education policy is devolved. It is for different Administrations to decide their policies and they will not always agree on the right way forward. For example, we believe it is fair to ask undergraduates to make a contribution to the cost of their higher education, and that the revenue provided by their fees is important if universities are to deliver world-class teaching. The Scottish Executive has different policies.

Where there is a continuing UK-wide arrangement, notably in the Research Councils’ funding, officials and ministers work closely with their counterparts in the devolved Administrations. Where matters are devolved, there are appropriate levels of contact between DIUS and the devolved Administrations to discuss developments and share information, which reflects the importance the Government place on the relationship between the Administrations.

My predecessor, my hon. Friend the Member for Harlow (Bill Rammell), appeared before the Welsh Affairs Select Committee on 15 July 2008. In a letter sent to the chair of that Committee following the Committee meeting, he stated that he was willing to take part in meetings with his counterparts in the devolved Administrations. I agree with this approach.

Higher Education: Sustainable Development

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills if he will hold discussions with representatives of universities to encourage the adoption of environmentally sustainable practices in universities. [226719]

Mr. Lammy: Yes. Ministers have already held a number of such discussions and we expect to hold more in future.

During the past year we have asked the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to ensure that by the end of this spending review period all universities in receipt of capital funding should have plans to reduce carbon emissions. In future, performance against these plans should be a factor in future capital allocations.

We have also agreed with HEFCE a key performance target for the Council's strategic plan as follows:

Reducing emissions from universities is important in its own right, but we believe it is particularly valuable because universities can provide examples of best practice to inspire businesses, other public services and community groups. We recognise that universities are autonomous institutions, and we want to work in partnership with them to address the sustainability agenda.


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The University of Gloucestershire is one of the universities with which we have discussed these issues. It is an institution that reflects strong commitment to the sustainability agenda through its management, teaching and research activities.

Physics: Research

Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what UK research and development projects are being undertaken into (a) quantum crypto-graphics and (b) electro-optics; how much funding such projects are planned to receive from the public purse in (i) 2008-09, (ii) 2009-10 and (iii) 2010-11; and if he will make a statement. [225376]

Mr. Lammy: The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), funded through the Science and Innovation Budgets, support a portfolio of research grants in these areas.

Grants as of October 2008—EPSRC
Number of grants Value (£)

(a) Quantum crypto-graphics

74

57,605,310

(b) Electro optics

28

14,077,542


In addition, EPSRC is currently funding 69 grants totalling £53,093,462 in the area of optoelectronics which is a separate but related branch of technology to electro-optics. Information on individual grants funded by EPSRC is available from ‘EPSRC Grants on the Web’ at

From 2004 to 2008, the Technology Strategy Board contributed £3,903,712 to projects that explicitly mention electro optics or optoelectronics in their title or abstract under the Key Technology Area of Electronics, Photonics and Electrical Systems.

The Technology Strategy Board has not identified any projects containing the words ‘quantum crypto-graphics’ in the title or abstract.

Sector Skills Councils

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what records his Department holds of non-registered sector skills bodies; and whether such bodies will be included in the current review and relicensing procedure for registered sector skills councils. [227029]

Mr. Simon: The Department holds records for Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) in connection with their licensed status, and for Industry Training Boards in relation to their levy arrangements and non-departmental public body status. The Department does not keep systematic records for non-registered sector skill bodies. The records that are kept on such bodies relate to correspondence and meetings arising from specific approaches from organisations.

All sector skill bodies will have an opportunity to provide evidence and commentary on the relicensing of individual SSCs. The UK Commission for Employment and Skills has a website that includes a link for employers and stakeholders to post views on how SSCs are performing.
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The relicensing process will include a rigorous assessment of each SSC by independent third party assessors. The relicensing process is for existing Sector Skills Councils only. The performance of other sector bodies is not part of the assessment process.

Vocational Education

Anne Snelgrove: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills (1) how many people started courses under train to gain in the latest year for which figures are available, broken down by (a) region and (b) local authority; [226588]

(2) how many people are expected to start courses under train to gain in 2010-11, broken down by (a) region and (b) local authority; [226587]

Mr. Simon: Since it was rolled out nationally in 2006 over 101,000 employers have been engaged, over 570,000 learners have started a learning programme and over 290,000 qualifications have been achieved. Recent independent evaluations of the service show that both employer and employee satisfaction with their experience of train to gain is high.

A breakdown of the number of people starting courses through train to gain in 2006-07 since the programme began in April 2006 is set out in Table 1 by region and local authority (2006-07 is the latest year we have fully audited data for). We do not have this information for 2010-11. In the demand-led skills system that the Government have created, the geographical distribution of train to gain learners is driven by employer demand. In addition the Learning and Skills Councils annual statement of priorities, which will be published soon, will set out their spending plans and targets to 2010-11. In 2010-11 we plan to invest over £1 billion of public funding through the service, to help employers invest in their businesses by investing in the skills of their employees.


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