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This Government remain fully committed to widening access to higher education for people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Widening access requires long term investment and change across the higher education (HE) system. We have reformed student financial
support and continued to invest in the Aimhigher Programme, which helps to attract young people into HE from backgrounds which are currently under-represented. There is evidence that we are making steady progress: for example, the proportion of UK domiciled, young, full-time, first degree entrants to English higher
education institutions who were from lower socio-economic groups rose from 27.9 per cent. in 2002/03 to 29.8 per cent. in 2006/07.
|Figures are £m|
|(1) The unified Aimhigher programme was introduced in 2004. Predecessor programmes were Excellence Challenge, funded by the then Department for Education and Skills, and Partnerships for Progression, funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and the Learning and Skills Council (LSC). Aimhigher is funded jointly by DIUS, HEFCE, the LSC and the Department for Health. Includes allocations for Aimhigher Associates (£3 million in 2008-09, £9 million in 2009-10, and £9 million in 2010-11).|
(2 )Excellence Challenge included Opportunity Bursaries. These were grants to eligible people from lower income families and were worth £2,000 over three years. From September 2001, 26,000 such bursaries were made available at a total cost of £37 million. With the wider reintroduction of grants in 2006, the Opportunity Bursary scheme was withdrawn.
(3 )Funded by HEFCE.
(4 )Includes student loans RAB charge, fee loans, student support grants, maintenance grant, HE grant, grants for vulnerable students, tuition fee grants, grants for part-time students and access funds and bursaries. The student loans RAB charge estimates the future cost to Government of subsidising and writing off the student loans issued in that year; it does not represent the amount of cash lent to students, which has risen each year since the introduction of student loans. Figures for 1997 to 2007 are outturn; that for 2007-08 is estimated outturn; and those for 2008 to 11 are plans.
(5 )These figures also include the allocations for improving the retention of non-traditional students, and to widen access and improve provision for disabled students. The figure for 2008-09 is provisional.
(6 )The Office for Fair Access forecasts that around £300 million annually will be spent by higher education providers on bursaries and scholarships benefiting students from low-income and other under-represented groups by the academic year 2008/09.
(7 )Not yet available.
(8 )In 2001 to 2004, Aimhigher contributed £10 million a year towards the widening participation allocation. The figure given as the total for each of these years is therefore less than the sum of the parts to avoid double counting.
Stephen Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how much his Department spent on further education for those over 19 years of age in (a) the most recent year for which figures are available and (b) in each of the previous five years, broken down by main budget heading. 
Mr. Simon: Expenditure by the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) on adult further education (FE) and skills from 2002-03 to 2007-08 is set out in the following table which is based on the figures in the 2008 Departmental Report. Within this funding some of the resource supports the wider FE sector including pre-19 education and training, in the role which DIUS has as sponsor of the FE service.
|Expenditure on adult further education and skills|
|(1 )This line covers funding which the LSC manages on DIUS policies for adult FE and skills. (2 )The majority of funding for FE and Skills is managed by the LSC. In addition the following funding is not routed through LSC, although the LSC also manages some funding on these programmes which is included in the LSC line. (3 )These lines do not show the full expenditure on these programmes as some expenditure is included in the LSC line above. In particular where funding reduces significantly, this is because funding has been transferred to LSC and expenditure is included in the LSC line above.|
Source: Annex 2 of the DIUS 2008 Departmental Report, Tables 11 and 12.
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