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Higher Education: Part-Time Education

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many and what proportion of (a) undergraduate and (b) postgraduate students studied part-time in each year since 2002-03. [235317]

Mr. Lammy: Figures are given in the following table. The latest period for which figures are available is the 2006-07 academic year; figures for the 2007-08 academic year will be available in late January 2009.

Total enrolments( 1) and part-time enrolments by level of study English higher education institutions 2002-03 to 2006-07 academic years
Total undergraduates Of which part-time Total postgraduates Of which part-time
Academic year

Number Proportion

Number Proportion




































(1) Figures cover enrolments from all domiciles.
Figures are on a HESA Standard Registration Population (SRP) basis. Numbers are rounded to the nearest five and proportions are rounded to one decimal place.
Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) Student Record.

Higher Education: Plagiarism

Stephen Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills if he will bring forward proposals to prevent the use of essay mills by university students. [233092]

Mr. Lammy: Universities, as autonomous bodies, are responsible for determining what policies should be in place to detect plagiarism and to decide appropriate disciplinary action. Universities also determine what advice should be provided to their students on plagiarism. The Quality Assurance Agency's code of practice, the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) and the Higher Education Academy provide advice and guidance to universities on dealing with this issue. JISC includes on its Plagiarism Advisory Service website a list of well-known European and US essay bank websites, to make academics and teachers aware of these sites. Academics can use examples from these sites to demonstrate how essays used from such sources are often of poor quality and can be identified during their marking.

Learning and Skills Council: Accountancy

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what proportion of payments by the Learning and Skills Council were made within 30 days of the receipt of the invoice in the last period for which figures are available. [235367]

Mr. Simon: The payment detail of this kind is not collected by my Department. This is an operational matter which is carried out by the Learning and Skills Council. Mark Haysom, the council’s Chief Executive, will write to the hon. Gentleman with further information. A copy of his reply will be placed in the House Library.

Students: Fess and Charges

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how much has been collected by universities in tuition fees in each year since such fees were introduced. [235363]

Mr. Lammy: The required information is contained in the Resources of Higher Education Institutions Volumes which are published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) which are held in the House of Commons Library.

The figures in the volumes contain all tuition fees not just those which are regulated.

Students: Finance

Stephen Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how much his Department has spent on (a) fee and (b) maintenance grants for part-time students in each year since 2005. [232391]

Mr. Lammy: The current part-time support package was introduced in 2004 consisting of a course grant to help pay for books, travel and other course costs and a
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grant towards fees. Course grants and fee grants are income assessed, but they are non-repayable and there is no upper age limit.

Part-time students are not eligible for maintenance grants.

The following data relate to England.

£ million
Academic year Fee grant Course grant








Not yet available

Students: Loans

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what the value of student loan debt is that was previously sold off to banks, and is now held by the Bank of England. [235360]

Mr. Lammy: The Government sold two tranches of student loan debt valued at approximately £1 billion each in 1998 and 1999 respectively. The outstanding loan balances now stand at approximately £400 million each. The public/private sector relationship between DIUS and the two private sector owners of student loan debt, Finance for Higher Education Ltd., and Honours Trustees Ltd. remains that of liaison on equity of treatment for graduate borrowers whether or not their loans are in the private sector or public sector ownership. The private sector owners are funded by widely distributed investments. Details of individual investors are not held by DIUS.

Students: Voluntary Work

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what plans the Government has to provide additional financial support to students undertaking voluntary work. [235362]

Mr. Lammy: Volunteering, by its very nature is normally unfunded activity in higher education and elsewhere.

From September 2008 the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills has funded the pathfinder phase of the new Aimhigher Associates scheme. The aim of the Aimhigher Associate scheme is to interest and engage young people in higher education by bringing together potential and actual undergraduates in mentoring relationships. Aimhigher Associates will be a national programme, delivered through Aimhigher Partnerships. The Aimhigher Associates themselves will receive £40 per day for the time they commit to the scheme. This is the same remuneration as Student Associate Scheme mentors receive through the Department for Children, Schools and Families.

In addition, students doing volunteering activities may receive funding for expenses from their universities, or the organisations they are undertaking volunteering with, for the projects they are involved in.

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Vocational Training: Business

Stephen Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what estimate he has made of the overall level of co-funding by (a) adults and (b) employers to Learning and Skills Council 19+ employer responsive provision, including adult apprenticeships, 19+ Train to Gain funding and 19+ employer-based NVQs. [232398]

Mr. Simon: Government funding is focused on supporting people to gain the basic platform of skills for entering and progressing in sustained employment. This is reflected in the balance of responsibility between Government, learners and employers in meeting the costs of training with learners and employers contributing more to the costs where they see the greatest private returns. We do not specify whether the contribution towards the cost of a course comes from the learner or the employer.

For 2008-09, the funding a college or provider receives for a course through the adult learner responsive model is based on an assumption that a contribution of 42.5 per cent. is made towards the costs of the course. Learners who are on income related benefits or studying a Skills for Life basic literacy or numeracy qualification, a first full level 2 or first for level 3 qualification (where they are aged under 25 year olds) will not have to pay fees.

Within Train to Gain (which now includes all NVQs delivered in the workplace) there is an assumed contribution where the learner is aged over 25 years and studying at level 3 or above. For Adult Apprenticeships, the funding is based a contribution broadly in line with the national fee assumption.

In all cases it is for the college or provider to determine the actual level of contribution towards the cost of the course and how this contribution is made. It is therefore not possible to provide information on the total level of co-funding made in respect of specific courses.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office


Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many of his Department's personnel are in each province of (a) Afghanistan and (b) Iraq; and what functions they are carrying out in each case. [210497]

Gillian Merron: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office currently employs the following number of UK based staff in Afghanistan and Iraq:






Many of our staff perform a variety of functions, it is therefore not possible to give a detailed breakdown of the functions carried out by individual members of staff.

Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the unit cost is for a member of his Department’s staff to be based in (a) Afghanistan and (b) Iraq; and what the breakdown of the cost is in each case. [216311]

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David Miliband: The annual unit cost directly associated with a Foreign and Commonwealth Office UK-based member of staff posted to Afghanistan or Iraq varies according to grade. The average unit cost for Afghanistan is £252,855 and £484,252 for Iraq. Salary costs include salary, pension contributions and national insurance payments; travel, start up and end of tour costs and living allowances. The breakdown is as follows:


Afghanistan Iraq

Salary, pension and NI



Allowances (including travel)












Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the cost to his Department of civilian deployments alongside the military in conflict stabilisation work in Afghanistan and Iraq, referred to in paragraph 10 of the Government's response to the Foreign Affairs Committee First Report of Session 2007-08, was in the last financial year for which figures are available. [218800]

David Miliband: In the financial year 2007-08, the global conflict prevention pool, which was shared with the Department for International Development and the Ministry of Defence, spent £6.9 million in deploying civilian experts to Iraq and £2.3 million in deploying civilian experts to Helmand. In addition, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office spent £4.8 million in deploying the Department’s own staff to the provincial reconstruction team in Helmand.

Afghanistan: Interpreters

Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many interpreters are employed by his Department in Afghanistan. [216309]

David Miliband: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office currently employs 18 interpreters in Afghanistan (in financial year 2008-09). This is an overall increase of four locally engaged interpreters from the previous financial year.

Afghanistan: Politics and Government

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the Government plans to take to assist Afghanistan in its democratic development. [229849]

Bill Rammell: The Government are undertaking a series of programmes to promote democracy in Afghanistan, across a range of issues. This includes supporting the forthcoming elections, educating the electorate, helping build solid institutional capacity, delivering security, protecting and promoting human rights, including freedom of expression, and encouraging political participation.

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