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Mr. Willetts: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills with reference to the answer of 21 July 2009, Official Report, column 1723W, on higher education: international co-operation, what funding his Department plans to make available for the joint activities identified in the report of the US/UK study group on higher education and collaboration in a global context. 
Mr. Lammy: The Department remains committed to supporting engagement between higher education institutions in the United Kingdom and the United States but there are currently no plans to invest further funding following publication of the US/UK Study Group report.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many students from outside the EU have entered higher education programmes from further education institutions since 1997. 
|Accepted applicants to full-time undergraduate courses in the UK- Non EU overseas students who submitted their application from a UK address|
|Year of entry|
|Centre through which their application was submitte d||1997||1998||1999||2000||2001||2002||2003||2004||2005||2006||2007||2008|
Non EU applicants who submitted their application from a UK address are those who had a correspondence address in the UK with a valid postcode The centre identified is that through which the application was received, though the applicant may not be studying at that centre (at the time of application).
Mr. Prisk: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what discussions his Department has had with the Department of Energy and Climate Change on the proposed Standard Assessment Procedure grid carbon dioxide methodology. 
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many civil
servants from his Department are based in (a) Basra, (b) Baghdad and (c) other locations in Iraq. 
Ian Lucas: UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) has four permanent positions in Baghdad, consisting of one UK based officer and three locally engaged staff, and one permanent position in Basra filled by a locally engaged member of staff.
Peter Bottomley: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills with reference to the KPMG Report to the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) reviewing lessons learned from the London Metropolitan University case, (a) whether (i) KMPG, (ii) HEFCE and (iii) his Department has seen in full the BDO Stoy Hayward review of London Metropolitan University's approach to student records and the level of accuracy of its student-data completions; (b) how much money has been (A) repaid to HEFCE by the university and (B) withheld by HEFCE from the university in relation to the matter and (C) whether the Secretary of State has been informed of active or dormant legal restraints on making public (1) the BDO Stoy Hayward review and (2) the redacted parts of the KPMG review. 
(a) (i) I understand that KPMG was made aware of the key elements of the BDO report during their investigation of HEFCE's handling of the London Metropolitan case.
(ii) HEFCE commissioned and saw the report in full.
(iii) HEFCE sent a redacted version of the report to me and one of my officials on 24 July 2009, 24 hours ahead of its first release in response to a request under freedom of information legislation. It has not been shared more widely within my Department.
(b) In general, funding is repaid by institutions to HEFCE by HEFCE withholding funds from its grant payments to them. HEFCE has agreed a repayment profile with London Metropolitan for the sum of £36.5 million running from July 2009 to July 2014. So far, £682,892 has been withheld by HEFCE from London metropolitan's grant payments.
(c) I and my officials were made aware of the restraints to the publication of the BDO report and the reasons for the redactions to the KPMG report.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills on how many occasions the Secretary of State has met Lord Sugar on official business in each of the last six months. 
Mr. McFadden: My noble friend the Secretary of State had an introductory meeting with Lord Sugar on 8 July and has met him subsequently in the course of a number of other official meetings and events.
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) if he will make an assessment of the effect on the level of (a) employment, (b) private investment in research
and development and (c) revenue of UK-based life sciences companies of changes to the reimbursement policy for medical devices in other European countries due to come into effect in January 2010; 
(2) what steps his Department is taking to assist UK-based life sciences companies affected by changes to the reimbursement policy for medical devices in other European countries due to come into effect in January 2010. 
Mr. Lammy: There are currently no plans to i) make an assessment of the effect, or ii) take specific action to support, the UK Life Science sector in relation to changes to reimbursement policy in other European countries.
BIS however is committed to helping British firms who are facing unjustified barriers to operating in other EU markets. The main tool the Department has for tackling such barriers is SOLVIT. This is a pan-European network which was set up specifically as a free service to help EU citizens and businesses solve problems that arise from the incorrect application of EU law by national administrations. Companies that suspect that they may be facing such barriers should contact the UK SOLVIT centre at:
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of the number of people in (a) the UK, (b) England, (c) the North East and (d) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency who would have earned a wage lower than the level of the national minimum wage if the national minimum wage had not been in existence in each year since its introduction. 
Mr. McFadden: Annual estimates for the number of employees who benefit from the national minimum wage (NMW) annual upratings between 1999 and 2009 are provided in table 1 and the notes. The information relates to those who benefited because they earned an hourly wage less than national minimum wage (NMW) rates prior to the uprating. It does not represent the number of individuals who would have earned a lower wage in the absence of the NMW uprating.
|Table 1: Job holders benefiting from the annual October increases in the national minimum wage|
|Number ( m illion)|
|(1) Figures for 1999, take earnings inflation into account, those earning between £3.50 and £2.90 in spring 1998 would benefit from the NMW introduction in April 1999. (2 )Figures for 2001, take earnings inflation into account, those earning beneath £3.40/£4.00 and £3.50/£4.10 in spring 2001 would benefit from the October 2001 increase. (3 )Figures between 2003 and 2009 take into account earnings inflation. Source: BIS estimates using Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) and Annual Earnings Index (AEI); Office for National Statistics|
(b) Using the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) 2008 data, BIS estimate that within England 770,000 employees were earning an hourly wage less than the October 2009 NMW rates. This estimate will be revised in December 2009 using the latest ASHE 2009 data and will be published in the 'Government Evidence to the Low Pay Commission on the Economic Effects of the NMW' December 2009 report.
(c) Using ASHE 2008 data, BIS estimate that within the north-east region 60,000 employees were earning an hourly wage less than the October 2009 NMW rates. This estimate will be revised in December 2009 using the latest ASHE 2009 data and will be published in the 'Government Evidence to the Low Pay Commission on the Economic eEfects of the NMW' December 2009 report.
(d) Robust estimates for employees earning an hourly wage less than a forthcoming NMW rate are not available at the constituency level because of small sample sizes in the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE).
Mr. Hurd: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) what payments the National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts has made to Consolidated PR in each of the last three years; for what purposes; and if he will place in the Library a copy of the contract under which such payments have been made; 
(2) how much public funding the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) has received in each year since its establishment; how many in-house (a) public affairs and (b) public relations staff NESTA employs; and how much NESTA has spent on externally provided (i) public affairs and (ii) public relations services in the last three years. 
Mr. Lammy: In 2007/08 the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) contracted with the Central Office of Information (COI) for services when the NESTA communications team was not fully staffed and significant initiatives required communications support. Consolidated PR was chosen by COI to undertake the work and was paid £138,794. In 2008/09, NESTA engaged Consolidated PR directly and paid £17,832 for provision of the same type of services. NESTA made no payments to Consolidated PR in 2006/07. Contracts relating to these arrangements are a matter for the parties concerned.
NESTA is funded by an endowment from the National Lottery rather than grant in aid funding from its sponsor Department, the Department for Business, Innovation
and Skills. NESTA was established in 1998 with an original endowment of £200 million from the National Lottery. In February 2003, £50 million was added to the endowment, and £45 million was received by NESTA for new initiatives, again from the National Lottery. In February 2006, NESTA secured an additional £75 million of endowment funding from the National Lottery to be paid over five years, £15 million pa from 2005/06 to 2009/10. The value of the endowment at 31 March 2009 was £326 million.
NESTA employs two public affairs staff and three public relations staff. In the last three years, NESTA spent nothing on externally provided public affairs services. NESTA spent £58,033 in 2006/07, £148,395 in 2007/08 and £52,482 in 2008/09 on externally provided public relations services.
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many complaints from consumers Ofcom (a) received and (b) upheld relating to Pipex Homecall and its related companies in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Timms: The matter raised is the responsibility of the independent regulator, the Office of Communications (Ofcom), which is accountable to Parliament rather than Ministers. Accordingly, I have asked the chief executive of Ofcom to reply directly to the hon. Member. Copies of the chief executives letter will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
Mr. Hurd: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills which external public relations firms the Risk and Regulation Advisory Council has hired since its inception; at what cost; and for what purposes. 
Ian Lucas: The following expenditure figures cover contracts with external public relations firms for the period from the inception of the RRAC in January 2008 to November 2009. These figures include expenditure from the budget of the unit responsible for raising awareness of the Risk and Regulation Advisory Council work and tools.
Bell Design and Communications Ltd. to provide benefits capture, design and delivery of launch event and publication design: £87,324.
Compass Rose and Co. to provide public relations consultancy services: £53,000.
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