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(a) a 5 per cent. increase
(b) a 5 per cent. decrease
in the present number of full-time students in higher education.
Lord Lucas: The Government's plans allow for around 1 million full-time home and EC students on higher education courses in the UK in 199495. An increase or decrease of 5 per cent. in that figure would change it by around 50,000. It is not possible to estimate the precise effects of such a change on public expenditure.
At current average unit costs and current assumptions about the proportion of mandatory award holders and levels of take up of student loans, expenditure on student support would increase or decrease by around £175 million. There could also be knock-on effects on social security budgets.
Assuming that unit funding through the Higher Education Funding Councils and the Department for Education, Northern Ireland is the same as unit funding through the Higher Education Funding Council for England, and that block grant to higher education institutions would change in line with student numbers, the implied change in block grants would be around £150 million£200 million. In practice, institutions might be able to make efficiency gains if student numbers were increasing and there could be diseconomies of scale if student numbers were reduced. Changes in student numbers could also have implications for capital expenditure. The Government's public expenditure plans for higher education for 199596 onwards will be announced in the Budget.
My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Education, is currently undertaking a review of higher education. The initial stage of the review is concerned primarily with questions about the size and shape of higher education. I know that the Secretary of State wishes to take fully into account the views of those who have an interest in the development of higher education and that she would be pleased to hear from the noble Lord. I am sending him a copy of the announcement of the review.
At 31st October 1994, 94·4 per cent. of borrowers not granted deferment were repaying and 93·5 per cent. of monies due had been repaid. It is estimated that by the end of the financial year the comparable figures will be 96·1 per cent. and 94·5 per cent. respectively. The Department for Education's Supply Estimates presented to Parliament for 199495 show estimated receipts from repayments of £27 million.
(b) who are the members of the Council
(c) whether any changes in functions and membership of the Council are proposed, and
(d) what is the annual cost of the Council.
Lord Lucas: The Higher Education Quality Council is owned by the United Kingdom higher education representative bodiesthe Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals, the Standing Committee of Principals and the Committee of Scottish Higher Education Principals.
Its main functions are to undertake quality audits of the quality assurance systems of the institutions belonging to its constituent bodies and to promote quality enhancement in higher education. It also advises the Government on applications from institutions for degree awarding powers and university title.
Lord Lucas: The next university research assessment exercise will be conducted in 1996 by the Higher Education Funding Councils and the Department of Education for Northern Ireland. These bodies and the assessment panels they appoint have the responsibility for establishing the method of rating research published in various forms. The framework for the 1996 research assessment exercise was published in June 1994 after consultation with higher education institutions and representative bodies.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State Department of National Heritage (Viscount Astor): There are approximately 4,100 Anglican and Roman Catholic parish churches in use in England listed in Grade I or Grade A.
Viscount Astor: In the financial year 199394, English Heritage offered grant assistance of £12·459 million to 426 churches and, in 199293, £11·250 million to 325 churches. Assistance to churches is offered under English Heritage's church grants scheme and is open to Roman Catholic and Nonconformist churches as well as Anglican parish churches.
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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Cumberlege): Family health services authorities continue to be advised to process applications from pharmacists wishing to dispense National Health Service prescriptions in accordance with the NHS (Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 1992 (as amended).
(2) how many of them are located in (a) England and Wales
(b) Northern Ireland and (c) Scotland; and
(3) what proportion of them, in each case, are operated privately.
What is the likely cost of restoring to students the right to income support during the long vacation.
The Minister of State, Department of Social Security (Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish): This information is not available and can be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
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