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Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will publish his costings that underlie his estimate that the administration costs for a graduate tax would be in the region of £1 billion. 
Mr. Charles Clarke: The estimate of up to £1 billion was not for administration costs, but for the additional upfront cash costs of implementing a graduate tax over and above the cost of variable fees and loans, as proposed in the White Paper "The future of higher education". The costs of a graduate tax system are greater for several reasons:
Under a graduate tax there is no possible mechanism for early additional repayments. With our existing loans, graduates are making additional repayments to clear their debts faster, and this reduces Government's costs. In addition, some students may choose not to take out a loan, but to pay up-front, which also reduces costs; and
The rate of repayment is slower for a graduate tax than for loans, and so it takes longer for the Government to reach 'break even' point.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to his statement of 22 January, Official Report, column 303, on higher education, what the evidential basis was for his
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description of universities having offered great research accompanied by shoddy teaching; and to which courses at which universities he was referring. 
Mr. Charles Clarke: I was highlighting the new measures announced in "The Future for Higher Education" which are aimed at ensuring that teaching is of a universally high standard. These new arrangements will mean that reputation for research excellence will no longer be assumed to be a proxy for high quality teaching. Concerns about the quality of teaching were raised by students with Ministers during their visits to universities, and reflected in some reports by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education. The White Paper on Higher Education also identified a number of shortcomings in the way that University teaching was recognised, supported and awarded.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to the answer by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury to the hon. Member for Eddisbury (Mr. O'Brien), of 6 February 2003, Official Report, column 396W, on higher education, what research the Department for Education and Skills commissioned to conclude that the proposals included in the White Paper would have a positive impact on the economy; and if he will publish the research. 
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The proposals were informed by a range of research that has been published by the Department, by academics and by other organisations including:
the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE),
the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD),
Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS),
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI); and
the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IPS).
Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many people entered higher education from (a) Lancashire and (b) the North West of England in 1997 and each subsequent year. 
|Year of entry|
|Blackburn with Darwen||(27)||591||802||847||801||869|
|The North West(28)||26,385||26,291||27,253||27,081||28,332||29,144|
(26) As a result of local government reorganisation, Blackburn with Darwen and Blackpool which were previously part of Lancashire, became separate LEAs in 1998.
(27) Not applicable.
(28) Includes Lancashire, Blackburn, Blackpool, Cheshire, Warrington, Halton, Cumbria and Greater Manchester.
Universities and Colleges Admissions Service.
Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what proportion of the planned increase in higher education funding is (a) tied to particular schemes and (b) for specified purposes. 
|200203||200506||Increase of 200506 over 200203||% of total increase in funding|
|Teaching and learning, of which:||3,943||4,963||1,020||44|
|Centres of Teaching Excellence||0||35||35||2|
|Access and widening participation||86||132||46||2|
|Management, Leadership and strategic development||15||34||19||1|
(29) Foundation degree development and incentives
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As shown in the table above, the funding allocated to 'teaching and learning' will increase by £1,020 million between 200203 and 200506. Of that increase, £287 million will be for capital and £733 million for recurrent expenditure, made up of funding to cover increased costs and the anticipated increase in student numbers. The recurrent increase also includes additional funding for human resources and pay differentiation for those who teach well (which will be consolidated into all institutions' block grants and allocated by formula once they develop satisfactory human resources strategies) and Centres of Teaching Excellence. The funding allocated for the Centres of Teaching Excellence, and other smaller initiatives that will not be allocated to all institutions by formula, will make up around 6 per cent. of the total recurrent increase in teaching and learning.
Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will list IT contracts in his Department and its predecessors above £50 million in each of the last 10 years; what the inception date for each system was; when it became fully functional; when it became fully debugged; and what the cost of over-runs has been. 
Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what studies he has carried out into the shortage of IT staff in higher education since 1997; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Charles Clarke: No such studies have been made by the Government itself; but the Universities and Colleges Employers Association has undertaken surveys of university staff in general. The findings indicate recruitment and retention is an issue in certain disciplines only, including some aspects of information technology. In 2000, the Government announced funding of £50 million, £110 million and £170 million in England for the years 200102 to 200304 to underpin human resource strategies in each higher education institution to address recruitment and retention among other things. The Government have recently announced further funding of £50 million in 200405 and £117 million in 200506 for the same purpose.
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