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31 Mar 2008 : Column 591W—continued

Further Education: Elderly

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what his policy is on the provision of recreational courses for older people in colleges of further education; what funds have been made available (a) nationally and (b) in Gloucestershire, for providing recreational courses for older people at colleges of further education in each of the last five years for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [196162]

Bill Rammell [holding answer 25 March 2008]: We recognise the many wider benefits of participation in learning and its vital contribution to personal health and wellbeing, community involvement and quality of life as people age. Learning helps older people to fulfil themselves as active citizens and as members of their families and communities. People who keep mentally and physically active not only live longer but live happier and more fulfilled lives and pursuing informal adult learning can play a real part in this. We remain fully committed to ensuring that older learners in every area can benefit from a wide range of informal adult learning opportunities, including learning for its own sake, for personal fulfilment and to sustain an active role in the community, through further education colleges and other learning providers, including the Third Sector. We have also safeguarded funding for learning for personal and community development at £210 million through to 2010/11.

In Gloucestershire, Informal Audit Learning programmes for older people are managed by Gloucestershire county council using funding provided by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC). These programmes are funded from the safeguarded Personal and Community Development Learning (PCDL) budget. It is up to local LSCs and their partners to determine the most appropriate balance and mix of provision for their communities, including opportunities for older learners, in the light of local needs and circumstances and national priorities.

Gloucestershire county council contracts with a range of providers, including FE colleges, private providers and voluntary and community groups, to ensure that county-wide provision across the county meets the needs of older learners in a large rural county. The following table shows total funding and participation figures across all providers for learners aged 51 and over engaged in informal adult learning
31 Mar 2008 : Column 592W
programmes in Gloucestershire for the three years 2004/05 to 2006/07 for which information is readily available, together with the respective national budgets.

2004/05 2005/06 2006/07

Total number of learners

14,924

11,550

10,573

Number of older learners (51+)

7,163

5,811

4,913

Percentage of older learners

48

50

46

Expenditure on older learners 51+ (£)

1,262,400

1,278,200

1,083,700

National budget(1) (£ million)

(2)234

(2)232

(3)210

(1) PCDL was developed by restructuring Adult and Community Learning (ACL). The two are not directly comparable.
(2) Adult and Community Learning.
(3) PCDL.

Overall Government investment in the further education sector has increased by 52 per cent. in real terms between 1997 and 2007. Participate funding for adults will increase to around £3.6 billion in 2010-11, an increase of over 17 per cent. compared with 2007-08. We have continued to realign funding towards basic literacy and numeracy, full level 2 and full level 3 qualifications providing skills for employment and further progression in learning away from, for example, very short or low quality courses. This has enabled us to support significant increases in participation for young people and adults in these key programmes, providing them with the education and skills they need to fully participate in an economically successful and socially cohesive society.

We want to develop a new vision for informal adult learning for the 21st century. In January, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, launched a wide ranging consultation, “Informal Adult Learning: Shaping the Way Ahead”, which re-affirms our commitment to this kind of learning and its importance in meeting the basic human need for creativity and stimulation—as well as improving health and well-being in our communities. We want to look at the many different ways in which Government and other organisations support adult learners and to understand what learners from all parts of society actually want. We have been greatly encouraged by the tremendous response of our partners, stakeholders and learners in taking this important consultation forward. I would strongly encourage individuals and organisations, both in Gloucestershire and across the country, to take this opportunity to contribute their views and ideas.

Higher Education: Admissions

Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many university students (a) in England and (b) at each university in the North East region were (i) mature students, (ii) part-time students and (iii) part-time students aged over (A) 21 years and (B) 40 years in each academic year from 2001-02 to 2007-08. [191604]

Bill Rammell [holding answer 6 March 2008]: The latest available information is given in the following table. Figures for the 2007/08 academic year will be available in January 2009.


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31 Mar 2008 : Column 594W
Number of higher education enrolments in English and North East higher education institutions, postgraduate and undergraduate students—academic years 2001/02 to 2006/07
Of all enrolments:
Mature( 2) Of part-time:
Higher Education Institution All enrolments( 1) PG UG Part- time Over 21( 3) Over 40( 3)

English Higher Education Institutions

2001/02

1,726,840

302,395

809,540

708,725

673,830

257,395

2002/03

1,807,665

315,300

850,130

735,495

699,925

267,325

2003/04

1,868,415

328,600

873,705

756,880

718,985

270,860

2004/05

1,895,825

332,675

879,695

760,045

719,225

269,135

2005/06

1,936,420

338,185

885,905

762,870

719,105

268,580

2006/07

1,957,195

343,115

882,585

769,555

717,850

266,770

O f which:

University of Durham

2001/02

14,230

2,965

2,760

2,710

2,675

965

2002/03

15,315

3,200

2,685

2,740

2,715

900

2003/04

16,185

3,320

2,660

2,825

2,810

980

2004/05

16,980

3,565

2,670

3,055

3,025

1,010

2005/06

17,320

3,370

2,990

2,950

2,910

920

2006/07

17,410

3,485

3,125

2,910

2,855

915

University of Newcastle Upon Tyne

2001/02

19,395

3,800

6,075

5,500

5,390

3,100

2002/03

18,915

4,105

4,315

3,465

3,340

1,335

2003/04

18,335

3,680

3,990

2,400

2,350

625

2004/03

18,510

3,575

4,325

2,110

2,050

505

2005/06

19,150

3,660

4,330

2,080

2,030

455

2006/07

19,700

3,810

4,360

2,295

2,240

515

University of Northumbria at Newcastle

2001/02

22,775

3,165

11,225

7,690

7,270

2,290

2002/03

24,280

3,470

11,845

8,175

7,785

2,535

2003/04

25,070

3,780

11,710

7,935

7,580

2,490

2004/05

25,535

3,910

11,515

7,895

7,445

2,465

2005/06

27,285

3,985

12,525

8,650

8,130

2,760

2006/07

29,630

4,810

13,085

9,890

9,095

3,010

University of Sunderland

2001/02

12,665

1,405

6,110

3,895

3,610

1,235

2002/03

16,115

1,440

9,405

6,985

6,465

3,450

2003/04

17,845

1,660

10,660

8,340

7,810

4,115

2004/05

18,635

1,760

11,425

9,735

8,905

4,370

2006/06

20,365

2,015

12,500

10,770

9,715

4,455

2006/07

20,215

2,185

12,185

10,400

9,365

4,210

University of Teesside

2001/02

18,115

1,535

11,545

10,040

9,080

3,510

2002/03

19,780

1,715

12,965

11,410

10,430

4,170

2003/04

21,145

1,780

14,030

11,995

11,080

4,485

2004/05

20,430

1,870

13,195

10,970

10,080

4,055

2005/06

21,570

1,770

14,300

12,025

10,910

4,395

2006/07

23,535

2,115

15,765

13,860

12,540

4,820

(1) Includes both full-time and part-time students from the UK and overseas.
(2) The definition of mature students differs between levels of study. Postgraduate mature students are aged 25 and over, and undergraduate mature students aged 21 and over. These figures include a small number of students whose age was unknown.
(3) Contain double counting of students (i.e. figures for students aged over 40 are also included in those for students aged over 21). These figures include a small number of students whose age was unknown.
Note:
Figures are on a HESA Standard Registration Population basis and have been rounded to the nearest five.
Source:
Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA)

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