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Overall, for all students from England, the UCAS figures show that, compared to 2006, applicants to full-time undergraduate courses who had been accepted for entry in 2007, rose by 6.1 per cent. to 307,000 the highest ever. Latest figures for students applying for entry in 2008, show that applicants in England are up by 7.1 per cent. compared to 2007.
Jeff Ennis: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what information his Department holds on (a) the targets each member of the Russell Group of Universities has set itself for widening participation for students from poorer backgrounds in the last two years and (b) performance against those targets. 
Bill Rammell: Information on targets for widening participation for students from poorer backgrounds for each member of the Russell Group is not available. The Department does not set targets for individual institutions and does not hold information on targets they may set themselves.
Information in the tables is taken from table T1a of the Performance Indicators in Higher Education. Figures from the academic years of 1997-98 to 2001-02 was published by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), and figures from the 2002-03 academic year onwards were published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). Figures for the 2006-07 academic year will become available in June this year.
The figures in table 1 show the proportions of UK-domiciled young entrants to full-time first degree courses at Russell Group higher education institutions in the UK who were from lower social classes/lower socio-economic classes from 1997-98 to 2005-06, along with the benchmarks for each institution. In the 2002-03 academic year the: National Statistics Socio-Economic Classification (NS-SEC) was first introduced. It replaced the Social Class (SC) classification, and the two classifications cannot be directly compared.
The figures in table 2 show the proportions of UK-domiciled young entrants to full-time first degree courses at Russell Group higher education institutions in the UK who were from low participation neighbourhoods from 1997-98 to 2005-06, along with the benchmarks for each institution.
For each institution, the performance indicator is shown against a benchmark. This is a sector average which is adjusted for each institution to take into account the following factors: subject of study,
qualifications on entry and age on entry. The benchmarks can be used to show how a university is performing compared to the sector as a whole, and also
help to determine whether a meaningful comparison can be drawn between two or more universities. The benchmarks are not targets.
|Table 1: Proportion of UK-domiciled young(1) entrants to full-time first degree courses at Russell Group institutions who were from lower social classes/lower socio-economic classes(2)|
|Social class IIIM, IV, V( 2)|
|Russell Group HEIs||%||Benchmark||%||Benchmark||%||Benchmark||%||Benchmark||%||Benchmark|
|NS-SEC 4, 5, 6, 7|
|Russell Group HEIs||%||Benchmark||%||Benchmark||%||Benchmark||%||Benchmark|
|n/a = not available|
(1) Young refers to entrants who are under 21-years-old.
(2) Due to a change in classification, from social class to socio-economic class in 2001, figures prior to 2001 and figures front 2002 onwards cannot be directly compared.
(3) The University of Cambridge has taken the opportunity of a new student record system to review the recording of student data, This change prevented the submission of data suitable for presentation at an institutional level in the 2005-06 academic year,: A full set of data will be included in this year's publication.
Performance Indicators in Higher Education, published by HESA
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