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4 Nov 2008 : Column 423W

Innovation, Universities and Skills

Departmental Written Questions

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many and what proportion of written questions for answer on a named day his Department has answered on the due date in the current session of Parliament to date. [226895]

Mr. Simon: The Department has received 259 named day questions this session of which 104 (40 per cent.) questions have been answered on time. There are a range of improvements under way to improve the Department’s performance.

Higher Education: Admissions

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many and what proportion of university applications made by students at (a) maintained schools and (b) further education
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colleges were to Russell Group universities in the last 12 months. [232260]

Mr. Lammy: The latest available information, covering applications for entry in autumn 2007, are shown in the table. The figures are taken from data collected by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) which are limited to students who apply to full-time undergraduate courses via the UCAS application system. The figures do not therefore cover part-time students, nor those full-time students who apply directly to higher education institutions.

This Government are committed to increasing and widening participation in higher education, including to our most selective institutions. We want people from all backgrounds to be able and willing to go on to whatever HE best suits their potential and merit, a mission that we know is shared with the HE sector. There is much that this Government support to help make this happen, such as the Aimhigher Programme, and higher education institutions themselves do many things to reach out to students from a wide range of backgrounds.

Applications( 1) to full-time undergraduate courses at UK institutions: by previous school type and type of institution— y ear of entry 2007
Type of institution
Russell Group Other institutions Total

Number Percentage Number Percentage Number Percentage

Previous school type

Maintained schools(2)

249,286

29.7

591,315

70.3

840,601

100.0

FE/HE colleges(3)

138,707

17.8

638,998

82.2

777,705

100.0

Independent schools

104,040

50.3

102,857

49.7

206,897

100.0

Other(4)

10,850

27.1

29,227

72.9

40,077

100.0

Unknown

28,140

19.2

118,575

80.8

146,715

100.0

Total

531,023

26.4

1,480,972

73.6

2,011,995

100.0

(1) In 2007, each applicant could submit up to six applications. The figures cover applications from students domiciled in the UK.
(2) Maintained schools include comprehensive, grammar, sixth form centres, and other maintained.
(3) Including sixth form colleges.
(4) Includes adult colleges, language schools, special schools and miscellaneous institutions.
Source:
UCAS

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many (a) UK nationals, (b) nationals of other EU member states and (c) non-EU nationals were (i) applicants and (ii) accepted applicants for university degree courses in (A) chemistry, (B) physics, (C) mathematics, (D) computer science and (E) engineering for the 2008-09 academic year. [232262]

Mr. Lammy: The latest available information, covering applicants who had been accepted for entry as at 15 October, is shown in the following table. Comparable figures for applicants are not held centrally. The figures are taken from data collected by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) which are limited to students who apply to full-time undergraduate courses via the UCAS application system. The figures do not therefore cover part-time students, nor those full-time students who apply directly to higher education institutions.

Accepted applicants to full-time degree courses as at 15 Octobe r by subject and home domicile—year of entry 2008
Home domicile of student

UK EU Other overseas Total

Chemistry

3,601

154

249

4,004

Physics

2,964

185

176

3,325

Mathematics

5,376

272

773

6,421

Computer Science

9,247

621

717

10,585

Engineering

15,373

1,857

4,787

22,017

Note:
Final figures for 2008 entry will be released by UCAS in mid-January.
Source:
UCAS

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills (1) what discussions he has had with universities on the account to be taken in university admission arrangements of an A-level in a modern foreign language, if a student applying to a university is (a) from the country where that language is indigenous, (b) from a community in the UK where that language is spoken and (c) is fluent in the language because it is spoken at home; and if he will make a statement; [232984]


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(2) what information his Department holds on which universities do not accept A-levels in (a) modern Hebrew, (b) Gujarati, (c) Hindi and (d) Urdu as a qualification towards their minimum entry requirements; and if he will make a statement; [232987]

(3) what recent discussions he has had with universities on the relative value of A-levels in each modern language in applications to universities; and if he will make a statement. [232988]

Mr. Lammy: I have had no discussions with universities on the subject requirements for student admissions. These are for each university to decide on the basis of the academic and professional needs of each course. If universities do have specific entry requirements for particular courses, these may be shown on their websites, and are generally replicated on the course information of the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service website. The Department does not hold that information.

We have made it clear however that admissions policies should be open and transparent. I am aware that the Equality Challenge Unit and Supporting Professionalism in Admissions (SPA) have recently written to higher education institutions about the need to ensure that admissions procedures do not breach equality legislation in terms of the treatment of students with native language qualifications.

Schools, in partnership with local Connexions services, are expected to provide young people with high quality and impartial, personalised information, advice and guidance about learning and careers that meets the needs of the individual. The Department for Children, Schools and Families is currently working with the Training and Development Agency for Schools to pilot approaches that will help all teachers to provide high quality advice on progression opportunities from their own subjects.

Students: Finance

Stephen Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many part-time undergraduates were awarded full (a) fees and (b) maintenance grant in each year since 2005. [232392]

Mr. Lammy: The rate of part-time fee grant depends on the intensity of the course. There are three maximum grant levels, for those studying at a rate equivalent to 50-59 per cent., 60-74 per cent., and 75 per cent. or more of a full-time course.

Part-time fee grant awarded by value, England 2005/06( 1)
Value of grant Students Percentage

Below £590

21,800

63

£590 (maximum for 50-59 per cent. intensity)

5,600

16

£591 to £709

1,000

3

£710 (maximum for 60-74 per cent. intensity)

1,600

5

£711 to £884

1,700

5

£885 (maximum for 75 per cent. or more intensity)

2,900

8

Total

34,600

100

(1) Approved applicants awarded grants by academic year. Student numbers rounded to nearest 100. Total may not agree with sum of component parts due to rounding.
Source:
Student Loans Company and Open University applications data

4 Nov 2008 : Column 426W

Part-time fee grant awarded by value, England 2006/07( 1)
Value of grant Students Percentage

Below £750

30,000

70

£750 (maximum for 50-59 per cent. intensity)

3,600

9

£751 to £899

2,300

5

£900 (maximum for 60-74 per cent. intensity)

1,800

4

£901 to £1,124

3,200

8

£1,125 (maximum for 75 per cent. or more intensity)

1,800

4

Total

42,600

100

(1) Approved applicants awarded grants by academic year. Student numbers rounded to nearest 100. Total may not agree with sum of component parts due to rounding.
Source:
Student Loans Company and Open University applications data

Part-time students are not eligible for a maintenance grant. A grant is available to help with course costs.

Part-time course grant awarded, England, 2005/06 and 2006/07( 1)
2005/06 2006/07

Students Percentage Students Percentage

Below full course grant

500

1

500

1

Full course grant (£250)

36,700

99

44,400

99

Total

37,100

100

44,900

100

(1) Approved applicants awarded grants by academic year. Student numbers rounded to nearest 100. Total may not agree with sum of component parts due to rounding.
Source:
Student Loans Company and Open University applications data

Data are not yet available for 2007/08, and are expected to be collated in January 2009. Statutory support for part-time students was first introduced in 2000/01. Unlike full-time students, many part-time students are in full-time employment and many receive full fee support from their employer.

Stephen Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many undergraduates entering higher education come from households with an income between (a) £50,020 and (b) £60,050 in 2008-09. [233052]

Mr. Lammy: Complete information on household incomes of students is not available centrally.

During November the Student Loans Company will publish the Statistical First Release Student Support for Higher Education in England, Academic Year 2008/09 (Provisional). This will include early provisional information on grants in 2008/09 and complete information on grants in academic year 2007/08.

In compliance with the National Statistics framework, information is embargoed until publication of the Statistical First Release.


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