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Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many staff at the Learning and Skills Council are employed in administering education maintenance allowance payments. 
This is a matter for the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) who operate the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) for the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF). Mark Haysom the LSCs chief executive, will write to the hon. Member for Cotswold with the information requested and a copy of his reply will be placed in both Libraries.
Mr. Lammy: It is the role of the Research Councils to make decisions on the funding of postgraduate courses. The Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) is the main UK Government Agency for funding research and training in nuclear engineering. The EPSRC has invested £1 million and industry partners £1.6 million to the Nuclear Technology Education Consortium, involving 11 institutions, to provide masters level training for the nuclear industries. The EPSRC also funds the £7.1 million Postgraduate Nuclear Research/Nuclear Engineering Doctorate programme in Nuclear Engineering, based at the university of Manchester. Successful candidates receive a standard EPSRC doctoral stipend enhanced by a contribution from a sponsoring company. We are currently looking at the supply and demand for postgraduate courses in nuclear engineering in the years to come.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many (a) applicants and (b) successful applicants of each sex and socio-economic group there were to study (i) medicine, (ii) engineering, (iii) physics, (iv) chemistry, (v) veterinary medicine, (vi) accountancy, (vii) dentistry and (viii) economics at university in each year since 2002. 
For the academic years recorded in the tables, for those aged up to 20, UCAS recorded socio-economic class based on the applicants parents occupation; for those aged 21 and over, the applicants socio-economic class was based on their own occupation. UCAS has released figures for 2008/09, but because of changes it has made to their application form, it is only possible to compare the social backgrounds of 18-year-olds and under. This is why socio-economic class data for 2008-09 are listed in a separate table.
Some time series data may also be affected by changes in the maximum number of courses which could be applied for. In 2008/09 a maximum of five applications could be made per applicant, whereas in the years prior to this up to six applications could be made by each applicant.
Mr. Lammy: The Government have designated all engineering degrees as strategically important and vulnerable subjects. These subjects benefit from a £350 million programme of support administered by the Higher Education Funding Council for England to stimulate demand and secure supply. Additionally, there is a £140 million strategy over 2008 to 2011 to support the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) agenda. We are currently keeping the supply and demand for undergraduate nuclear engineering courses under review.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what evaluation has been made of the Perfect Gift scheme; and if he will place a copy of the evaluation report in the Library. 
Mr. Simon: The Perfect Gift scheme was launched as a pilot project in October 2007 in nine further education colleges across England (one college per Learning and Skills Council region). Following the launch, individual colleges were responsible for ongoing promotion and communication. Initial evaluation with participating colleges showed that despite encouraging media coverage at launch, the take-up of vouchers during the pilot was lower than anticipated. The low take-up determined that the pilot would not be developed further. As a result, the production of a formal evaluation document was not deemed necessary.
To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills (1) what discussions
he has had with (a) the Secretary of State for Wales and (b) the Welsh Assembly Government Minister for Education on the results of the recent Universities Research Assessment Exercise; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what recent discussions he has had on UK science policy with (a) Scottish Executive Ministers, (b) Welsh Assembly Government Ministers and (c) Northern Ireland Executive Ministers; and if he will make a statement; 
Mr. Lammy: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills has regular meetings with his counterparts in the devolved administrations and relevant Cabinet colleagues on a range of issues including research and science policy, as do his ministerial team and senior officials. Last week the Secretary of State met Jane Hutt the Welsh Assembly Government Minister for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills on a visit to the university of Cardiff.
Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what the average amount of debt of (a) full-time undergraduate, (b) part-time undergraduate and (c) postgraduate students was on leaving university in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Lammy: The personal debt of students is a reflection of their overall financial position when they leave university. It takes into account student loan and commercial borrowing less their savings.
The most recent assessment made of the personal debt of students on graduation for English domiciled full-time and part-time undergraduate students was the 2004/05 Student Income and Expenditure Survey (SIES). The survey found that full-time undergraduates left university with average personal debt of £7,918, and part-time students graduated in credit by £347 on average.
A consistent time series for these estimates is not available because earlier surveys were based on samples with differing characteristics. For example, in 1998/99, average personal debt on graduation was estimated to be £3,462 for UK full-time undergraduates; and in 2002/03, £8,666 for English and Welsh full-time undergraduates under 25 years old.
|Maintenance loans taken out , England( 1)|
|Academic year||Loans taken out( 2)|
|(1) The table covers English domiciled students studying in the UK.|
(2) Figures rounded to nearest 100.
Student Loans Company
|Tuition fee loans taken out , England( 1)|
|Academic year||Loans taken out( 2)|
|(1) The table covers English domiciled students studying in the UK and EU students studying in England.|
(2) Figures rounded to nearest 100.
Student Loans Company
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how much was spent on Train to Gain brokers in 2007-08; and what percentage of Train to Gain expenditure in that year this figure represents. 
Mr. Simon [holding answer 5 February 2009]: Train to Gain total spend for 2007-08 financial year was £312,959,000 of which £38,630,000 was spent on brokerage. This represents 12.3 per cent. of the overall spend.
Train to Gain is the key service for supporting employers to invest in the future productivity and profitability of their businesses by investing in the skills of their employees. Train to Gain offers quality-assured, impartial advice from skills brokers, to help business, identify the skills needs at all levels and make the right, informed choices.
Since Train to Gain was rolled out nationally in August 2006, it has engaged over 101,000 employers and supported over 570,000 learners to begin learning, of whom over 290,000 have achieved a qualification.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how much has been spent on the provision of careers advice to (a) young people and (b) adults by agencies for which his Department is responsible in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Simon: Information on the total amount spent on careers advice is not collected. Young people and adults receive careers advice from a range of sources including from learning providers, Connexions services, nextstep and the Careers Advice Service. Funding for learning providers does not include a sum ring-fenced for careers advice.
(a) Connexions services advise young people on a range of issues including careers. Prior to 2001, careers services provided advice and guidance on careers and related issues. Funding has been provided to Connexions/careers services as set out in the following table.
(b) Prior to 1999, the delivery of careers advice to adults was largely delivered by local initiatives and no information was collected on funding for careers advice within these. The information and advice for adults programme began in April 1999. Responsibility for planning and funding the adult information and advice service transferred to the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) in April 2001. Funding allocated for the adult information and advice service includes delivery of the local face to face service through nextstep, Careers Advice Service (formally learndirect careers advice), development projects and quality assurance arrangements.
To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what percentage of Learning and Skills Council-funded work-based
learning provision has been allocated to non-UK nationals in the academic years (a) 2007-08 and (b) 2008-09. 
Mr. Simon: The following table shows the number of Learning and Skills Council (LSC) funded work-based learners in 2007/08, split by whether the learner is UK or non-UK domiciled. 2007/08 is the latest year for which we have fully-audited information.
To be eligible for LSC funding an individual needs to satisfy the residency criteria set out in LSC Learner Eligibility Guidance. In general, this means that they need to have been lawfully living in the UK, European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) for the three years prior to the start of their course. There may also be additional criteria directly linked to the type of work based programme they are undertaking such as the need to be in employment.
|LSC-funded work-based learning in 2007/08, by whether the learner is UK or non-UK domiciled|
1. Volumes are rounded to the nearest hundred.
2. This information is based on country of domicileinstitutions are advised that the country of domicile field should be treated as a self-assessment field and reflect the country where the learner was ordinarily resident for the three years preceding the start of their programme.
3. These figures include apprenticeships and entry to employment.
4. This table uses learner volumes as a measure for comparative purposes. Full-year numbers are a count of the number of learners that participated at any point during the year.
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