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18-Year-Olds

Volume 20: debated on Tuesday 16 March 1982

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35.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is the percentage of 18-year-olds currently participating in higher education in England and Wales; and how this figure compares with other member countries of the EEC.

The 18-year-olds participating in higher education in England and Wales in the academic year 1980–81 were 7·5 per cent. of the total population at this age. Strictly comparable figures for other member countries of the European Community are not yet available for that year.However, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has published statistics for certain countries of the European Community which show the 18-year-olds participating in higher education in 1975 or 1976 expressed as a percentage of the total population at this age. These participation rates are given in column 1 in the following table.Comparisons between countries of higher education participation rates at a particular age are influenced by the precise structure of higher education in each country, in particular by the age at which students normally enter higher education and the length of course. In some EC countries students enter higher education later than in the United Kingdom and take longer to qualify.A more meaningful comparison is to show all new entrants to higher education as a percentage of the total

1976–77 unless otherwise stated
1.2.3.
18-year-old participants as percentage of all 18-year-oldsAge group encompassing 80 per cent, of new entrants to higher educationAll new entrants as percentage of typical year group calculated from column 2
Belgium*n.a.18–2033·9
France10·918–2027·7
Italy†4·419–2130·6
Netherlands‡6·018–2025·5
Federal Republic of Germany1·019–2119·2
United Kingdom║7·318–19*32·3
DenmarkNil19–2136·8
Ireland¶13·0*n.a.
Greece¶9·4*n.a.
Notes
* Not available.
† Universities only.
‡ Non-universities only.
║ Includes part-time.
¶ 1975–76.
* 1977–78.