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Higher Education

Volume 400: debated on Wednesday 26 February 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what evidence was assessed on the effect on credit ratings of increasing levels of graduate debt, in drawing up the proposals in the policy document, The Future of Higher Education; and if he will make a statement. [98135]

In setting the maximum level of the variable fee we considered carefully the level of contribution graduates would have to make after graduation. We did not commission specific research on the effect of credit ratings.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate he has made of the net financial (a) gain and (b) loss per student of his proposals, for students with family incomes of £10,000 pa, and for each additional £1,000 pa up to £80,000 pa, for each university and higher education institution. [94700]

Since this will depend on decisions by individual institutions over their fee levels and on students' own choices it is not possible to provide this kind of analysis.We are planning to introduce a Higher Education Grant of £1,000 a year for students from lower income backgrounds starting in autumn 2004. The Government will also continue to provide a grant for tuition fees worth £1,100 in 2002/03 for students with family incomes of up to £20,000 and a proportion of that for those students whose family income is between £20,000 and £30,000.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will estimate the required shortfall in higher education shortfall funding; and if he will assess the impact of expanding the provision of higher education on the funding for higher education. [98630]

I have nothing to add on these matters to my statement on 22 January 2003 and the White Paper published on that day.