To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many university students his Department and associated agencies has supported or sponsored with a work placement in the last year; what his policy is on work placements; what plans he has to develop such schemes; and what his policy is on paying their university fees. 
The Foreign and Commonwealth currently employs three students for 12 months, as part of their four-year economics degree sandwich course. This gives them the opportunity to work for one year in the Economic Policy or European Union Department. We support work placements as part of our policy to encourage more students to apply for economist jobs. We also have two unpaid work experience schemes for school pupils and undergraduates. 21 pupils and 40 undergraduates had unpaid work placements in 2002. We do not pay any university fees.