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Higher Education

Volume 403: debated on Monday 7 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the cash value is of loans granted to higher education students by the Student Loans Company in each year since 1997. [105938]

The number and value of loans paid to higher education students by the Student Loans Company in each academic year since 1996–97 are shown in the table:

Student support provision: academic year 1996–97 to 2001–02 (provisional)1
Student loans (United Kingdom)2
Academic yearNumber of loans Value of loans (thousand)3Value of loans (£ million)
1998–99 of which:659.51,233.5
Student Support Scheme Students4275.9557.3
Mandatory Scheme Students5443.6676.2
1999–2000 of which:699.71,795.4
Student Support Scheme Students4456.57,439.2
Mandatory Scheme Students5243.2356.3
2000–01 of which:759.92,203.7
Student Support Scheme Students4666.42,068.4
Mandatory Scheme Students593.5735.3
2001–02 (provisional) of which:809.32,485.2
Student Support Scheme Students4786.02,450.7
Mandatory Scheme Students523.435.0
1 New student support arrangements were introduced from academic year 1998–99. New students in 1998–99 (apart from certain specified exceptions) received support for maintenance expenditure through means-tested grants (comprising about a quarter of the support available) and non income-assessed student loans (comprising about three quarters of the support available). From 1999–2000 students who entered higher education after 1998–99 received support for maintenance expenditure through loans, of which approximately three quarters of the value was non income-assessed. Loans made under these arrangements are repayable on an income contingent basis. The ratio of support for mandatory award holders, i.e. those who entered higher education up to 1997–98, was roughly 50 per cent. means-tested grant and 50 per cent. non means-tested loan repayable on a mortgage style basis.
2 Student loans are available to eligible students normally domiciled in the United Kingdom on full-time undergraduate HE courses (and students on full-time and part-time postgraduate course of initial teacher training).
3 Refers to loans advanced in the target year only, which include those to students in their first, second, third and any subsequent year of their course. Excludes hardship loans and 5,700 (2000–01) and an estimated 7,700 (2001–02) fixed rate loans of £500 for part-time students introduced in September 2000.
4 Students starting their course from September 1998 under the new arrangements.
5 Students who entered higher education up to 1997–98 and those who entered in 1998–99 under the existing arrangements.


The Student Loans Company

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what his latest estimate is of (a) the annual cost to public funds of increasing participation in higher education to 50 per cent. over the next five years and (b) the cost of the higher education system in 2002–03; and what assumptions he has made in drawing up these estimates. [105940]

The Spending review settlement for higher education in England for the years 2002–03 to 2005–06 is set out in the table on page 19 of the White Paper 'The future of higher education' (Cm 5735). That table shows a 31per cent. increase in expenditure between those two years, an element of which accounts for the increase in student numbers over that period. The increase in participation towards 50 per cent. of those aged 18–30, will come mainly through two-year work-focussed foundation degrees.The cost of higher education per student varies according to the subject, type and length of their course. The overall costs of increasing student numbers beyond 2005–06 will therefore depend on their pattern of study.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what his latest estimate is of the capital value of the higher education estate; and what proportion he estimates was paid for by public funds. [105941]

Recent studies have estimated the insurance value of the higher education estate to be some £31 billion. The estimated value of the equipment and other contents of the buildings are estimated to be a further £8 billion. Producing an estimate of the proportion of the estate that has been purchased from public funds could be done only at disproportionate cost.