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Higher Education

Volume 403: debated on Monday 14 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether it is his policy to set access targets for higher education. [101720]

We have a target to increase participation to higher education towards 50 per cent, of those aged 18–30 by the end of the decade; also to make significant progress year on year towards fair access and to bear down on rates of non-completion.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if it is his Department's policy that the Access Regulator for Higher Education should take account of the birth weight of applicants to courses of higher education. [105438]

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the average cost was to public funds of (a) support, (b) teaching and (c) university infrastructure costs attributable to each higher education student in each year since 1997. [105939]

Available data on average maintenance per student from public funds and the average student loan taken out from academic years

Student support provision: Academic year 1997–98 to 2001–021
Academic year
1997–981998–991999–20002000–012001–02 (Provisional)
Average loans2,3
Student Support Scheme Students4,562,5803,1503,1003,120
Mandatory Award Scheme Students71,5301,5201,4701,4501,500
All Students1,5301,8702,5702,9003,070
Average maintenance2
Student Support Scheme Students4. 5. 866901201409
Mandatory Award Scheme Students71,2101,1901,1501,1309
All Students1,2101,0305102709
1Tuition fees and maintenance support are assessed by Local Education Authorities (LEAs) in England and Wales to eligible students normally domiciled in their area; student loans are available to eligible students normally domiciled in the United Kingdom.
2Figures have been rounded to the nearest 10.
3Student loans are available to most 'home' students on full-time undergraduate HE courses (and students on full-time and part-time postgraduate courses of initial teacher training) normally domiciled in the United Kingdom.
4New student support arrangements in higher education came into effect in September 1998. For the first year of the new scheme, eligible new entrants received support for living costs through both grants and loans. Grants, which were assessed against family income, on average formed about a quarter of the support available. All students were entitled to a non income-assessed loan, which comprised the remaining three quarters of support available.
5New entrants to higher education in 1999–2000, together with those who started in 1998–99, received support for living costs mainly through loans which are partly income-assessed. Grants for living costs are no longer available except for some limited allowances, e.g. for students with dependants; single parent students; and disabled students. Grants for students with dependants and single parent students are income-assessed but the Disabled Students' Allowance is not.
6Not applicable.
7Students who entered higher education up to 1997–98 and those who entered from 1998–99 under existing arrangements.
8Maintenance expenditure for student support scheme students from 1999–2000 relates only to additional allowances/grants available to eligible students for extra help depending on their circumstances, e.g. students with disabilities, students with dependents, single parent students, those incurring certain travel costs, and those who have recently left care.
9Not available.
Student Loans Company, F503G survey of local education authorities
The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) provides funding for research, teaching and for ear-marked capital for higher education institutions in England through its funding method. Higher education institutions are able to allocate this according to their own priorities and also draw on other sources of funding, both public and private. This means that separate estimates of public funding per student for teaching and infrastructure are notional.The total HEFCE allocations for teaching and infrastructure costs for each academic year since 1997, and the implied notional costs per student, are shown in the following table.
Teaching £ millionPer Student FTE (£)Infrastructure £ millionPer Student FTE (£)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the average debt to (a) the Student Loans Company and (b) others was of a higher education student graduating in each year since 1997. [105943]

1997–98 to 2001–02 (latest year available) are given in the following table:

Borrowers are liable to repay their loans from the April following graduation or otherwise leaving their course. The table shows estimates of average student loan debt on entering repayment status for borrowers who became liable to repay their loans in financial years 1998-99 to 2002-03. Figures include those on shorter courses as well as those who have left higher education early.

Average student loan debt on entering repayment status1,2
Financial year entered repayments status3Mortgage style loans4,5Income contingent loans6

1 Data rounded to nearest 10. Includes interest.

2 Excludes any repayments which may have been made before borrowers enter repayment status.

3 Borrowers enter repayment status in the April following their graduation or otherwise leaving their course.

4 Loans made to students who entered higher education up to 1997–98 or who entered in 1998–99 under existing arrangements. Includes loans repayable to the private sector following the sale of two portfolios of student loans.

5 Includes loans sold in the two portfolios of student loans which are administered by the Student Loans Company.

6 Loans, repayable on an income contingent basis, available to students who entered higher education from academic year 1998–99. These loans were subject to a repayment holiday until April 2000. Includes hardship loans and the fixed rate loans (£500) to eligible part-time students.

7 Not applicable.


Student Loans Company

Data on debts for which there is no public subsidy, such as overdrafts and credit cards, and informal debts to family and friends, are not held centrally.