To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what proportion of UK entrants to initial (a) full time and (b) part time higher education aged 21 or more was from each social class group between 1980 and 2000; and if he will make a statement. 
The available information for the years since 1994, showing students accepted to full-time undergraduate courses via the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is given in the table. UCAS does not cover students applying to part-time courses, the majority of whom are mature. Around three-quarters of all mature students enter part-time courses. Comparable figures for earlier years are not held centrally. In 2002, a new socio-economic classification was introduced, which is not directly comparable with the social class figures for previous years. The Department has increased significantly its targeted support for mature students, through increased Access and Hardship funds but also through a package of help for student parents including a generous childcare grant introduced in 2001. In addition, the AimHigher HE roadshow and advertising campaign have been launched to promote the benefits of higher education.
|Accepted applicants aged 21 or over to full-time undergraduate courses in the UK UK domiciled students|
|Year of entry|
|IIIN Skilled non manual||7,115||7,228||7,913||11,324||9,606||9,228||9,703||10,716|
|HIM Skilled manual||9,995||10,530||8,868||8,030||6,911||6,152||6,202||6,773|
|IV Semi Skilled||4,864||5,339||5,156||6,767||5,897||5,801||6,071||6,308|
|IIIN Skilled non-manual||14.9||14.7||17.2||23.6||23.0||24.1||24.8||25.7|
|IIIM Skilled manual||21.0||21.4||19.3||16.7||16.6||16.1||15.8||16.3|
|1Based on students whose occupation was known.|
|Higher managerial/professional occupations||3,680|
|Lower managerial/professional occupations||10,294|
|Small employers and own account workers||2,076|
|Lower supervisory and technical occupations||1,293|
|Higher managerial/professional occupations||9.2|
|Lower managerial/professional occupations||26.0|
|Small employers and own account workers||5.2|
|Lower supervisory and technical occupations||3.3|
|1 Based on students whose occupation was known.|
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what action the Government are taking to encourage higher educational institutions to develop stronger structures of regional planning. [R] 
Our White Paper 'The Future of Higher Education' acknowledged the critical involvement of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in regional, social and economic development, it welcomed the involvement of HEIs in developing Regional Economic Strategies and the new Frameworks for Regional Employment and Skills Action. The White Paper proposed strengthening the growing HE partnerships with Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) and confirmed a larger formal role for RDAs within the next round of the Higher Education Innovation Fund to ensure that the funding is properly focused on regional development priorities.
The allocation of funding for additional student places, widening access, and higher education working with business and community is also informed by regional and sub-regional priorities. To help determine these priorities, the Higher Education Funding Council for England works with regional advisory groups which include the Regional Development Agencies (RDAs).