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Foreign Postgraduate Students

Volume 455: debated on Wednesday 10 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what correspondence his Department has with the Home Office to determine whether students from countries of weapons of mass destruction proliferation concern could use their studies in the UK for unfriendly purposes; how many projects of the students referred to in the answer of 13 March 2006, Official Report, column 1870W, on foreign postgraduate students, are being supported from UK public funds; and if he will ask the relevant funding body to place in the Library the synopses sent to it as part of the awards process. (108088)

The Department has not been in correspondence with the Home Office on this matter but DfES officials have attended meetings convened by the Cabinet Office about the student vetting scheme, at which Home Office officials have also been present. International postgraduate students are not eligible to receive student grants or loans, but there are a number of Government scholarships schemes which are available to talented students from around the world.

The largest of these is the Chevening scholarship scheme administered by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. In 2004/05 there were seven students from China in receipt of Chevening awards studying biology, chemistry, physics or chemical process and energy engineering. No other students from the six countries referred to in the answer of 13 March 2006, Official Report, column 1870W were studying these subjects and in receipt of a Chevening award. Details of recipients of awards from smaller schemes run by other Government Departments and funding bodies are not collected centrally. It is not possible to provide details of individual projects.