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Students: Finance

Volume 465: debated on Wednesday 24 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what the cost of student grants was in each of the last 15 years; and what the estimated cost is for each of the next three years. (155662)

The available data are given in the table.

Expenditure on student grants1 for maintenance: this excludes tuition fee remission grant and special grants for vulnerable students. Students domiciled in England and Wales academic years 1992/93 to 2004/05. Students domiciled in England academic years 2005/06 to 2006/07

Academic year

Expenditure (£ million)

1992/932

1,046

1993/942

1,202

1994/952

1,159

1995/962

1,075

1996/972

948

1997/982

932

1998/992

617

1999/20002

347

2000/012

119

2001/022

31

2002/032

n/a

2003/042

n/a

2004/053

97

2005/063

168

2006/074

462

1 Data do not include tuition fee remission grants or supplementary grants and allowances; eg for students with disabilities, students with dependents, single parent students, those incurring certain travel costs and those who have recently left care.

2 Data prior to 2004/05 refer to Mandatory Award scheme students. These arrangements applied to students who entered HE up to 1997/98 who received support for maintenance through means-tested grants. Data were not collected for mandatory award students in 2002/03 and subsequent years because of the low numbers of students involved. These figures are on an England and Wales basis.

3 In 2004/05 and 2005/06, data refer to Student Support Scheme Students (students entering from 1998/99 who received support for living costs mainly through loans which are partly income-assessed) in receipt of a full or part Higher Education Grant (HEG) which was introduced for new students entering from 2004/05. 2004/05 data cover England and Wales, 2005/06 cover England. Separate England data are not available for earlier years.

4 The 2006/07 figure is provisional England data covering the HEG and the new Maintenance Grant and Special Support Grant introduced in September 2006.

Sources:

DFES F503G survey of local authorities, Student Loans Company (SLC)

Expenditure provision for student grants for maintenance in financial year 2007-08 for English domiciled students is £568 million. It is not possible to provide a FY 2007-08 figure on an academic year basis.

Detail on specific areas of funding for the Spending Review 2007 period is not available at present, but will be available in the near future.

The drop in the number of students receiving a grant from 1998/99 onwards reflects the fact that maintenance grants were replaced by loans for new students, therefore only existing students continued to receive a maintenance grant.

The large rise in the figures shown for 2005/06 and 2006/07 reflects the fact that the Higher Education Grant was introduced in 2004/05 for new students and therefore covered two cohorts in 2005/06. In 2006/07 the HEG was replaced by the Maintenance Grant and Special Support Grant.