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Higher Education: Age Participation Rates

Volume 467: debated on Thursday 22 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills when the Government expects to meet its 50 per cent. participation rate target in university education for young people aged 18 to 30 years. (166860)

Our long-term vision is that the UK should be a world leader on skills, in the upper quartile of OECD rankings by 2020, meeting the recommendations of the Leitch review. Consistent with that vision, we have set a long term primary target to increase the proportion of the work force with higher level skills from under 30 per cent. now to over 40 per cent. by 2020 and as a contribution towards that goal a supporting target to increase participation in higher education towards 50 per cent. of those aged 18-30 with growth of at least a percentage point every two years to the academic year 2010-11. The precise date on which we reach these targets will depend on the outcome of future spending reviews and on continuing to increase demand for higher education among people of all ages and backgrounds who would benefit from entering higher education. Our policies will therefore continue to increase and widen participation