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Innovation: Education

Volume 472: debated on Wednesday 27 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what innovations his Department and its predecessors have introduced into the (a) university and (b) further education system since 1997. (166268)

The major innovations which my Department and its predecessors have introduced into the higher and further education systems since 1997 have been set out each year in the departmental annual reports (copies of which have been placed in the Library).

For higher education these include the Higher Education Innovation Fund to promote better links between HE and business; funding for the AimHigher programme which promotes outreach in schools and colleges to widen participation; personal support for part-time students for the first time; and the introduction of programmes involving employer co-funding of both HE and FE courses. Our comprehensive programme of reforms is transforming the FE system into the skills powerhouse for the future. The FE sector is now more able to respond to business needs for innovative people and we are embedding innovation in national skills academies.