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Students: Finance

Volume 474: debated on Tuesday 1 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills whether the new arrangements for funding students studying for qualifications that are equivalent or lower to qualifications they already hold will apply to all EU-domiciled students. (197142)

All students, including EU-domiciled students, who wish to study an equivalent or lower level course of higher education in England will be affected by the new funding arrangements.

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills whether the new arrangements for funding students studying for qualifications that are equivalent or lower to qualifications they already hold will apply to students funded via Train to Gain. (197143)

The new arrangements apply to students studying for higher education qualifications which are equivalent to or lower than ones they already hold, whereas Train to Gain funding has been predominantly focused on low and intermediate skills. We are clear that any eligible provision which is co-funded by employers will continue to attract public subsidies. Since it was launched in April 2006, Train to Gain has helped over 170,000 people gain qualifications ranging from basic skills, such as literacy and numeracy, to intermediate level skills (level 3). It has also helped employers source other non qualification skills support, such as Investors in People, as well as more general business support from Business Link.

Our plans for the expansion of Train to Gain were set out in November 2007 in Train to Gain: A Plan for Growth. Our ambition is that employers will be able to both identify and then source, against existing funding rules, their skills needs at all levels, including higher education.