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Higher Education: Finance

Volume 474: debated on Wednesday 2 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what assessment has been made of the likely effect on (a) female, (b) mature and (c) disabled students of the Government's proposed reduction in spending on equal and lower qualification students; and if he will make a statement. (195300)

Our policy is a progressive redistribution of £100 million in institutional funding by 2010 away from students who already have a first HE qualification and want to study another one at an equivalent or lower level towards first time entrants which will enable millions more people of working age without a first HE qualification to participate in higher education and enjoy all the benefits it brings. Within that group, about half are female, a quarter are over 50 and a quarter have a disability and these students will all have more opportunities as a result of the ELQ policy. The majority are likely to be mature learners from non-traditional backgrounds who want to study part-time.