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Further Education: Finance

Volume 475: debated on Wednesday 14 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what the average cost of a further education level 3 course is. (205529)

The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) have a national funding rate for each level 3 qualification. The funding rate is based on the number of hours required to complete the course and includes a national fee assumption so that learners (not eligible for full fee remission) will contribute to the cost of the course. For the 2007/08 academic year the national fee assumption is 37.5 per cent. of the national funding rate.

The following table sets out the national funding rate for the most popular level 3 qualifications and the national fee assumption related to that type of qualification.

National funding rate and fee assumption for level 3 courses

£

Course type

National base rates1

Fee assumption (37.5 per cent.)

Key Skills

237

89

AS or A2 level (daytime study)

845

317

Applied AS or A2 level (daytime study)

2,641

990

GNVQ

2,641

990

Edexcel/OCR National Diploma

6,333

2,375

Edexcel/OCR National Certificate

5,103

1,913

Access to HE

3,051

1,144

1 Figures relate to duration of course rather than providing a per year rate as course lengths vary

While the national fee assumption is taken into account in the calculation of funding rates, it is for colleges and providers to determine the actual level of fee charged. It is therefore not possible to provide an average cost of a further education course to the learner.

In relation to the cost to the Department the average cost of a full level 3 course per year has been estimated at around £1,500 per year for the financial year 2007-08.