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Higher Education: Admissions

Volume 477: debated on Thursday 12 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many people resident in England were accepted by a university in (a) 1996-97 and (b) 2006-07, broken down by (i) age band, (ii) sex and (iii) county of residence. (208856)

[holding answer 9 June 2008]: The latest available information, showing the number of full-time undergraduate entrants by their local authority of domicile is given in tables, copies of which have been placed in the Libraries.

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what steps the Government plans to take to increase numbers of young people going to university. (210394)

Our January 2008 grant letter to the Higher Education Funding Council for England provided sufficient funding for recruitment by 2011 of 60,000 new students. This increase builds on our consistent track record of growing student numbers to record levels. But we are not simply concerned with recruiting younger students. Our development of new models for the funding and design of higher education (HE) courses will also enable us to grow the number of mature students entering HE part-time.

As part of this strategy for growth, we have asked the Funding Council over the next six years to support 20 new HE centres with around 10,000 student places, under our new University Challenge initiative. This will allow more students to gain access to HE locally. We are also committed to a steep increase in the number of people studying for foundation degrees. Our ambition to provide 100,000 foundation degree enrolments by 2010 will support young people and adults in employment to develop higher level work-related skills.

We believe that there will be demand for the new places we are creating. Improvements to the student support package for full-time students in England announced last July will further encourage more young people to go to university. For young people, we know that the best way to increase participation in HE is to raise level 2 achievement in schools at age 16 with an increase in young people attaining five GCSEs at grades A* to C to 62 per cent. from 37 per cent. in 1997. New study options for young people at age 14, the Aimhigher Programme and HE institutions’ own outreach activity working directly with schools all help to raise aspirations and achievement across the board.

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what percentage of (a) state school and (b) private school students in (i) the UK, (ii) Leeds Metropolitan District and (iii) Leeds, West constituency were admitted to higher education in each year since 1997. (211177)

It is not possible to answer the question as it is posed. However, the following information is what is currently available.

The proportion of young entrants to full-time first degree courses in the UK, who had previously attended a state school or college is shown in table 1. All schools or colleges that are not denoted ‘independent’ are assumed to be state schools. This means that students from sixth form or further education colleges, for example, are included as being from state schools. Information specifically on the percentage of private school students admitted to higher education is not available.

Table 1: Proportion of young entrants to full-time first degree courses, who had previously attended a state school or college, UK higher education institutions, academic years 1997/98 to 2006/07

Percentage

1997/98

81.8

1998/99

85.0

1999/2000

84.9

2000/01

85.7

2001/02

86.0

2002/03

87.2

2003/04

86.8

2004/05

86.7

2005/06

87.4

2006/07

87.8

Source:

Performance Indicators in Higher Education, published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).

HEFCE’s “Young participation in Higher Education” publication includes the proportion of young people who enter higher education at age 18 or 19 by parliamentary constituency, although this only covers the years up to 2000 and is not available by school type. Participation rates based on this work are given on the supporting POLAR website at:

www.hefce.ac.uk/polar

The proportion of young people from Leeds, West constituency and from England, who entered higher education at age 18 or 19 is shown in table 2. Figures are shown under the year in which the cohort turned 18. Figures for Leeds metropolitan district are not available.

Table 2: Proportion of young people who entered higher education at age 18 or 19

Percentage

Leeds, West constituency entering HE aged 18 or 19

England entering HE aged 18 or 19

1997

13

29

1998

14

29

1999

14

29

2000

13

30