(2) how many and what proportion of part-time undergraduate students in England received a course grant in the latest period for which figures are available.
Information from the Student Loans Company shows that, in the academic year 2006-07, of English domiciled part-time students, around 44,000 received fee grants and 46,000 received course grants. Each total represents around 10 per cent. of part-time undergraduate students. Part-time students need to be studying at 50 per cent. of the intensity of a full-time student to apply for both a fee and course grant.
This Government were the first to introduce statutory support for part-time students, in 2000/01. In 2006-07, we introduced the most generous package of financial support ever for part-time students in England. This included increasing the maximum fee grant by 27 per cent. and an above-inflation increase in the income threshold for receiving this support. English-domiciled part time students in 2006-07 received £11 million course grant and £27 million fee grant, compared with £9 million course grant and £19 million fee grant in 2005-06.
The part-time package is different from the support available to full-time students because it has been designed to meet the particular needs of part-time students. Unlike full-time students, many part-time students are in full-time employment—two-thirds according to the Woodley report, published at the end of 2004. That report also found that 36 per cent. of part-time students receive full fee support from their employer.