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Higher Education: Admissions

Volume 478: debated on Thursday 26 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills if his Department will commission independent research to assess the effect on all socio-economic groups of his Department’s widening participation initiatives relating to medical studies. (213140)

Aimhigher is our primary vehicle for widening participation in higher education. It has a comprehensive evaluation strategy in place which is designed to show the impact of the programme over time.

The Department will not be commissioning specific research to assess the impact of widening participation initiatives relating to medicine. However, the Department monitors and analyses data by subject of study and socio-economic class.

DIUS will be gathering evidence on access to the professions, including medicine, to feed into the independent review of fees.

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what (a) discussions he has had and (b) steps he has taken with the Department of Health to improve widening participation initiatives to encourage students from all socio-economic groups into medicine. (213141)

The two Departments meet regularly to discuss education and health issues, including initiatives to support fairer access to the health professions.

Several medical schools run schemes, such as the extended medical programme, to encourage applications from bright students from disadvantaged or non-traditional backgrounds.

Aimhigher is our primary vehicle for widening participation in higher education. The Aimhigher Healthcare Strand has been developed in partnership with the Department of Health and the Higher Education Funding Council for England. Aimhigher has a comprehensive evaluation strategy in place which is designed to show the impact of the programme over time.

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many (a) mature and (b) part-time learners from the London Borough of Bexley entered higher education in each of the last 10 years. (213442)

The latest available information is shown in the table. Comparable figures for the 2007/08 academic year will be available in January 2009.

Entrants1 to undergraduate courses from Bexley local authority UK higher education institutions. Academic years 1997/98 to 2006/07

Bexley

Of all entrants2

Academic year

All Entrants

Mature3

Part-time

1997/984

1,200

505

275

1998/99

1,450

695

495

1999/2000

1,395

700

510

2000/01

1,620

810

590

2001/02

1,745

905

625

2002/03

1,785

910

630

2003/04

1,955

1,040

730

2004/055

2,035

1,085

735

2005/06

2,100

1,070

740

2006/07

2,125

1,040

705

1 Figures are on a snapshot basis as at 1 December to maintain a consistent time series across all years and are rounded to the nearest five. Figures include the Open University but exclude those on writing up, sabbatical or dormant modes of study.

2 Breakdowns for mature and part-time students contain double counting (i.e. part-time students over 21 years of age will be included in both columns).

3 Mature undergraduate students are aged 21 and over. Figures include a small number of students whose age was unknown.

4 Figures for 1997/98 exclude the Open University because there are no figures available for entrants to undergraduate courses at the Open University by local authority for this year.

5 The increase in entrants between 2004/05 and 2005/06 may be greater than in reality as a consequence of a problem identified with data submitted by the Open University (OU) in the 2004/05 academic year.

Source:

Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).