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Aimhigher Programme

Volume 481: debated on Tuesday 21 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what the projected cost of Aimhigher is for 2008-09. (229042)

Aimhigher is an important part of our policies to widen participation in higher education. Evidence from Excellence Challenge (a predecessor initiative which provided activities similar to those of Aimhigher) showed that, after just 18 months of the programme, it was having a significant effect on the aspirations of young people, and their attainment levels. The budget for Aimhigher for 2008-09 is £85.5 million, including contributions from the Higher Education Funding Council for England and the Department of Health. £3 million is for the new Aimhigher Associates initiative, which links undergraduates with young people at school or college to help them through educational transitions and into university.

Our policies are succeeding: the proportion of UK domiciled, young, full-time, first degree entrants to English higher education institutions who were from lower socio-economic groups rose from 27.9 per cent. in 2002/03 to 29.8 per cent. in 2006/07.