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Higher Education: Admissions

Volume 481: debated on Thursday 23 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what Government grants are (a) available to and (b) planned to be introduced for universities for improving and widening social access to higher education. (227425)

The Government make available some £350 million each year through the widening participation premium in the institutional funding distributed by the Higher Education Funding Council. In addition, by paying the up front costs of tuition fees and providing extra support for students from families on modest incomes, the Government have committed well over £1 billion a year to enable universities to improve and widen social access to higher education. But whatever the level of funding provided by the Government, institutions that draw from a narrow social base will ultimately lose out if they deny themselves access to talented students from all backgrounds. That is the fundamental case for both widening participation and fair access.