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Higher Education: Business

Volume 482: debated on Wednesday 5 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what estimate he has made of the overall level of co-funding by (a) employers and (b) individuals for part-time undergraduate qualifications in relation to (a) first degrees and (b) other undergraduate qualifications. (232399)

A 2004 study for the former DFES looked at various sources contributing to how part-time HE students' fees were paid. It estimated that 36 per cent. of all part-time students had the whole fee paid by their employer. The remainder paid their fees themselves, or with help from family and friends, financial assistance schemes, employers or other sources. This report is available at:

http://www.dfes.gov.uk/research/data/uploadfiles/RR600.pdf.

A smaller 2006 study for universities UK found that three in five part-time students paid for some of the fees themselves, with 35 per cent. getting financial support from their employer. This is available at

http://www.universitiesuk.ac.uk/Publications/Bookshop/Documents/parttime_strand3.pdf

The Government are supporting a new form of flexible higher education co-funded by employers, and has set the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) a target of supporting 5,000 new co-funded entrants in 2008-09. To date, HEFCE has agreed proposals to deliver around 8,000 places for 2008-09.