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Higher Education: Admissions

Volume 485: debated on Tuesday 16 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many students who were formerly children in care were admitted to a university in 2007. (241743)

I have been asked to reply.

The information requested is not collected centrally by the Department.

Information on children looked after by local authorities is collected through the SSDA903 data collection. This collection includes information on children who are looked after, children who are adopted and children who were looked after and have left care. This information has been published in the Statistical First Release “Children looked after in England (including adoption and care leavers) year ending 31 March 2008” (SFR 23/2008), which is available on the Department's website via the following link:

Table G1 contains information on children aged 19 who were previously looked after aged 16 and gives details of their activity at aged 19 which includes numbers and percentages in higher education.

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills (1) how many higher education institutions had agreed access targets with the Office for Fair Access in (a) 2005-06, (b) 2006-07 and (c) 2007-08; (243207)

(2) how many higher education institutions were subject to sanctions by the Office for Fair Access for failing to meet agreed access targets in (a) 2005-06, (b) 2006-07 and (c) 2007-08.

A higher education institution (HEI) must have in place an access agreement validated by the Director for Fair Access if they wish to charge variable fees. All such access agreements entered into by higher education institutions (HEIs) include indicators to measure progress in widening access. In the first academic year of variable fees (2006-07) 124 HEIs offering full-time publicly funded undergraduate provision had an access agreement. This rose to 128 in 2007-08.

The Director for Fair Access assesses for each year whether each institution has complied with the terms of its access agreement, and where he finds this is not the case he is empowered to impose sanctions. In his assessment for 2006-07, he found that all institutions were compliant with their access agreements, and therefore the issue of sanctions does not arise. The Director expects to publish his conclusions for 2007-08 early next year.