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Students: Debts

Volume 487: debated on Tuesday 10 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what the average amount of debt of (a) full-time undergraduate, (b) part-time undergraduate and (c) postgraduate students was on leaving university in each year since 1997. (255386)

The personal debt of students is a reflection of their overall financial position when they leave university. It takes into account student loan and commercial borrowing less their savings.

The most recent assessment made of the personal debt of students on graduation for English domiciled full-time and part-time undergraduate students was the 2004/05 Student Income and Expenditure Survey (SIES). The survey found that full-time undergraduates left university with average personal debt of £7,918, and part-time students graduated in credit by £347 on average.

A consistent time series for these estimates is not available because earlier surveys were based on samples with differing characteristics. For example, in 1998/99, average personal debt on graduation was estimated to be £3,462 for UK full-time undergraduates; and in 2002/03, £8,666 for English and Welsh full-time undergraduates under 25 years old.

The 2007/08 SIES is expected in the spring, and this will provide an assessment of the financial position of students who left university in 2008.