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Students: Voluntary Work

Volume 488: debated on Monday 2 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what Government (a) guidance and (b) funding initiatives are available to higher education institutions to support student volunteering. (259108)

The Department, through the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), has provided significant funding to higher education institutions (HEIs) to support staff and student volunteering—£52 million up to 2008-09 under the HE Active Community Fund (HEACF) and the Teaching Quality Enhancement Fund. The funding has now been mainstreamed and the intention is that institutions will decide how they continue to support student/staff volunteering through their block grants.

From 2002 to 2006 at least 60,000 people benefited from HEACF volunteer projects. The funding was focussed on helping HEIs to develop and grow volunteering opportunities to build closer links with the community and to help students further develop their employability and generic skills. HEFCE provided HEIs with guidance in support of this funding stream.

The Higher Education Academy's Annual Volunteer Awards recognises the important contribution of volunteering undertaken by staff and students in institutions.