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Students: Fees and Charges

Volume 496: debated on Wednesday 9 September 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) how many learners at further education colleges paid (a) no fees, (b) partial fees and (c) full fees in the latest period for which figures are available; (287030)

(2) how many people studying at further education level are entitled to partial or complete remission of fees in respect of (a) age, (b) previous skills levels, (c) status as a benefit or tax credit claimant and (d) employment status.

Full funding is provided in respect of certain categories of learning and learners in line with the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) funding guidance at:

www.lsc.gov.uk

This includes: learners aged 16-18, adults undertaking Skills for Life literacy or numeracy qualifications, first full level 2, and first full level 3 (where the learner is aged 19-25) qualifications. Learners in receipt of income-related benefits are also eligible for full fee remission. For adult learners, where full fee remission does not apply, the amount of public funding provided assumes a contribution towards the cost of the course from the learner or employer. In 2009-10, the assumed fee contribution will be 47.5 per cent., with the Government contributing the remaining 52.5 per cent.

The post-16 Education and Skills Statistical First Release (SFR) (June 2009) shows that 2,464,100 learners participated in LSC funded further education provision in the 2007-08 academic year (this excludes Train to Gain and Apprenticeships). It is not possible to distinguish between learners who received full and partial LSC funding in all cases, for example where an FE college or provider waives fees and they do not record whether this is the full or partial amount of fee owed. It is therefore not possible to provide a full breakdown in this way.

It is possible to identify the number of learning aims studied in 2007-08 where full fee remission has been provided in line with Government fee policy. This is shown in the following table.

Fee remission in respect of:

Number of aims

Previous skill level (skills for life, level 2 and level 3 entitlement)

526,500

As a benefit or tax credit claimant

337,200

Of which in receipt of Job Seeker’s allowance

79,500

Total

863,700

Notes:

Information is based on further education, adult and community learning and university for industry data—information is not available for work-based learning (WBL) data.

Learners with aims in more than one category will be counted once for every category in which they appear. However, where learners are eligible for more than one reason for a single aim, they will be recorded against only one category. Therefore, the total provided may not represent all of the people who are eligible for a particular category.

Source:

Individualised Learner Record, 2007-08.

Information on learners who pay the full fee amount themselves is not available.