Skip to main content

Overseas Students: English Language

Volume 502: debated on Wednesday 16 December 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many places were available on English for Speakers of Other Languages courses for immigrants in (a) 2007-08, (b) 2008-09 and (c) 2009-10. (306000)

[holding answer 10 December 2009]: Information is not available on the number of places for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses. Providers ensure adequate places are made available to support local demand.

We do, however, publish the number of Learning and Skills Council funded learners participating on a Skills for Life ESOL course in each academic year. Information for 2007/08 and 2008/09 (provisional) was published in a Statistical First Release (SFR) on 22 October 2009 at:

Updated information for 2008/09 will be published on 17 December 2009.

Information on the number of immigrants enrolling on courses is not available.

In the 2007/08 academic year, there were 2,170 entrants to HE level courses in English as a Second Language. It is not possible to identify how many of these students were immigrants. The level of detail of individual subjects is not consistently recorded by institutions. Subject of study is only required at the subject line level (i.e. Q3 English studies), though some institutions choose to record subjects at a lower level (i.e. Q330 English as a second language). As such, the above figures may undercount the numbers studying “English as a Second Language”, as some institutions may have chosen to code as “English studies”.