HC Deb 05 July 1983 vol 45 c70W
32. Mr. Viggers

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is the current age participation rate into full-time higher education; what was the figure for 1978–79; and how it compares with the figure for other major industrial countries.

Mr. Brooke

For 1982–83, the age participation rate for young home entrants to full-time higher education in Great Britain is provisionally estimated at 13.5 per cent. That for 1978–79 was 12.4 per cent.

A direct comparison with the rates for full-time education in other countries would not be valid because of differences in the educational systems — lengths of course, availability of part-time education, and so on. A more comparable measure of participation, evolved by the OECD, is illustrated in the following table which takes all new entrants to higher education, including those wishing to study part-time, as a proportion of the numbers in the most relevant age group:

International comparison of the percentage of the relevant age group entering higher education in 1976–77*
New entrants as a percentage of relevant population
Age group per cent.
Japan 18 39.2
France 18.20 27.7
Federal Republic of Germany 19.21 19.2
Italy 19.21 30.6
United Kingdom (1977–78) 18.19 30.5
* This is the latest year for which these statistics are available.