HC Deb 23 July 1985 vol 83 c506W
23. Mr. Beith

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what plans he has to improve access to further and higher education for mature students.

Mr. Brooke

Mature candidates compete on equal terms for places in further and higher education alongside younger candidates. All those who are eligible should be able to find a place. For higher education the recent Green Paper (Cmnd. 9524) redefines the guidelines for determining access to place greater emphasis on the intellectual competence, motivation and maturity of the student in a way that should benefit the mature candidate without formal qualifications (paragraphs 3.1–3.3). The Green Paper also draws attention to the value of access courses for older candidates aspiring to higher education (paragraph 6.9). The projections of demand for higher education underlying the Government's expenditure plans allow for increasing numbers of mature entrants to higher education as the relevant age groups increase with the onward movement of the population bulge.