§ Mr. Fisher
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what percentage of 15-year-olds in secondary school have proceeded to a first degree course in the United Kingdom in each of the last 10 years for which statistics are available.
§ Mr. Brooke
Information is not readily available in the form requested. The Department's usual way of monitoring participation in higher education is the age participation index. This is defined as the number of full-time and sandwich home initial entrants to higher education aged under 21 expressed as a percentage of the average population of 18 and 19-year-olds. Initial entrants are those entering a higher education course for the first time and exclude those entering a second such course.
The index for Great Britain since 1974, with later years based on the most recent information, is as follows:
Percentage 1974 12.2 1975 12.3 1976 12.4 1977 12.3 1978 12.3 1979 12.5 1980 12.7 1981 13.5 1982 13.5 1983 13.3 1984 *13.7
Note: Entrants to initial teacher training courses with less than two A-levels are excluded.