HC Deb 19 March 1985 vol 75 cc469-70W
21. Mr. Alton

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what proposals he has to increase the proportion of non-standard entrants to higher education.

Mr. Brooke

Decisions about whom to admit to higher education courses are for individual institutions and their validating bodies. But the Government's projections of further demand assume continuing increases in the number of mature entrants to higher education, and the National Advisory Body's academic plans for the non-university sector are intended to promote part-time participation. Many students in these two overlapping categories are likely not to have the traditional entrance qualifications for higher education.

33. Mr. Freud

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what was his Department's projected age participation rate and the actual rate for each year since 1979.

Mr. Brooke

The Robbins report, published in 1963, stated that by 1980 about 17 per cent. of the age group will be entering full-time higher education. The 1972 White Paper "A Framework for Expansion" suggested that by about 1981 about 22 per cent. of the 18-year-old age group would enter higher education. The latest published projections and the actual figures are set out in the following table:

Newcastle upon Tyne, Central (Mr. Merchant) made it clear that the provisions for automatic membership of student unions can be amended only at the initiative of the governing bodies of the institutions concerned or by legislation; and that my right hon. Friend has no present intention of introducing legislation for this purpose. The Government sympathise with the concern expressed by hon. Members about the activities of student unions; the discussions to which I have referred today in my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Rutland and Melton (Mr. Latham) bear directly upon the issues that have generated this concern.