HC Deb 12 December 1986 vol 107 cc229-30W
Mr. Dover

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what measures the Government are taking to bring about a reduction in the per capita cost of higher education; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Walden

Since 1979 the number of home students in higher education in Great Britain has increased by 18 per cent. Over the same period total public expenditure on higher education has remained roughly constant in real terms. For the university sector, my right hon. Friend has agreed a programme of action with the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals and the University Grants Committee so as to sustain and improve quality and cost-effectiveness; that programme is detailed in letters dated 4 and 5 November from the chairmen of the two

School leavers with one or more "A" level passes1 Number of pupils aged2
16 17 18 19 and over
1979 113.5 202.1 129.5 11.6 1.0
1980 117.0 210.6 133.8 12.5 1.4
1981 120.8 221.4 140.2 13.6 1.4
1982 127.9 240.9 149.8 16.0 1.7
1983 131.2 238.2 155.0 17.5 1.8
1984 129.8 224.2 149.2 18.6 2.1
1985 125.8 215.8 142.3 18.0 2.0
1 Relates to academic years 1978–79 to 1984–85.
2 Numbers in January of year shown with ages at 31 August of preceding year.

Mr. Walden

Information for home full-time and sandwich and part-time students are shown in the following table. Figures for 1986 are not yet available.

committees, copies of which are in the Library. For the public sector, my right hon. Friend's predecessor invited the national advisory body for public sector higher education (NAB) to undertake a study of good management practice, which will be completed in the new year; that invitation was contained in a letter of 8 May 1985, a copy of which is being placed in the Library.

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