HC Deb 20 January 1986 vol 90 cc66-7W
Mr. Tim Smith

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what information he has as to how the United Kingdom compares internationally in the nature and scope of the support given to students in higher education.

Sir Keith Joseph

The United Kingdom is much more generous. We spend on average between three and five times as much per student as is spent in the Netherlands and West Germany and much more still compared to Denmark, France and Italy. The United Kingdom devotes a much higher proportion of its GNP to student support than other major developed countries. The following table compares two measures of student support (excluding fees) as a percentage of gross national product and per student:

Student support* averaged over all students 1982 a Student support as a percentage of GNP 1982 b Type of support c
France•[...] £66 0.03 per cent. Loan and Grant
Germany, Federal Republic of £230 0.09 per cent. ▀Loan and Grant
Italy £32 0.02 per cent. Grant only
Japan# £0 0.00 per cent. Loan only
Netherlands £281 0.13 per cent. Loan and Grant
United States of America £104 0.09 per cent. Loan and Grant

* National currencies converted to £sterling using indices of equal purchasing power—ie an international form of Retail Price Index which allows for exchange rates and differences in the cost of living between countries.

Expenditure on student support has been divided by all higher education students (97 per cent. of full-time students receive awards in the United Kingdom) not simply by those in receipt of grants or loans.

Figure based on full-time home students.

[...] Figure based on full-time and part-time students.

[...] 1980 data (at 1982 values for column a).

[...] 1980 data for Metropolitan France (at 1982 values for column a).

Loans only from 1983.

1979 data (at 1982 values for column a).

# Loans are available but take up is negligible.

Source: UNESCO Statistical Yearbook.