§ Mr. D. E. Thomas
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many students in each of the universities and institutions of higher education in England and Wales are registered disabled; and what proportion they represent of the student population (a) in England, (b) in Wales and (c) in England and Wales.
§ Mr. Walden
As I explained in my reply on 18 November to the hon. Member for Stoke on Trent, Central (Mr. Fisher) at columns 137–38, information on disabled students in higher education is not available routinely. However, in 1985 a survey of students with special educational needs was carried out, covering public sector higher education and non-advanced further education in England. The survey estimated that there were some 600 students in public sector higher education34W who had special educational needs which required additional support or equipment. This represents about 15 per 10,000 students in public sector higher education.
The Open University had just over 2,000 disabled students (3 per cent. of all students) in the undergraduate programme at the start of 1986. Information is not collected for other universities.
Information for individual institutions could only be released with their consent and at disproportionate cost.
Public sector higher education in Wales is the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales.