§ Mr. Wigley
To ask the Secretary of State for Education what has been the financial allocation in real terms for students with disabilities to enter university nationwide in each year since 1985–86.
§ Mr. Boswell
The first table shows the value of the supplementary allowances available to disabled students on first degree and comparable courses at universities and other higher institutions under the Education (Mandatory Awards) Regulations between 1985–86 and 1992–93.
The second table shows the total expenditure on these allowances by local education authorities in England and Wales between 1985–86 and 1990–91, the latest year for which this information is available. Assistance may also be available to disabled students from other sources.
§ Mr. Boswell
The Government aim to ensure that people with disabilities are able to benefit from the higher education opportunities available. My right hon. Friend asked the new Higher Education Funding Council for England to consider how access for such students can be facilitated, and the council announced recently that it will allocate £3 million in 1993–94 for a special initiative to improve access for these students. The Government have also substantially increased the value and scope of the disabled students' allowances payable with the mandatory award. Information on the number of students with disabilities in higher education is not held centrally.