HC Deb 12 January 1998 vol 304 c108W
Ms Gorrie

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how soon after supplying the necessary information to the Student Awards Agency applicants for places at Scottish colleges and universities will be notified of the amount they or their parents will have to contribute towards their fees. [21877]

Mr. Wilson

The Student Awards Agency for Scotland will be expected to meet its published performance target and respond to fully completed applications within 28 calendar days of receipt. This will apply to both students continuing their studies under the existing arrangements and those entrants in academic year 1998–99 whose entitlement to support with tuition fees will be subject to means-testing.

Mr. Gorrie

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) what additional resources will be allocated to colleges and universities to enable them to pursue the collection of fee income from students and parents who are reluctant to pay; [22272]

(2) what allowance for uncollected fee income is built into the calculations about college and university finances. [22361]

Mr. Wilson

From academic year 1998–99, new students entering full-time courses of higher education will be liable to contribute up to £1,000 towards their tuition. The balance will be paid by the Student Awards Agency in Scotland. The financial support made available to universities and colleges will assume that the assessed fee contributions from students will be paid, but the actual collection arrangements will be a matter for each institution.

On 3 December, the Government announced that an additional £17 million would be available to higher education sector and an additional £8 million to the further education sector in 1998–99. Uncollected fees and the cost of collection were factors taken into account in the Government's assumption that higher education institutions will collect some £14 million net, and further education colleges some £2 million, in fee income directly from students. This assumed a 5 per cent. reduction in potential gross fee income to take account of uncollected fees and the cost of collection.