§ Mr. Willis
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many students are currently in part-time(a) further and (b) higher education. 
§ Dr. Howells
The number of part-time students can be expressed on either a snapshot or a whole year basis. The latest available figures on both counts are given in the following table.
Part-time1 home and overseas students in the UK 1996–97 (provisional) Snapshot2 Whole Year3 Higher Education4 742.6 1,977.6 Further Education 2,097.1 3,717.4 1 For HE short (less than 19 weeks) full-time courses are recorded as part-time; for FE such courses are recorded as full-time. 2 The number of students who were on a course which was running on 1 December for HE students and 1 November for the majority of FE students. 3 The number of students who were on a course during some point in the academic year. 4 The whole year figure includes an estimated 941,000 students on courses not leading to a qualification on credit and which are not included in the snapshot figures.