HC Deb 20 March 2001 vol 365 cc151-2W
Ms Oona King

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what percentage of pupils left secondary school to take up university courses in(a) 1971, (b) 1977, (c) 1987, (d) 1997, (e) 1998, (f) 1999 and (g) 2000. [152160]

Mr. Wicks

The available data, showing the proportion of under 21-year-olds who enter higher education, are shown in the following table. There was an increase in the index in 1997–98 related partly to changes in the funding arrangements for higher education, with students choosing to enter HE rather than wait until 1998–99. There was a corresponding reduction in 1998–99 before the entry rates started to increase again in 1999–2000. Between 1996–97 and 1999–2000, total HE students in English universities and colleges rose by 76,000.

Age participation index (API)1
Academic year Percentage
1971–72 14
1977–78 13
1987–88 15
1997–98 33
1998–99 31
1999–2000 32
2000–012 32–34
1The API is defined as the number of home domiciled initial entrants to full-time and sandwich undergraduate HE aged under 21, expressed as a percentage of the average number of 18 and 19-year-olds in the population.
2Projected: data on initial entrants are not yet available.