HC Deb 18 March 2002 vol 382 cc110-2W
Mr. Bendel

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make a statement on the purpose of higher education. [43644]

Margaret Hodge

The purposes of higher education are: to provide high quality teaching to a widening body of students; to undertake research and scholarship which competes with the best in the world; to transfer knowledge and understanding to the economy and the wider community for the benefit of all; and to sustain a culture which underpins our democracy and encourages critical thinking.

John Mann

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment she has made of the proportion of children entering higher education whose fathers are coal miners or former coal miners in the last 10 years; and what the average proportion is for the general population. [41798]

Margaret Hodge

The available information, showing participation by young people in higher education for each of the standard social class categories, is shown in the following table. Participation rates for individual occupations within these categories are not held centrally.

The Government are committed to raising the participation rates for people from less affluent family backgrounds, and has introduced Excellence Challenge, including the Aim Higher campaign, which is targeted at raising attainment and aspirations among young people who traditionally would not consider going to university.

Age participation index (API)1 by social class Great Britain 2000–01
Social class Percentage entering HE
I Professional 76
II Intermediate 48
IIIN Skilled non manual 33
IIIM Skilled manual 19
IV Partly skilled 19
V Unskilled 14
All social classes 33
1 The API is defined as the number of GB 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.

Mr. Steinberg

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what planned expenditure on higher education was in 1997 for the subsequent five financial years; and what the total outturn spending on higher education was in each of those years, including proceeds of tuition fees. [41832]

Margaret Hodge

[holding answer 8 March 2002]: Publicly planned expenditure for higher education in England is set out in the annual grant letter issued to the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

£ million
Publicly planned expenditure1 Outtrun
1997–98 4,699 4,696
1998–99 4,884 4,894
1999–2000 5,203 5,133
2000–01 5,452 25,536
2001–02 5,853 3
1 Figures reflect grant letter announcements and include public and student contributions to tuition fees, ear-marked capital, allocations for access and widening participation paid via institutions, HE expenditure for the British Academy and directly funded DfES small programmes. They exclude funds paid to students for their maintenance support.
2 Provisional.
3 Figures not yet available.

Mr. Rendel

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will state the proportion of those aged 18 to 30 participating in higher education(a) as calculated using the initial entry rate and (b) broken down to show the age participation rate for each year group. [43645]

Margaret Hodge

The initial entry rate (IER) for English domiciled 18 to 30-year-olds was 40 per cent. for 1999–2000, the latest year for which final student data are available. This is estimated to rise to 41.5 per cent. for 2001–02.

The individual year of age entry rates for 1999–2000 are shown in the table.

Age1 Initial entry rate2 Per cent.
183 20.0
19 9.5
20 2.5
21 1.5
22 1.0
23 1.0
24 1.0
25 0.5
26 0.5
27 0.5
28 0.5
29 0.5
30 0.5
1 Age as at 31 August 1999.
2 HE entrants in 1999–2000 as a percentage of separate age population; excludes entrants with previous HE experience and excludes courses of less than one year duration. Note that the individual rates are shown rounded to the nearest 0.5 per cent. and so do not add up to exactly 40 per cent. in the table.
3 Includes a small number of entrants aged 17.