HC Deb 21 October 2002 vol 391 cc38-9W
Mr. Boswell

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the average extra cost is of a marginal student under the programme of widening access to higher education. [74669]

Margaret Hodge

[holding answer 15 October 2002]: The information requested is not available.

We are determined to encourage more people from under-represented groups to enter higher education. Through the Excellence Challenge we are spending £190 million over 3 years to raise the attainment and aspirations of young people in some of the most deprived areas of the country. Our AimHigher campaign, which includes a roadshow for schools and colleges in Excellence Challenge areas is promoting the benefits of higher education. We have also introduced significant extra financial help for students who need it, including increasing Access and Hardship Funds fourfold, a child care grant and a travel books and equipment grant for student parents, and, as part of the Excellence Challenge, we have introduced Opportunity Bursaries for young people from low income backgrounds. We have also significantly increased support for part-time students through fee waivers and loans. Additionally the Higher Education Funding Council for England also provides significant funding for widening participation including the postcode premium for institutions which they increased to £41 million this year. Their funding for widening participation totals about £180 million in 2002–03, including student support.