§ Mr. Andrew Turner
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the average difference was between the cost of a student resident at home and a student resident away from home(a) to the student and (b) to public funds in each year since 1997. 
§ Margaret Hodge
Student costs consist of maintenance cost and tuition fee (if paid by the student).
The average assessed student contribution towards tuition fees depends on family income and does not vary according to whether the student lives at home or away from home. Parents are assumed to contribute towards the tuition costs of their student children. There are no data available which discriminate between the cost to the student only and the cost to other family members, i.e. parents/spouse/cohabitee.
The average assessed student contribution towards tuition fees for all eligible higher education students, in England and Wales, on courses subject to income-assessment for academic years 1999–2000 and 2000–01 (latest year available) are £470 and £510 respectively. Robust data on assessed student contributions for 564W academic year 1998–99 (the first year of the student support scheme funding arrangements) are not available.
The Department does not have up to date and reliable information on the amounts students actually spent supporting themselves. We are, however, conducting a limited Student Income and Expenditure Survey for the academic year 2002–03, which is due to report in July this year. We are conducting a comprehensive SIES for the academic year 2003–04 and the results will be available in November 2004.
The cost to public funds of the student maintenance loan, and where applicable the maintenance grant, varies according to whether the student lives at home or away from home as the amounts of support available depend on term-time residence. There are no data available, which compare these costs.