§ Mr. Wiggin
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many students in the UK dropped out of university during the academic year 2002/03. 682W
§ Alan Johnson
The available information on non-completion rates is published annually by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) in "Performance Indicators in Higher Education". The latest figures show that the overall non-completion rate for students starting full-time first degree courses in the UK in 1999/2000 is 17 per cent., which represents around 49,000 students.
Figures published in 2002 by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) show that the UK as a whole has one of the lowest non-completion rates among OECD countries.