Higher Education: Admissions
Zac Goldsmith (Richmond Park, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment he has made of the effects on his policies of the 2012 university applications figures from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service showing a reduction in applications for courses in European languages.
David Willetts (Minister of State (Universities and Science), Business, Innovation and Skills; Havant, Conservative)
I have been asked to reply
on behalf of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
We estimate that in 2012 there will still be many more applications for higher education (HE) language courses than places available. 2011 was a record year in the overall number of people applying for HE places and a reduction this year could be considered inevitable, with a high proportion of applications for language courses coming from a reducing population of 18-year-olds.
In the recent grant letter, we asked the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to prioritise funding support for strategically important and vulnerable subjects, including modern foreign languages, to ensure the continued availability of language places in higher education institutions.