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The main measure for tracking progress on increasing participation is currently the higher education initial participation rate (HEIPR). This is the sum of the HE initial participation rates for individual ages between 17 and 30 inclusive. It covers English-domiciled first time entrants to HE courses, which are expected to last for at least six months, at UK higher education institutions and English, Scottish and Welsh further education colleges, and who remain on their course for at least six months. The earliest figure is 39.3 per cent for 1999/2000 and the latest available figure is 42.8 per cent. for 2005/06.
Equivalent figures for the 18-22-year-old age group are 33.4 per cent. for 1999/2000 and 36.2 per cent. for 2005/06.
Figures for 2006/07 will become available in 2008. The HEIPR is not disaggregated below national level.
HEFCE's "Young participation in Higher Education" publication includes the proportion of young people who enter higher education at age 18 or 19 by parliamentary constituency, although this only covers the years up to 2000. Participation rates based on this work are given on the supporting POLAR website (www.hefca,ac.uk/polar). These indicate that, for the cohort reaching 18 in 1997, the proportion of young people from Sunderland who entered higher education at age 18 or 19 was 20 per cent.. For the cohort reaching 18 in 2000, the proportion of young people from Sunderland who entered higher education at age 18 or 19 was 19 per cent.