To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what the higher education initial participation rate was in each year since 1997, broken down by (a) 18 to 21 and (b) 22 to 30 year olds in each local education authority area.
The main measure for tracking progress on increasing participation is 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 latest available figures are shown in Table 1:
|Table 1: Higher Education Initial Participation Rate for 17-30 year olds|
|HEIPR (17-30)||HEIPR (18-21)||HEIPR (22-30)|
|Notes: 1. The HEIPR is usually published to the nearest integer, but the figures are included to one decimal place to inform comparisons over time. 2. Numbers are quoted to the nearest thousand. Source: "Participation Rates in Higher Education: Academic Years 1999/2000-2006/07 (Provisional)" published by DIUS (2008). The HEIPR is not disaggregated below national level, and figures are not available for Earlier years than 1999/2000.|
Everyone has known for a long time that student applications fell for 2006/07—the first year of variable fees. We also know that they recovered strongly for 2007/08, to resume an upward trend. The numbers fall of 2006/07 has affected the HEIPR for that year. Unsurprisingly it has fallen. A year from now, we will know how the counterbalancing rises of 2007/08 will affect the HEIPR, We expect to see an increase in the HEIPR.