To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the effects on organisations that operate gap-year placement programmes of the likely reduction in demand for such placements in 2011 resulting from the increase in the cap on tuition fees in 2012.
A relatively small number of prospective students apply each year for deferred entry to higher education, including those who decide to undertake a gap year. Statistics on deferred entry to higher education are available via the University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). In 2010, 479,057 applicants accepted a place; 32,983 of these deferred entry to 2011. UCAS has sent a message to those who have applied for 2012 entry alerting them to the Government's recent announcement about future funding for higher education, directing them to the BIS website for additional information and suggesting further discussion with their preferred university. The decision to defer entry to higher education is not generally taken lightly and there will be a number of considerations that individuals will, doubtless, take into account. It is not possible to say at this stage whether any of those who have applied for deferred entry will seek to reapply for 2011 and so no assessment has been made of the impact on gap-year placement organisations.