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Students: Public Expenditure

Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 7th July 2011.

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Photo of Gareth Thomas Gareth Thomas Shadow Minister (Business, Innovation and Skills), Party Chair, Co-operative Party

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many (a) funded, (b) off-quota and (c) private student places for (i) full-time students and (ii) part-time students there were in each of the last three years; how many such places he expects there to be in each year of the comprehensive spending review period; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of David Willetts David Willetts Minister of State (Universities and Science)

The most recent Higher Education Statistics Agency data (HESA) relates to 2009/10. Data on Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) fundable students for the latest three available years is provided in the following table. These figures relate to HEFCE fundable students only, on all years of study. Additional places will be funded by Government Departments, charities and research bodies. The drop in fundable part-time students in 2008 is due to the removal of HEFCE funding for students studying for a qualification equal or lower than one they already hold.

HEFCE fundable 2007 2008 2009
Full-time 925,000 942,000 997,000
Part-time (headcount) 584,000 489,000 495,000

Information on the number of students at private HE providers is not collected centrally. HESA collects information on only one private provider (the university of Buckingham), however it recently published the results of a survey of private and for-profit providers of higher education covering the 2009/10 academic year, which can be found at the following website:

http://www.hesa.ac.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2086&ltemid=310

Data relating to closed (off quota) courses are shown in the following table. In addition to students attending closed courses, all non-EU students are outside student number controls.

Closed courses 2007 2008 2009
Full-time 1,745 1,816 1,612
Part-time (head count) 5,412 4,094 4,369
Source: 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-10 HESA student data

We do not have estimates of the likely number of students on private and off-quota courses over the spending review period. HEFCE fundable places are expected to remain broadly constant over the spending review period.

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