Further Education: Higher Education

Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 17th January 2012.

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Photo of David Laws David Laws Liberal Democrat, Yeovil

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what proportion of students in each age group were studying a higher education qualification in a further education college funded (a) directly by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, (b) via a university and (c) via the Skills Funding Agency in each of the last three years for which figures are available.

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

The answer to the question is shown in the following tables. These are the official figures provided by each funding body and are not comparable due to differing methodologies.

Figures from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) are shown on a full person equivalent basis and the age group refers to the age reported at the start of the course while figures from the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) are shown on a learner basis and the age group refers to the age reported at the start of the academic year. As the figures are not comparable, figures on the proportion of students funded by each category are not shown.

Table 1 shows the numbers of students studying for a higher education qualification in a further education college that are (i) HEFCE funded, (ii) indirectly funded by HEFCE (via a university), (iii) by another funding stream (for prescribed higher education courses) and (iv) by another funding stream (for franchised higher education courses). Detail on prescribed courses of higher education (HE) can be found on the HEFCE website:

http://www.hefce.ac.uk/pubs/circlets/2008/cl22_08/

Table 1: Learner participation (full person equivalent) in further education colleges for higher education courses funded by HEFCE and other funding streams, 2007/08 to 2009/10
(i) HEFCE funded
Age at start of course 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10
Under 21 17,800 18,700 20,800
21 to 24 9,200 9,600 10,600
25+ 21,300 22,400 23,000
Total 48,300 50,700 54,400
(ii) HEFCE indirectly funded
Age at start of course 2007/08 2008/09 2009/10
Under 21 17,600 18,000 20,700
21 to 24 7,800 8,200 8,900
25+ 28,200 28,600 29,000
Total 53,600 54,800 58,600
(iii) Other funding stream (prescribed HE)
Age at start of course 2007/08 2008/09 2009/10
Under 21 1,800 1,700 1,900
21 to 24 1,500 1,700 1,800
25+ 4,000 4,200 4,700
Total 7,300 7,600 8,400
(iv) Other funding stream (franchised HE)
Age at start of course 2007/08 2008/09 2009/10
Under 21 1,500 1,600 1,100
21 to 24 1,000 1,300 1,100
25+ 2,800 4,500 3,700
Total 5,300 7,400 5,900
Notes: 1. Students are counted if they are included in the standard registration population. 2. A student, studying at the same level, mode, subject and institution will be counted only once. 3. De-duplicating between the ILR and HESA record has been carried out. 4. Age groups refer to the age reported at the start of the course. 5. Some records have been removed from the ILR as they were returned incorrectly. Source: Individualised Learner Record (ILR) Data for HEFCE funded and HESA data record for HEFCE indirectly funded.

Information on the number of students studying higher education courses in further education and funded via the Skills Funding Agency is shown in Table 2.

Table 2: Learner participation in further education on level 4 and above courses funded by the Skills Funding Agency or Young People's Learning Agency
Age at start of academic year 2007/08 2008/09 2009/10
Under 21 4,000 4,300 4,200
21 to 24 6,400 6,300 5,600
25+ 43,900 48,700 40,800
Unknown (1) (1) (1)
Total 54,400 59,400 50,700
(1) Indicates a base value of less than 50. Notes: 1. Figures include learners in further education on level 4 or above courses that were funded by the Learning and Skills Council and/or are now funded by the Skills Funding Agency or Young People's Learning Agency. 2. Age groups refer to the age reported as at 31 August of the academic year, i.e. academic age. 3. Figures have been rounded up or down to the nearest hundred, so components may not sum to totals. 4. Figures do not include any learners returned in ILR collections for higher education institutions. Source: Individualised Learner Record (ILR) Data.

Information on the number of learners participating in further education is published in a quarterly Statistical First Release (SFR). The latest SFR was published on 27 October 2011:

http://www.thedataservice.org.uk/statistics/statisticalfirstrelease/sfr_current

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