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Written Question
Universities: Scotland
2 Jul 2020

Questioner: Peter Grant (SNP - Glenrothes)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent discussions he has had with the Scottish Government on the decision to cap the number of English students attending university in Scotland.

Answered by Michelle Donelan

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, and I have regular meetings with Scottish ministers, and with ministers from all the devolved administrations, about higher education issues. These discussions have included the development of student number controls policy. Departmental officials also have regular meetings and discussions with their counterparts.

Student number controls are a direct response to the COVID-19 outbreak. They are designed to minimise the impact to the financial threat posed by the outbreak and they form a key part of the package of measures to stabilise the admissions system. We want to make sure that university places are available to all who are qualified by ability and attainment to pursue them and who wish to do so.

These controls are a temporary measure and will be in place for one academic year only. Student number controls for institutions in the devolved administrations only apply to the number of English-domiciled entrants who will be supported with their tuition fees through the Student Loans Company. They are set at a level which will allow every institution to take more first year English students than they took last year. The funding of English-domiciled students is not a devolved matter, and it is right and fair that this policy should apply as consistently as possible wherever they are studying in the UK.

Ministers will continue to work closely with the devolved administrations on strengthening and stabilising the higher education system following the COVID-19 outbreak.


Written Question
Universities: Scotland
1 Jul 2020

Questioner: Peter Grant (SNP - Glenrothes)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what economic assessment he undertook of the potential effect on Scottish universities of capping numbers of students from England attending Scottish universities before making that decision.

Answered by Michelle Donelan

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, and I have regular meetings with Scottish ministers, and with ministers from all the devolved administrations, about higher education issues. These discussions have included the development of student number controls policy. Departmental officials also have regular meetings and discussions with their counterparts.

Student number controls are a direct response to the COVID-19 outbreak. They are designed to minimise the impact to the financial threat posed by the outbreak and they form a key part of the package of measures to stabilise the admissions system. We want to make sure that university places are available to all who are qualified by ability and attainment to pursue them and who wish to do so.

These controls are a temporary measure and will be in place for one academic year only. Student number controls for institutions in the devolved administrations only apply to the number of English-domiciled entrants who will be supported with their tuition fees through the Student Loans Company. They are set at a level which will allow every institution to take more first year English students than they took last year. The funding of English-domiciled students is not a devolved matter, and it is right and fair that this policy should apply as consistently as possible wherever they are studying in the UK.

Ministers will continue to work closely with the devolved administrations on strengthening and stabilising the higher education system following the COVID-19 outbreak.


Written Question
Department for Education: Freedom of Information
9 Jul 2015

Questioner: Peter Grant (SNP - Glenrothes)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, on how many occasions her Department applied the exemption in section 38(1)(b) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (disclosure likely to endanger the safety of any individual) in wholly or partly refusing a freedom of information request in each of the last five years.

Answered by Nick Gibb

Section 38(1)(a) and section 38(1)(b) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 were used by the Department for Education on the following numbers of occasions in each of the last 5 years:

Year

s38 (a) and (b)

s38(a) only

s38(b) only

2010

-

-

-

2011

1

-

-

2012

2

1

-

2013

-

-

-

2014

-

1

-

2015

4

-

1


Written Question
Department for Education: Freedom of Information
9 Jul 2015

Questioner: Peter Grant (SNP - Glenrothes)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, on how many occasions her Department applied the exemption in section 38(1)(a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (disclosure likely to endanger the physical or mental health of any individual) in wholly or partly refusing a freedom of information request in each of the last five years.

Answered by Nick Gibb

Section 38(1)(a) and section 38(1)(b) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 were used by the Department for Education on the following numbers of occasions in each of the last 5 years:

Year

s38 (a) and (b)

s38(a) only

s38(b) only

2010

-

-

-

2011

1

-

-

2012

2

1

-

2013

-

-

-

2014

-

1

-

2015

4

-

1


Written Question
Department for Education: Freedom of Information
9 Jul 2015

Questioner: Peter Grant (SNP - Glenrothes)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what instructions have been given to staff in her Department dealing with freedom of information requests on the application of Freedom of Information Act Awareness Guidance No. 19, issued by the Information Commissioner's Office, in considering whether to apply the exemptions in section 38 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Answered by Nick Gibb

No guidance has been issued to staff on the application of Freedom of Information Act Awareness Guidance No.19, issued by the Information Commissioner's Office, about the application of section 38 of the Act. However, the Ministry of Justice has published guidance on the use of this exemption, which is available at:

www.justice.gov.uk/information-access-rights/foi-guidance-for-practitioners/exemptions-guidance