§ Mrs. Renée Short
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what assessments have been made by his Department of the demand for student places at universities and polytechnics during the next three years; 449W how these compare with the numbers which were available between 1982 and 1985; and how far central Government financing for tertiary education institutions takes these future assessments into account.
§ Sir Keith Joseph
The Department assesses demand for higher education as a whole. Such forecasts were more recently published in "The Development of Higher Education into the 1990s" (Cmnd. 9524). Revised projections should be published next year. Total student numbers are expected to remain at broadly present levels or to increase slightly over the next three years compared with 1984. Provisional figures for the United Kingdom as a whole show that in 1984–85 there were 540,000 home full-time and sandwich students in higher education compared with 519,000 in 1982–83. The comparable figures for my own areas of responsibility (Great Britain universities and advanced further education in England) are 478,000 and 466,000, respectively. The Government's expenditure plans should provide sufficient resources to allow demand to be met at the expected level.