§ Q74. Mr. Andrew F. Bennett
asked the Prime Minister if she will make a statement on Government policy on the age participation rate of 18-year-olds in higher education.
§ The Prime Minister
The Government's policy is to provide places in higher education for those who wish to enter, are able to benefit from it and have the necessary intellectual competence, motivation and maturity. The age participation index (for 18 to 19-year-olds) has risen from 12.4 in 1979 to 13.7 in 1984 and is expected to go on rising to reach at least 15.5 by 1995–96. Similar proportionate increases have taken place, and are expected, in the number of mature entrants to higher education.