§ Mr. Boswell
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement on recent developments in the establishment of foundation degrees. 
§ Mr. Wicks
The core features of foundation degrees were set out in the 'Foundation degree prospectus', issued in July by the Higher Education Funding Council for England. These features will ensure that the foundation degree becomes a valued vocational HE qualification that meets employers' needs. The prospectus also invited bids from consortia to design and develop the prototype foundation degree programmes.
HEFCE received proposals from 56 consortia of HEIs, FECs and employers by the deadline earlier this month. This represents well over half of institutions with degree awarding powers drawn from across the higher education sector. We welcome this enthusiastic response and clear commitment to foundation degrees. The successful consortia will be announced in late November.