Stephen Ladyman Press Release
Stephen Ladyman welcomes rise in young people going to university
The number of young people from East Kent going to university has soared by over 39% over the last 10 years according to local MP, Stephen Ladyman:
"The number of young people going to university from my own South Thanet constituency alone has risen from 300 in 97/8 to 410 in the year 2007/8 and there are similar rises from every local constituency."
"155 more people are going to university each year from North Thanet, 130 more each year from Canterbury and 130 more each year from the Dover constituency. Overall that's 515 more people going onto study for a degree each year from East Kent."
"It hasn't been easy but the Government should be congratulated for this success. It had to do a lot of unpopular things, like introducing university charges, to get more funding into universities but it has stuck to its guns and has been vindicated by these results."
"What the Government has seldom been given credit for is that it introduced Educational Maintenance Allowances to get kids to stay on at school and revamped the student grant and loan system to give a lot more help to people from low income families and to make repaying student debts more affordable. That is why more students are able to go to university and the universities are now able to find more places for them. Conservative plans to slash £610m from the universities and skills budgets would undermine all this success."
Note to editors:
The number of people under 21 from the Thanet, Dover and Canterbury constituencies going into higher education in the years shown:
97/8 2007/8 %rise
South Thanet 300 410 36.7
North Thanet 275 420 52.7
Canterbury 445 575 29.2
Dover 295 425 44.1
All UK 277,210 345,455 24.6
To widen participation in higher education, Labour has:
* Introduced, and then increased student grants so that over two thirds of students get a full or partial grant of up to £2,835.
* Introduced the Aimhigher scheme as well as the Aimhigher mentoring scheme to raise young peoples' aspirations, encourage them that to believe that university could be for them, and help them get there
* Expanded the gifted and talented programme to help pupils reach their potential.
* Encouraged universities to form deep, long term structural links with schools, such as sponsoring an academy or trust school, to help raise aspirations, drive up standards, and help young people apply to university.
* Increased attainment at GCSE and A-level so that more young people have the necessary qualifications to go to university.
* Required all universities to publish their admissions policies and procedures, and show they are being fairly implemented.
* Increased investment in higher education by over 23% since 1997, so that more young people than ever before have the opportunity to get a degree.
Whilst Labour has increased investment in higher education by 23%, the Conservatives would cut £610m from the universities and skills budgets, which would mean fewer young people from round her being able to get into higher education.
Dr Stephen Ladyman
MP for South Thanet
House of Commons
Tel: 01843 852696
Fax: 01843 852689