Innovation, Universities and Skills Committee

6 December 2007

No.6 (07-08)


Funding for Equivalent or Lower Qualifications (ELQs)

The Innovation, Universities and Skills Committee is to conduct an inquiry into the Government's decision to phase out support given to institutions for students taking second qualifications of an equivalent or lower level (ELQs) to their first qualifications. The inquiry will focus on:

the arguments for and against the Government's decision to phase out support to institutions for students studying ELQs;

the timing of the decision and of the implementation of the change;

the exemptions from the withdrawal of funding proposed by the Higher Education Funding Council for England;

the impact upon students, including whether the change will affect some groups of students more than others; and

the impact of the change upon institutions, with particular reference to the long-term implications for specialised institutions such as the Open University and Birkbeck College London.

The Committee would welcome written evidence from interested organisations and individuals, including from students studying for ELQs, addressing these points by noon on Monday, 14 January 2008.

Guidelines for the submission of evidence

Evidence should be submitted in Word format, and should be sent via e-mail to The body of the e-mail must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. The e-mail should also make clear who the submission is from.

Submissions should be as brief as possible, and certainly no more than 3,000 words. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, and the document should include a brief executive summary. Those submitting evidence are reminded that evidence should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere. Once submitted no public use should be made of it, but those wishing to publish their evidence before it is published by the Committee are invited to contact the Clerk of the Committee to obtain permission to do so. Guidance on the submission of evidence can be found at:

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1. Committee Membership is as follows:

Mr Phil Willis (Liberal Democrat, Harrogate and Knaresborough)(Chairman)
Adam Afriyie (Conservative, Windsor)
Dr Roberta Blackman-Woods (Labour, City of Durham)
Mr Ian Cawsey (Labour, Brigg & Goole)
Mrs Nadine Dorries (Conservative, Mid Bedfordshire)
Dr Ian Gibson (Labour, Norwich North)
Dr Evan Harris (Liberal Democrat, Oxford West & Abingdon)
Dr Brian Iddon (Labour, Bolton South East)
Mr Gordon Marsden (Labour, Blackpool South)
Dr Bob Spink (Conservative, Castle Point)
Ian Stewart (Labour, Eccles)
Mr Graham Stringer (Labour, Manchester, Blackley)
Dr Desmond Turner (Labour, Brighton Kemptown)
Mr Rob Wilson (Conservative, Reading East)

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