Written questions and answers

Written questions allow Members of Parliament to ask government ministers for information on the work, policy and activities of government departments.

Historical written answers can be found in Hansard.

Find the latest written questions and answers for the 2017-19 session below. We welcome your feedback on this service.

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Unique Identifying Number – Every written question in the House of Commons has a UIN per Parliament. In the House of Lords each written questions has a UIN per parliamentary session.
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Q
Asked by Layla Moran
(Oxford West and Abingdon)
Asked on: 22 November 2018
Department for Education
Higher Education: Standards
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect of a higher education provider’s Teaching Excellence Framework rating on the number of students that applied to study at that provider since the rating was awarded.
A
Answered by: Mr Sam Gyimah
Answered on: 30 November 2018

The purpose of the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) is to drive up standards of teaching quality in higher education, as well as to offer prospective students information about where to find high quality teaching and the most positive graduate outcomes.

We are assessing and evaluating the development of the TEF on an ongoing basis. Since 2016, we have published consultation reports, research reports and evaluation findings on the development of the TEF. The Office for Students also published its findings from the first year of the subject-level pilots on 22 October.

We intend to publish further research on the initial impact of the TEF, based on the provider-level evaluation 2016/17, in the New Year. That research report will include evidence, drawing on the views of providers and students, about the effect of the TEF on the choices made by students. It will also report on the perceptions of changes to institutional reputation that providers and students, both home and international, attribute to the TEF.

On 19 November, we announced the appointment of Dame Shirley Pearce as the independent reviewer of TEF. Dame Shirley Pearce will report on the operation of the TEF, in line with the remit set out for her in section 26 of the Higher Education and Research Act 2017. We expect her to report to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State in Summer 2019.

Grouped Questions: 194739 | 194740 | 194741
Q
Asked by Layla Moran
(Oxford West and Abingdon)
Asked on: 22 November 2018
Department for Education
Higher Education: Standards
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Teaching Excellence Framework on improvements in the quality of teaching at higher education providers.
A
Answered by: Mr Sam Gyimah
Answered on: 30 November 2018

The purpose of the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) is to drive up standards of teaching quality in higher education, as well as to offer prospective students information about where to find high quality teaching and the most positive graduate outcomes.

We are assessing and evaluating the development of the TEF on an ongoing basis. Since 2016, we have published consultation reports, research reports and evaluation findings on the development of the TEF. The Office for Students also published its findings from the first year of the subject-level pilots on 22 October.

We intend to publish further research on the initial impact of the TEF, based on the provider-level evaluation 2016/17, in the New Year. That research report will include evidence, drawing on the views of providers and students, about the effect of the TEF on the choices made by students. It will also report on the perceptions of changes to institutional reputation that providers and students, both home and international, attribute to the TEF.

On 19 November, we announced the appointment of Dame Shirley Pearce as the independent reviewer of TEF. Dame Shirley Pearce will report on the operation of the TEF, in line with the remit set out for her in section 26 of the Higher Education and Research Act 2017. We expect her to report to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State in Summer 2019.

Grouped Questions: 194738 | 194740 | 194741
Q
Asked by Layla Moran
(Oxford West and Abingdon)
Asked on: 22 November 2018
Department for Education
Higher Education: Standards
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that the Teaching Excellence Framework measures the quality of teaching at a higher education provider.
A
Answered by: Mr Sam Gyimah
Answered on: 30 November 2018

The purpose of the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) is to drive up standards of teaching quality in higher education, as well as to offer prospective students information about where to find high quality teaching and the most positive graduate outcomes.

We are assessing and evaluating the development of the TEF on an ongoing basis. Since 2016, we have published consultation reports, research reports and evaluation findings on the development of the TEF. The Office for Students also published its findings from the first year of the subject-level pilots on 22 October.

We intend to publish further research on the initial impact of the TEF, based on the provider-level evaluation 2016/17, in the New Year. That research report will include evidence, drawing on the views of providers and students, about the effect of the TEF on the choices made by students. It will also report on the perceptions of changes to institutional reputation that providers and students, both home and international, attribute to the TEF.

On 19 November, we announced the appointment of Dame Shirley Pearce as the independent reviewer of TEF. Dame Shirley Pearce will report on the operation of the TEF, in line with the remit set out for her in section 26 of the Higher Education and Research Act 2017. We expect her to report to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State in Summer 2019.

Grouped Questions: 194738 | 194739 | 194741
Q
Asked by Layla Moran
(Oxford West and Abingdon)
Asked on: 22 November 2018
Department for Education
Higher Education: Standards
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect a higher education provider’s Teaching Excellence Framework rating has on a provider’s (a) national and (b) international reputation.
A
Answered by: Mr Sam Gyimah
Answered on: 30 November 2018

The purpose of the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) is to drive up standards of teaching quality in higher education, as well as to offer prospective students information about where to find high quality teaching and the most positive graduate outcomes.

We are assessing and evaluating the development of the TEF on an ongoing basis. Since 2016, we have published consultation reports, research reports and evaluation findings on the development of the TEF. The Office for Students also published its findings from the first year of the subject-level pilots on 22 October.

We intend to publish further research on the initial impact of the TEF, based on the provider-level evaluation 2016/17, in the New Year. That research report will include evidence, drawing on the views of providers and students, about the effect of the TEF on the choices made by students. It will also report on the perceptions of changes to institutional reputation that providers and students, both home and international, attribute to the TEF.

On 19 November, we announced the appointment of Dame Shirley Pearce as the independent reviewer of TEF. Dame Shirley Pearce will report on the operation of the TEF, in line with the remit set out for her in section 26 of the Higher Education and Research Act 2017. We expect her to report to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State in Summer 2019.

Grouped Questions: 194738 | 194739 | 194740
Q
(East Devon)
Asked on: 27 November 2018
Department for Education
Republic of Ireland: Foreign Students
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions the Prime Minister has had with the President of the Republic of Ireland on the undergraduates from England studying at Irish universities; and whether the current financial arrangements will be made available to (a) them and (b) EU citizens after the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: Mr Sam Gyimah
Answered on: 30 November 2018

The UK government is firmly committed to maintaining the Common Travel Area (CTA) and to protecting the rights enjoyed by UK and Irish nationals when in each other’s states.

Article 5 of the Northern Ireland Protocol to the draft Withdrawal Agreement builds on December’s joint report and confirms that the UK and Ireland can continue to make arrangements between themselves concerning the CTA.

This means that rights to enter, reside, work, study and access social security and public services will be preserved on a reciprocal basis for UK and Irish nationals in the other’s state.

Arrangements on access to student finance support for other EU nationals starting a course in England after the transition period ends are under consideration.

Q
Asked by Chris Ruane
(Vale of Clwyd)
Asked on: 21 November 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Research: Expenditure
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much the Government has spent on R&D in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Mr Sam Gyimah
Answered on: 29 November 2018

The Government has increased spending on R&D in the last five years.

Table 3 of the ONS statistical bulletin “UK Government expenditure on science, engineering and technology 2016” gives the following figures for total UK Government net expenditure on R&D, including indicative UK contributions to EU R&D, of

£ million

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

9,953

10,816

10,941

11,070

11,230

We have an ambition to raise total public and private R&D expenditure to 2.4% of GDP by 2027. As a first step to reaching the 2.4% target, we announced in the 2016 Autumn Statement, and expanded in the 2017 Budget, an additional of £7 billion for R&D over 5 years from 2017-18 to 2021-22 as part of the National Productivity Investment Fund.

We expect to see 2017 data next March.

Q
(Knowsley)
Asked on: 22 November 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Copyright: EU Action
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support the inclusion in the EU Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market of provisions to ensure that creators receive fair remuneration for the use of their works.
A
Answered by: Mr Sam Gyimah
Answered on: 29 November 2018

The Government supports the principle that creators should be fairly rewarded for their work whilst ensuring that we continue to encourage investment in new content and innovative services. We are positively engaging with our European partners to achieve this.

Q
(Knowsley)
Asked on: 22 November 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Copyright: EU Countries
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of potential effect of the UK leaving the EU on the reciprocal relationships the UK has with the EU that enable collective management organisations to collect royalties from EU countries and distribute to creators in the UK.
A
Answered by: Mr Sam Gyimah
Answered on: 29 November 2018

The Government has considered this issue in the context of its Brexit analysis. It has concluded that the reciprocal arrangements between UK Collective Management Organisations (CMOs) and EU CMOs to collect royalties from EU countries and distribute to creators in the UK are private commercial agreements which are expected to continue after the UK has exited the European Union.

Q
Asked by Chi Onwurah
(Newcastle upon Tyne Central)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 26 November 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Research: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the accuracy of the estimate made by the Campaign for Science and Engineering that R&D funding will require an additional £9 billion a year by 2027 to meet the target of 2.4 per cent of GDP investment across the economy by that year.
A
Answered by: Mr Sam Gyimah
Answered on: 29 November 2018

The Government welcomes the contribution of organisations such as the Campaign for Science and Engineering to the public debate.

The CaSE estimates set out a possible scenario for moving towards the 2.4% R&D ambition; though there are a number of assumptions and uncertainties in any such assessment.

The figures presented by CaSE also highlight the role that increased private sector investment will need to play in meeting this challenge, and we are working with industry on our roadmap to meet the target.

Q
Asked by Chi Onwurah
(Newcastle upon Tyne Central)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 26 November 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Science: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make it his policy to introduce a long-term funding plan for science.
A
Answered by: Mr Sam Gyimah
Answered on: 29 November 2018

The Government has a long-term funding plan for science. We are increasing public R&D spending by £7bn over 5 years, and we are working with UK Research and Innovation and other key partners to develop a roadmap that sets out how government and industry will work together to reach our target of increasing R&D investment to 2.4% of GDP by 2027.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 20 November 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Proprietary Drugs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the march-in rights provided by the US Bayh-Dole Act 1980, if he will introduce such rights in Medical Research Council (MRC) contracts, to enable the Government to license a patent to a third party for a MRC-funded medicine.
A
Answered by: Mr Sam Gyimah
Answered on: 28 November 2018

The ownership of intellectual property (IP) arising from publicly funded research in the UK, including from Medical Research Council (MRC), resides with the research organisation within which the research is undertaken; which could be a university, independent research organisation or research council institute. These research organisations are expected to have exploitation arrangements in place as a condition of the transfer of IP ownership (for example, in Research Council grants), to enable third parties, including businesses and other organisations, to licence or commercialise the results of this research.

Where research is conducted in an MRC owned unit or institute, the arising IP is owned by the MRC. MRC uses LifeArc as its “technology transfer agent” for the protection, management and exploitation of this IP, including licencing to business and other organisations. Royalties arising from these licensing activities, and from licensing to any spin-outs based on any MRC-owned IP, are owned by the MRC for as long as the patent is effective; the earned income is re-invested by MRC in research.

Q
(East Londonderry)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 22 November 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Innovate UK: Northern Ireland
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much and what proportion of Innovate UK's core budget was allocated to support business-led innovation in Northern Ireland in 2017.
A
Answered by: Mr Sam Gyimah
Answered on: 28 November 2018

Innovate UK’s total core funding commitment to Northern Ireland[1] in 2017/18 was £5,624,883. This amounts to around 1% of Innovate UK’s total core funding.

[1] based on the registered address of the companies – as stated on their application form – which is not always the same as the address at which the project work will be taking place.

Q
Asked by Helen Goodman
(Bishop Auckland)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 22 November 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Foreign Students: Safety
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what guidance he has provided to the university sector on the safety of students while doing research overseas.
A
Answered by: Mr Sam Gyimah
Answered on: 28 November 2018

The general duties of an employer with regards to their staff and other people affected in some way by their business activities (i.e. researchers) are contained within the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSAW). Additionally, employers have a common law duty to take reasonable care for their employees.

While the HSAW only applies to those working in the UK, there is an expectation that employers consider HSAW aspects of employees working overseas. Individual organisations, including Universities and Research Councils, publish their own guidance on employees working abroad.

Q
(Blackpool South)
Asked on: 19 November 2018
Department for Education
Teaching Excellence Framework Independent Review: Public Appointments
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Written Statement of 19 November 2018, TEF reviewer appointment, HCWS 1089, what ability the independent reviewer will have to (a) receive written submissions and (b) commission open hearings.
A
Answered by: Mr Sam Gyimah
Answered on: 27 November 2018

Dame Shirley is keen to seek views on the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) review from a wide range of people and groups. She intends to invite comments from the sector and the public on the TEF review and has set up a dedicated mailbox: TEF.IndependentReview@education.gov.uk. Dame Shirley also proposes to hold a series of events to seek views from stakeholders including providers, students, employers and others with an interest in standards of teaching in higher education.

Q
Asked by Paul Farrelly
(Newcastle-under-Lyme)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 22 November 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Copyright: EU Action
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Trilogue process in relation to the EU Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, whether the Government plans to support the inclusion of provisions to ensure that creators receive fair remuneration for the use of their works.
A
Answered by: Mr Sam Gyimah
Answered on: 27 November 2018

The Government supports the principle that creators should be fairly rewarded for their work whilst ensuring that we continue to encourage investment in new content and innovative services. We are engaging with our European partners to achieve these aims during Trilogue negotiations on this Directive.

Q
Asked by Paul Farrelly
(Newcastle-under-Lyme)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 22 November 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Copyright: EU Countries
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the UK leaving the EU on the reciprocal relationships the UK has with the EU that enable collective management organisations to collect royalties from EU countries and distribute to creators in the UK.
A
Answered by: Mr Sam Gyimah
Answered on: 27 November 2018

The Government has considered this issue in the context of its Brexit analysis. It has concluded that the reciprocal arrangements between UK Collective Management Organisations (CMOs) and EU CMOs to collect royalties from EU countries and distribute to creators in the UK are private commercial agreements which are expected to continue after the UK has exited the European Union.

Q
Asked by Peter Kyle
(Hove)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 22 November 2018
Department for Education
Students: Loans
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what progress the Government has made on its plans to extend maintenance loans to students taking part-time distance learning courses from the 2019-20 academic year.
A
Answered by: Mr Sam Gyimah
Answered on: 27 November 2018

The Student Loans Company (SLC) publish statistics annually on student support payments by academic year: https://www.slc.co.uk/official-statistics/financial-support-awarded/england-higher-education.aspx. Early statistics for the academic year 2018/19 show that as at 31 October 2018, 1,500 English domiciled students had been paid a part-time maintenance loan. Information on the total number of part-time students in the academic year 2018/19 is not yet available.

As stated in the government response to the recent consultation on part-time maintenance loans, we would like to extend these new loans to distance learning courses, but we must maintain confidence in the student finance system and ensure that adequate controls are in place to prevent the misuse of public funds.

In light of this, ministers would only extend these loans to distance learners if robust controls are put in place to manage the risks associated with that mode of study. The department is currently considering those controls, and a final decision regarding whether it is feasible to extend maintenance loans to distance learners will be made once this scrutiny is completed.

Grouped Questions: 194710 | 194711
Q
Asked by Peter Kyle
(Hove)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 22 November 2018
Department for Education
Students: Loans
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to publish the eligibility criteria for maintenance loans in relation to students taking part-time distance learning courses.
A
Answered by: Mr Sam Gyimah
Answered on: 27 November 2018

The Student Loans Company (SLC) publish statistics annually on student support payments by academic year: https://www.slc.co.uk/official-statistics/financial-support-awarded/england-higher-education.aspx. Early statistics for the academic year 2018/19 show that as at 31 October 2018, 1,500 English domiciled students had been paid a part-time maintenance loan. Information on the total number of part-time students in the academic year 2018/19 is not yet available.

As stated in the government response to the recent consultation on part-time maintenance loans, we would like to extend these new loans to distance learning courses, but we must maintain confidence in the student finance system and ensure that adequate controls are in place to prevent the misuse of public funds.

In light of this, ministers would only extend these loans to distance learners if robust controls are put in place to manage the risks associated with that mode of study. The department is currently considering those controls, and a final decision regarding whether it is feasible to extend maintenance loans to distance learners will be made once this scrutiny is completed.

Grouped Questions: 194709 | 194711
Q
Asked by Peter Kyle
(Hove)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 22 November 2018
Department for Education
Students: Loans
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many and what proportion of part-time students are in receipt of maintenance loans from the Student Loans Company in 2018-19.
A
Answered by: Mr Sam Gyimah
Answered on: 27 November 2018

The Student Loans Company (SLC) publish statistics annually on student support payments by academic year: https://www.slc.co.uk/official-statistics/financial-support-awarded/england-higher-education.aspx. Early statistics for the academic year 2018/19 show that as at 31 October 2018, 1,500 English domiciled students had been paid a part-time maintenance loan. Information on the total number of part-time students in the academic year 2018/19 is not yet available.

As stated in the government response to the recent consultation on part-time maintenance loans, we would like to extend these new loans to distance learning courses, but we must maintain confidence in the student finance system and ensure that adequate controls are in place to prevent the misuse of public funds.

In light of this, ministers would only extend these loans to distance learners if robust controls are put in place to manage the risks associated with that mode of study. The department is currently considering those controls, and a final decision regarding whether it is feasible to extend maintenance loans to distance learners will be made once this scrutiny is completed.

Grouped Questions: 194709 | 194710
Q
Asked by Peter Kyle
(Hove)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 22 November 2018
Department for Education
Students: Higher Education
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of students in part-time undergraduate higher education in each year from 2018-19 to 2022-23.
A
Answered by: Mr Sam Gyimah
Answered on: 27 November 2018

The department does not forecast the number of students in part-time undergraduate higher education.

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