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Teacher training student numbers up

The number of initial teacher training (ITT) students continued to grow in 2003/04 with a total 36,365 first year UK domiciled students (34,145 in 2002/03).

The latest statistics released by the Higher Education Statistics Agency also show a continued growth in the popularity of taking a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) to become a qualified teacher. PGCE numbers have risen from 24,250 in 2002/03 to 26,525 in 2003/04. A fall is shown in those choosing a BEd or other first degree ITT route from 9,895 in 2002/03 to 9,840 in 2003/04.

The data relates to students who took initial or pre-service teacher training courses leading to qualified teacher status.1 The number of those qualifying has also continued to grow. In 2003/04, 30,780 students qualified compared to 28,470 in 2002/03 and 26,825 in 2001/02. Women still out number men in this field, with three times as many hoping to join the profession, 23,080 against just 7,700 men in 2003/04 (21,585 versus 6,885 in 2002/03).

HESA has also looked at the major sources of tuition fees for UK domiciled students by level of study. Excluding those students recorded as receiving no award or financial backing, for most postgraduate students (53,985), tuition fees were funded by UK industry, commerce or their employer. At first degree level UK Local Education Authority2 mandatory/discretionary awards accounted for most students’ major source of tuition fees at 460,865. For other undergraduate students (e.g. HND, HNC etc.) UK central or local government, health, employment & agriculture authorities/bodies accounted for the largest group at 100,165. More detail is shown in the table below.

Institutions are required to return the major source of tuition fees for the student where this is known. Caution should exercised when analysing this field as the numbers suggest that, in some cases, the category "No award or financial backing" may have been used as a default.

UK domiciled students at UK HE institutions by level of study and major source of tuition fees 2003/04
  Postgraduate First degree Other undergraduate Total
No award or financial backing 173440 530315 251100 954855
UK LEA mandatory/discretionary awards2 35580 460865 33850 530290
Institutionally waived/award 18190 5135 5780 29100
Research councils & British Academy 13650 15 100 13765
Charities & international agencies 1895 565 325 2785
UK central govt/local, health, employment & agriculture authorities/bodies 27730 51585 100165 179485
EU sources 1090 35 200 1325
Other overseas sources 1225 400 235 1865
UK industry/commerce & student's employer 53985 28315 54050 136345
Absent/No fees 16990 8495 18790 44275
Not known/Other 23510 10235 19555 53300
Total 367275 1095960 484150 1947385

The data is detailed in the publication HE Statistics for the United Kingdom published today by HESA and produced in conjunction with the Government Statistical Service.

Notes to editors

  1. Initial or pre-service teacher training course leading to qualified teacher status or to registration as a school teacher with the General Teaching Council for Scotland.
  2. Includes the Student Awards Agency for Scotland and the Department for Employment and Learning Northern Ireland.
  3. Press enquiries should be directed to:
  4. Higher Education Statistics for the United Kingdom 2003/04 provides a statistical overview of higher education in the UK. It is available from the Customer Services Team at the address above or telephone: 01242 211155. An electronic version on CD-ROM is also available.
  5. HESA cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived from the data by third parties.


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