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Question for Department for Education

UIN 112507, tabled on 13 November 2017

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many students aged 24 or over have enrolled on courses at Level 3 or above in (a) healthcare, (b) social care and (c) business and accounting in each year since 2010.

Answered on

20 November 2017

Students aged 24 or over on courses at level 3 or above are involved in either further or higher education.

Further Education (FE):

All FE participants aged 24 and over on level 3+ courses in England:







Learner participation
(24+, L3+)








  1. The source is the Individualised Learner Record.
  2. Figures for 2010/11 to 2013/14 have been taken from a previous parliamentary question response (2015/11622).
  3. This tables includes Apprenticeships, Workplace Learning, Community Learning and Education and Training provision (including the Offenders’ Learning and Skills Service) taken at General Further Education Colleges (including Tertiary), Sixth Form Colleges, Special Colleges (Agricultural and Horticultural Colleges and Art and Design Colleges), Specialist Colleges and External Institutions.
  4. Volumes are rounded to the nearest hundred.

We do not hold data on FE participants within each sector to exactly match the categories requested ((a) healthcare, (b) social care and (c) business and accounting). We do publish data for apprenticeship starts by sector subject area (2011/12 to 2016/16 provisional) at level 3+ (advanced and higher apprenticeships) albeit with a 25+ age group in the following tool:

Higher Education:

Information on participation in higher education at Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and Further Education Colleges (FECs) in England has been provided in the attached table. The subject breakdowns requested are not standard categories in the Joint Academic Coding System (JACS), and so counts on this basis could only be provided at disproportionate cost. More information on JACS is available here:

There were a further 13,725 students aged 24 or over enrolled on first-degree courses. Of these students,17,060 were enrolled on other undergraduate courses recorded by the Higher Education Statistics Agency as having participated on Higher Education courses designated for student support at Alternative Providers in the academic year 2015/16. Comparable information for earlier years is not available.