Category / Fusion themes

A ‘user friendly’ guide to personal information disclosure

As the controversy over the use of personal data by Cambridge Analytica and Facebook continues to rage, many firms around the world are bracing themselves for further revelations of data privacy infringement.

Conor O’Kane (FMC) was recently asked to provide his expert opinion on the issue of data transparency and privacy. His research examines how provisions in the new General Data Protection Regulation impacts on personal information disclosure.

In a recent US Senate hearing, Mark Zuckerberg, was criticised for the complexity of Facebook’s privacy approach, with Senators asking why the firm couldn’t provide more user friendly information on their disclosure policies. In line with this sentiment, the Daily Mirror asked Conor to write an article summarising the controversy for their readership.

The online version of the article can be found at:

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/facebook-admits-grabbing-personal-data-12312131

Art, War and Peace

Update: Please note the change in venue due to high degree of interest in the talk – Shelley Lecture Theatre  (Poole House)

 

We would like to invite you to the latest research seminar of the Centre for Games and Music Technology Research.

 

Title: Art, War and Peace

Speaker: Nigel Osborne
Composer

By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=57139168

 

Time: 2:00PM-3:00PM

 

Date: Wednesday 25 April 2018

 

Room: Shelley Lecture Theatre  (Poole House)

 

Abstract:

The presentation begins with an overview of the relationship between art, war and peace, from Sun Tzu and Ancient Greek and Chinese celebration of war in art to the war poets and musicians of the First and Second World Wars, and then on to the work of activists such as Janusz Korczak (Henryk Goldszmit) in the Warsaw Ghetto and Friedl Dicker-Brandeisova in Terezin (Theresienstadt).

The presentation then examines three case studies in detail, including film and Audio clips – 1. art as opposition to conflict (The Cellist of Sarajevo, the Obala Gallery) 2. art in reconciliation (the case of a young musician who re-united the young people of a city divided by war) 3. art as trauma therapy (a group of children in Syria, a group of abused women in Bosnia)

 

Biography:

Nigel Osborne MBE BA BMus (Oxon) DLitt FRCM FEIS FRSE, Emeritus Professor of Music and Human Sciences at the University of Edinburgh is a composer, teacher and aid worker. His works have been performed around the world by major orchestras and opera houses, such as the Vienna Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Berlin Symphony, Glyndebourne and the Royal Opera House. He has received, among many awards, the Netherlands Gaudeamus Prize, the Opera Prize of the Radio Suisse Romande and Ville de Geneve and the Koussevitzky Award of the Library of Congress Washington. He also works in popular music, theatre and film and has a special interest in Arabic, Indian and Chinese music.

 

He studied composition at Oxford with Egon Wellesz, the first pupil of Arnold Schoenberg, and in Warsaw with Witold Rudzinski, and worked in major studios such as the Polish Radio Experimental Studio and at IRCAM in Paris. He has worked as a sailor, school teacher, health worker, aid worker and university teacher, holding a lectureship and Special Professorship at Nottingham University (1978-1987), the Reid Chair and Dean of the Faculty of Music at Edinburgh University (1989-2012), a guest Senior Professorship (C4) at the University of Hannover (1996-98) and Head of Faculty for the Vienna-Prague- Budapest Summer Academy (ISA) (2007-2014). He is currently Professor Emeritus at Edinburgh University, visiting Professor in the Drama Faculty of Rijeka University, Consultant to both the Chinese Music Institute, Peking University and the Royal Conservatoire, Bangkok, and has worked as visiting lecturer and examiner in a wide range of universities, ranging from Harvard, UCLA and CalArts to Oxford, the Sorbonne and Bologna.

 

As a teacher he has worked at all levels of learning, from nursery education to postdoctoral supervision, and continues to work in special education development in places as diverse as Scotland, Sweden, Croatia and India. He was awarded both the Queen’s Prize and Music Industry Prize for innovation in education, and was recently made Honorary Fellow of the Educational Institute of Scotland.

 

He has pioneered methods of using music and the creative arts to support children who are victims of conflict. This approach was developed during the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina (1992-95), and since then the work has been implemented widely in the Balkan region, the Caucasus (Chechnya), the Middle East (Palestine, Syria and Lebanon), East Africa and South East Asia. He was also awarded the Freedom Prize of the Peace Institute, Sarajevo, for his work for Bosnian children during the siege of the city.

 

He has worked actively in many human rights initiatives, including the Committee for the Defence of the Workers in Poland (1970-89), Citizens’ Forum (with Vaclav Havel) in former Czechoslovakia (1987- 89), for Syrian refugee support organisations and directly for the Government of Bosnia- Herzegovina during the genocide.

He is advisor to Oliver Sachs’ Institute for Music and Neurologic Function at Beth Abraham Hospital, The Bronx, NYC, and in 2012-14 served as co-Chair of the Global Agenda Committee for Arts in Society for the World Economic Forum.

 

In recent months he has been working on an opera/film with Ulysses Theatre and Paradiso Films on the Cambridge spies, a musical/ecological work for Khazanah, Kuala Lumpur, a cantata based on the experiences of refugees and on an orchestral version of the Beatles’ Sgt Pepper, to mark the 50th anniversary of the issue of the album (June 2017).

 

Nigel is working with Opera Circus on a new chamber opera, Naciketa, with libretto by Ariel Dorfman. The premiere will be at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank London in May 2020.

 

In December 2017 Nigel Osborne was presented with the British Composer Award UK for Inspiration (in association with the Music Publishers Association) by Opera Circus Artistic Director, Tina Ellen Lee.

 

 

We hope to see you there.

Good representation BU research at 2018 BNAC conference

Today on the second day of the 2018 BNAC (Britain-Nepal Academic Council) conference there was a very good representation of Bournemouth University (BU) research at Durham University.  BU’s Professor Michael Wilmore presented his paper: Construction of ‘Community’ in Research on Nepalese Commons.  In the morning FHSS’s PhD student Jib Acharya had an oral presentation on Impact of Healthy Snacks on Children’s Health: An Overview of a Pilot Study.

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen presented joint work between BU, Liverpool John Moors University (LJMU) and the University of Oxford on the topic Skills transfer, employability & entrepreneurship of returnee labour migrants in Nepal. Bournemouth University was involved in this project through Dr. Pramod Regmi, Dr. Nirmal Aryal and Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen.

The final talk of the day (and of the conference) was by Prof. Padam Simkhada from LJMU.  Prof. Simkhada is also Visiting Professor at the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health at Bournemouth University.  He was presenting Debate on Educational Reform in Nepal: Outcomes of the International Conference on Quality of Higher Education in Federal Nepal on behalf of LJMU, Bournemouth University and Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences (MMIHS) in Nepal.  Earlier this year BU signed a Memorandum of Agreement with MMIHS in Kathmandu.

 

Global Traction in the USA!

New York is the world’s media capital and it is no surprise that American academic institutions dominate the field of Media Management. Fordham University in New York extended an invitation to me as a Visiting Scholar, and as a Santander Universities Network partner, the process of engaging with them was straight forward.

My application to the Santander Mobility Scheme had 3 primary objectives which fused research, education and professional practice. During my visit to the USA, I taught on Fordham’s MSc Media Management programme, had discussions with leading media management scholars and the Editor of The International Journal on Media Management.
I also met with the Managing Director of the Boston Consulting Group to discuss the metrics that are used to measure the level of innovation in firms, as well as their the chronic under performance. I also had a meeting with the Editor of Strategy & Leadership to discuss developing a ‘Masterclass’ paper on Scenario Planning and how best to encourage Early Career Researchers to write for the journal.

All of this activity aims to develop a number of fusion based outputs and impacts into the near and medium term future. Overall, it was a great trip and many thanks to the Santander Staff Mobility Scheme!

Are you interested in testing an App developed at BU and designed to lower blood pressure?

We are continuing to recruit for 2 studies involving our Brythm App, designed at BU. Brythm is based on the principles of slow and deep breathing that have been found to lower blood pressure. Our previous research supports the idea that changing the way you breathe has an impact upon your heart rate and blood pressure. We have developed an App (called Brythm) to exploit the beneficial influence of breathing, which guides users to a personalised, optimal breathing frequency.

We are currently conducting one study on healthy women in a laboratory setting to test the cardiovascular responses to slow and deep breathing, which would require approx 2 hours of your time. The other study involves using the App daily at home for 8 weeks to test the feasibility of using the App. For both studies participants will receive information about their current blood pressure.

Lab Based Cardiovascular Responses Study

Participants must be female non-smokers of reproductive age (18-49 years) who are not currently pregnant. They must also have no prior medical diagnosis of cardiovascular or respiratory disease (including asthma). The entire study requires a single visit to the Cardiorespiratory Research Laboratory in Bournemouth House (3rd floor) lasting approximately 2 hours. During this visit you will be asked to undertake a number of 5-minute sets of slow and deep breathing, guided by our App, while a series of non-invasive and painless cardiovascular measurements are made. The App will be installed on our iPad in the lab and you will not be required to use your own device.

At Home 8-week Feasibility Study

Participants must be aged 40 or over and you must have access to an iOS or Android device capable of downloading and running the Brythm App. More details on device specifications available on request. You will be expected to complete daily 10-minute sessions using the Brythm App for 8 weeks and will have an initial meeting with our Project Manager prior to commencing the study, where you will be given a demonstration of the Brythm App and be given an opportunity to try it for a few minutes. You will also receive an automated blood pressure monitor to take home with you for the duration of the study; you will be asked to use it to make two measurements each day, which will be recorded via the Brythm App. Following the intervention we will ask you to attend a focus group where you will be invited to share your experiences of using the App.

For more information, and to receive a participant information sheet outlining either study in more detail, please contact Malika Felton at mfelton@bournemouth.ac.uk or 01202 961845.

Combating economic crime

We report here on a successful programme of research, involving engagement with public policy, aimed at reducing the scourge of economic crime. If accepted the proposals made would have a substantial impact on frauds involving major companies, especially those in the financial services sector.

 Economic crime takes many forms: from traditional manifestations of fraud, bribery, money-laundering and tax evasion to modern slavery and human-trafficking offences providing forced labour. Striking at the heart of global security, funding terrorism and political espionage, it also inflicts direct costs to businesses and economies, nationally and world-wide. Fraud alone is calculated to have cost the UK economy c. £190 billion (2017) while global estimates reveal a loss of £2.75 trillion (2013).

Focusing on corporate criminality, in March 2017, we responded to the Ministry of Justice Call for Evidence on Corporate Liability for Economic Crime. We argued that the current preference for corporate liability premised on the company’s failure to prevent criminal misconduct, as exemplified in the Bribery Act 2010, has little application in the context of widespread frauds emanating from “criminogenic” corporate cultures. Central to our proposals were a unique approach to attributing corporate dishonesty, through the adoption of a Criminal Practice Direction, and a shift of resources from regulation and compliance to investigation and prosecution of serious fraud.

In March and April 2018, we went on to publish our full results in a series of two articles in the Company Lawyer: New models of corporate criminality: the development and relative effectiveness of “failure to prevent” offences; and New models of corporate criminality: the problem of corporate fraud – prevention or cure? The General Editor of The Company Lawyer is Professor Barry Rider, Cambridge University, who was honoured in 2014 with the award of an OBE for services to the prevention of economic crime.

The research for these articles was wide-ranging with many questions that needed to be asked, from the definition of fraud itself and the scale of economic crime to the relative effectiveness of models that could be employed to tackle corporate fraud. Traditional “black letter” law research was useful for some aspects, for example, the analysis of the Bribery Act 2010 and its extension in the Criminal Finances Act 2017 in relation to offshore tax evasion. Other questions required substantial historical research, such as the law’s response to the particular problem of bribery and the precedents for the successful use of a “failure to prevent” model of criminality. The impact of reforms and potential reforms required a detailed analysis of recent prosecutions and the use of deferred prosecution agreements.

On Sunday 18th March 2018, the Independent reported Solicitor-General Robert Buckland MP as saying there is a “strong case” for a new corporate economic crime offence. We anticipate that our timely research will prove valuable in shaping the debate as to what the law should be and how it can be made to work.

Dr Stephen F Copp, Associate Professor, Law Department

Dr Alison Cronin, Senior Lecturer, Law Department

Congratulations to two FHSS PhD students

Congratulations to two Faculty of Health & Social Sciences PhD students, Preeti Mahato and Elizabeth Waikhaka, who co-authored a paper published in the WHO South-East Asia Journal of Public Health. Their paper is called ‘Social autopsy: a potential health-promotion tool for preventing maternal mortality in low-income countries’.[1]   Co-authors include Dr. Puspa Pant from the Centre for Child and Adolescent Health, University of the West of England (Bristol) and Dr. Animesh Biswas based at the Reproductive & Child Health Department, Centre for Injury Prevention & Research, Bangladesh (CIPRB) in the capital of Bangladesh, Dhaka.

The authors argue that verbal autopsy is used to attribute a clinical cause to a maternal death.  The aim of social autopsy is to determine the non-clinical contributing factors. A social autopsy of a maternal death is a group interaction with the family of the deceased woman and her wider local community, where facilitators explore the social causes of the death and identify improvements needed. Although still relatively new, the process has proved useful to capture data for policy-makers on the social determinants of maternal deaths. This article highlights the potential role of social autopsy in health promotion.

Reference:

  1. Mahato, P.K, Waithaka, E., van Teijlingen, E., Pant, P.R., Biswas, A. (2018) Social autopsy: a potential health-promotion tool for preventing maternal mortality in low-income countries. WHO South-East Asia Journal of Public Health 7(1): 24–28.

HE policy update for the w/e 29th March 2018

Industrial Strategy

The Creative Industries Sector Deal has been announced.  You can read the document here.

The press release says:

  • As part of a Creative Industries Sector Deal, to be announced today by the Digital and Culture Secretary Matt Hancock, Business Secretary Greg Clark and Co-Chair of the CIC, Nicola Mendelsohn, more than £150 million is being jointly invested by government and industry to help cultural and creative businesses across Britain thrive.
  • A Cultural Development Fund will also be launched for cities and towns to bid for a share of £20 million to invest in creative and cultural initiatives. The power of culture and creative industries to boost economic growth is evident across the country…[NB Bournemouth is identified as high growth]
  • The Sector Deal aims to double Britain’s share of the global creative immersive content market by 2025, which is expected to be worth over £30 billion by 2025. To seize on the opportunity of this expanding market, government is investing over £33 million in immersive technologies such as virtual reality video games, interactive art shows and augmented reality experiences in tourism.
  • Britain is already leading the way in developing immersive technologies. PWC has predicted that the UK’s virtual reality industry will grow at a faster rate than any other entertainment and media industry between 2016 to 2021, reaching £801 million in value, and that by 2021 there will be 16 million virtual reality headsets in use in the UK.
  • Improving the nations skills is at the heart of the government’s modern Industrial Strategy and to ensure the industry has the skilled workers it needs to deliver this, up to £2 million will be made available to kickstart an industry-led skills package, including a creative careers programme which will reach at least 2,000 schools and 600,000 pupils in 2 years. A new London Screen Academy, with places for up to 1000 students, will also open in 2019.

New Quality Code published

After a consultation proposing changes to the UK Quality Code for HE, (you can read BU’s response here) the QAA have published the new, very short Code. There’s some commentary on Wonkhe here.   It really is short – in a 7 page document there is only one real page of content – but there is more guidance to come.

HE Review

To inform our BU response to the HE Review all staff and students are invited to consider the issues in this (anonymous) 5-minute survey. Please take a look at the survey questions as we’d like to hear from as many staff and students as possible. You don’t have to answer all the questions! The major review of HE will shape the HE system, including how universities are funded for years to come. The survey will be available to staff and students until Friday 20th April.

The Department for Education also published a research report by Youthsight on the influence of finance on higher education decision making

Amongst its findings:

  • University was the only option considered by the majority of applicants (75 per cent), especially those applying to the higher-tariff universities (78 per cent). This was consistent across socio-economic backgrounds. Getting a job and travelling were the main alternatives considered by applicants
  • Financial factors were not the biggest influence on the final decision to apply to university. The most important factors were the desires to be more employable, to achieve the qualification and to pursue an interest in a subject. This was the case for applicants from both the higher and the lower socio-economic groups.
    • Lower socio-economic group applicants placed a higher importance on grants, bursaries and living costs than applicants from higher socio-economic groups, although finance still remained a secondary influence on their decision to apply to university.
    • The course offered (82 per cent of applicants), university reputation (58 per cent), and potential for high future earnings (41 per cent) were the most commonly cited major influences on applicants’ choices about where to study.
    • Differences in bursaries offered, tuition fees charged and the ability to continue living at home were secondary factors when choosing where to study. These factors accounted for three of the bottom four of eleven factors tested that might influence which university to choose. However, they were more important for lower socio-economic group applicants.
  • The maintenance loan, repayment threshold and particularly maintenance grants and university assistance were more important to members of the lower socio-economic group than the higher socio-economic group in alleviating cost concerns.

And the government have published the outcomes of their 2014/15 student income and expenditure survey.  There is a lot of data and there are lots of interesting charts, including figure 2.6 (the influence of financial support on my decisions), table 3.7 (what support English domiciled students received by mode of study), figure 4.3 (breakdown of total student expenditure (this one excludes the tuition fee but there is also a chart that includes it),  figure 4.4 (total expenditure and housing costs).

The data from both these reports will be pored over to support responses to the HE review.

Freedom of speech

The Joint Committee on Human Rights has published its report into free speech in universities. The Committee has also published its own guidance for universities and students:

Charity Commission Response: Charity Commission responds to Joint Committee on Human Rights

The Committee don’t identify many actual cases of free speech having been prevented but note a “chilling effect” (it’s hard to prove a negative, of course). The report identifies factors that potentially limit free speech in universities:

  • regulatory complexity
  • intolerant attitudes, often incorrectly using the banner of “no-platforming” and “safe-space” policies
  • incidents of unacceptable intimidating behaviour by protestors intent on preventing free speech and debate
  • student Unions being overly cautious for fear of breaking the rules
  • unnecessary bureaucracy imposed on those organising events
  • fear and confusion over what the Prevent Duty entails
  • unduly complicated and cautious guidance from the Charity Commission.

Recommendations

  • That an independent review of the Prevent policy is necessary to assess what impact it is having on students and free speech, after evidence the Committee took demonstrated an adverse effect on events with student faith groups
  • That the Charity Commission, which regulates student unions as registered charities, review its approach and guidance, and that its actions are proportionate and are adequately explained to student unions and don’t unnecessarily limit free speech
  • That the Office for Students should ensure university policies proactively secure lawful free speech and are not overly burdensome
  • That student societies should not stop other student societies from holding their meetings.  They have the right to protest but must not seek to stop events entirely
  • That while there must be opportunities for genuinely sensitive discussions, and that the whole of the university cannot be a “safe space.” Universities must be places where open debate can take place so that students can develop their own opinions on unpopular, controversial or provocative ideas
  • Groups or individuals holding unpopular opinions which are within the law should not be shut down nor be subject to undue additional scrutiny by student unions or universities.

Chair of the Committee, Harriet Harman MP, said:

  • “Freedom of speech within the law should mean just that – and it is vital in universities. Evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights showed that there is a problem of inhibition of free speech in universities. While media reporting has focussed on students inhibiting free speech – and in our report we urge universities to take action to prevent that – free speech is also inhibited by university bureaucracy and restrictive guidance from the Charity Commission. We want students themselves to know their rights to free speech and that’s why we’ve issued a guide for students today.”

Some particular points to note:

  • 41 The imposition of unreasonable conditions is an interference on free speech rights. We do not, for example, consider it a reasonable condition that, if a speaker gives an assurance that their speech will be lawful, they be required to submit a copy or outline of their speech in advance.
  • 42 In our view, freedom of expression is unduly interfered with:
    • when protests become so disruptive that they prevent the speakers from speaking or intimidate those attending;
    • if student groups are unable to invite speakers purely because other groups protest and oppose their appearance; and
    • if students are deterred from inviting speakers by complicated processes and bureaucratic procedures.
      It is clear that, although not widespread, all these problems do occur and they should not be tolerated.
  • 60 Whilst there must be opportunities for genuinely sensitive and confidential discussions in university settings, and whilst the original intention behind safe space policies may have been to ensure that minority or vulnerable groups can feel secure, in practice the concept of safe spaces has proved problematic, often marginalising the views of minority groups. They need to co-exist with and respect free speech. They cannot cover the whole of the university or university life without impinging on rights to free speech under Article 10. When that happens, people are moving from the need to have a “safe space” to seeking to prevent the free speech of those whose views they disagree with. Minority groups or individuals holding unpopular opinions which are within the law should not be shut down nor be subject to undue additional scrutiny by student unions or universities.
  • 91 Universities must strike a balance to ensure they respect both their legal duty to protect free speech and their other legal duties to ensure that speech is lawful, to comply with equalities legislation and to safeguard students. It is clearly easier to achieve this if debate is carried out in a respectful and open way. But the right to free speech goes beyond this, and universities need to give it proper emphasis. Indeed, unless it is clearly understood that those exercising their rights to free speech within the law will not be shut down, there will be no incentive for their opponents to engage them in the debate and therefore to bring the challenge that is needed to develop mutual understanding and maybe even to change attitudes.
  • 93 It is reasonable for there to be some basic processes in place so that student unions and universities know about external speakers. Codes of practice on freedom of speech should facilitate freedom of speech, as was their original purpose, and not unduly restrict it. Universities should not surround requests for external speaker meetings with undue bureaucracy. Nor should unreasonable conditions be imposed by universities or student unions on external speakers, such as a requirement to submit their speeches in advance, if they give an assurance these will be lawful.

Migration Advisory Committee report on EEA and non EEA workers

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has published its interim update on the impact of EEA and non-EEA workers in UK labour market. This is the first MAC inquiry of two – the second one is the one about students, this was more general and about workers across all sectors.

The update sets out a summary of the views expressed by employers and of the regional issues raised. They add that “these themes seem the best way of summarising the views expressed to us but should not be taken to imply that the MAC endorses a sectoral and/or regional approach to post-Brexit migration policy.” The MAC has also published the responses to their call for evidence, broken down by sector.

The report includes the following findings:

  • The vast majority of employers do not deliberately seek to fill vacancies with migrant workers. They seek the best available candidate.
  • Employers often reported skill shortages as one reason for employing EEA migrants.
  • Many EEA workers are in jobs requiring a high level of skill that take years to acquire. But, some of the claims about necessary skill levels seemed exaggerated.
  • Within occupations, EEA migrants are better educated than their UK-born counterparts.
  • The MAC view is that, from the economic perspective this does amount to saying that it is sometimes possible to hire a given quality of worker for lower wages if they are an EEA migrant than if they are UK-born.
  • To the extent that EEA migrants are paid lower wages than the UK-born this may result in lower prices, benefitting UK consumers. Our final report will also consider these possible impacts.
  • Many responses argued that a more restrictive migration policy would lead to large numbers of unfilled vacancies. The MAC view is that this is unlikely in anything other than the short-term.
  • The MAC view is that it is important to be clear about what the consequences of restricting migration would be.

Research bodies update

This week is the launch of UKRI – it is worth looking at their objectives.

.The Council for Innovate UK has been announced. The members are:

  • Sir Harpal Kumar, who will serve as Senior Independent Member through his role as UK Research and Innovation’s Innovation Champion and work closely with the board
  • Dr Arnab Basu MBE, Chief Executive, Kromek Group plc
  • Baroness Brown of Cambridge DBE FREng FRS (Julia King)
  • Professor Juliet Davenport OBE, Chief Executive, Good Energy
  • Dr John Fingleton, Chief Executive, Fingleton Associates
  • Priya Guha, Ecosystem General Manager, RocketSpace UK
  • Dr Elaine Jones, Vice President, Pfizer Ventures
  • Professor John Latham, Vice-Chancellor of Coventry University
  • Sir William Sargent, Chief Executive, Framestore
  • Stephen Welton, Chief Executive, Business Growth Fund

The REF panels have also been announced – follow this link to see the lists.

Parliamentary Questions

Q Andrew Percy MP

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department is taking steps to ensure that prospective undergraduates understand the potential effect of their choice of course on their prospects post-graduation.

  • A Sam Gyimah MP The department is working to make destinations and outcomes data more accessible to prospective students, to help them compare opportunities and make informed choices about where and what to study.
  • On the 12 March 2018, I announced an Open Data Competition. It will use government data on higher education providers so that tech companies and coders can create websites to help prospective students decide where to apply. This competition will build on the government’s Longitudinal Educational Outcomes (LEO) dataset, which gives information on employment and salaries after graduation.
  • Alongside this, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State has requested that the Office for Students include LEO data on the Unistats website as soon as possible.

Q Angela Rayner MP To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate his Department has made of the value of plan 1 student loans that will not be repaid.

  • A: Sam Gyimah MP: It is estimated that the value of the plan 1 student loan book that will not be repaid was £13.1 billion as at 31 March 2017, when future repayments are valued in present terms. The face value of the plan 1 student loan book was £42.8 billion at this time. This information is in the public domain and published on page 155 of the Department for Education’s 2016-17 Annual Report and Accounts which can be found at:
  • https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dfe-consolidated-annual-report-and-accounts-2016-to-2017.

Q Angela Rayner MP: To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the written ministerial statement of 31 October 2017 on government asset sale, HCWS205, what methodology his Department used to decide which loans from the plan 1 loan book would be sold.

  • A Sam Gyimah MP: The loans sold in December 2017 were a selection of loans from the plan 1 loan book issued by English Local Authorities that entered repayment between 2002 and 2006.
  • These loans had the longest history of repayments, the longest servicing history and the most accurate data on borrowers’ historic earnings. This information allowed the government to most accurately value these loans for sale.
  • The government’s objective when issuing loans to students is to allow them to pursue their education regardless of their personal financial situation. Once this objective has been met, however, retaining the loans on the government’s balance sheet serves no policy purpose. These loans could be sold precisely because they have achieved their original policy objective of supporting students to access higher education.
  • Pursuant to Section 4 of the Sale of Student Loans Act 2008, a report on the sale arrangements was deposited in the House libraries on 7 December 2017 (deposit reference DEP2017-0778): https://www.parliament.uk/depositedpapers.

Q: Angela Rayner MP: To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the written statement of 6 December 2017 on Government Asset Sake, HCWS317, what assessment he has made of the net fiscal effect of the sale of the student loan book after accounting for reduced income arising from lost repayments.

  • A: Sam Gyimah MP: The government only sells assets when it can secure value for money for taxpayers from doing so. In assessing the value for money of the sale, the government took into account repayments foregone on the loans sold. In executing the sale, we achieved a price that exceeded the retention value of the loans sold, calculated in line with standard HM Treasury green book methodology.
  • Selling financial assets, like student loans, where there is no policy reason to retain them, where value for money can be secured and where borrowers are not impacted is sound asset management. The sale ensures government resources are being put to best use and is an important part of our plan to repair public finances.
  • Pursuant to Section 4 of the Sale of Student Loans Act 2008, a report on the sale arrangements was deposited in the House libraries on 7 December 2017 (deposit reference DEP2017-0778): https://www.parliament.uk/depositedpapers.

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