HC Deb 15 March 1955 vol 538 cc1117-8
20. Mr. Manuel

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on grants to university students; and how these compare with grants to students in England.

Mr. J. Stuart

The Education Authority Bursaries (Scotland) Regulations, 1953, in accordance with which awards to Scottish university students are assessed, are at present under review in the light of such increases as may have taken place in students' expenditure since the Regulations were made. While exact comparison is difficult, awards under the current Regulations are on the whole less in value than the corresponding awards made to English students.

Mr. Manuel

Would the Secretary of State not agree that it is quite unfair that there should be inequality between grants given to students in England and those for Scotland? Will the right hon. Gentleman ensure that, in the matters which he has just indicated will be coming forward, this inequality will be cleared away and Scottish students will get the same help as their counterparts in England?

Mr. Stuart

The system in Scotland has always been different from that adopted in England, and that is not necessarily always a bad thing. The hon. Lady the Member for Lanarkshire, North (Miss Herbison), in the debate on 11th February, referred to this matter in a carefully thought out speech, in the relevant part of which there is nothing with which I disagree. The hon. Lady rightly pointed out that the increased grants come out of the global sum that is available and that the more that is taken out of the global sum for increased grants the less there is available for general educational services.

Mr. Woodburn

While we have no dispute with the point made in the speech of my hon. Friend, is the right hon. Gentleman aware that an anomaly has occurred inasmuch as English students frequently come to Scottish universities and it is a little awkward when they have much more handsome grants than the Scottish students? When the right hon. Gentleman is considering this matter, will he bear that anomaly in mind?

Mr. Stuart

Yes, Sir.

40. Mr. Hannan

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will consider increasing the grant payable to students in the fourth, fifth and sixth years of senior secondary schools.

Mr. J. Stuart

The Education Authority Bursaries (Scotland) Regulations under which awards of this nature are made are at present under review.

Mr. Hannan

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind in the course of this review that it is from the categories which are mentioned in the Question that potential recruits are obtained for the professions, particularly the teaching profession? Will he bear in mind that in many instances it is not so much a case of objection by the children themselves as of the difficulties and anxieties of parents caused by the increased cost of living?

Mr. Stuart

In view of the fact that these regulations are under review, I prefer to say nothing further now but will bear the hon. Member's remarks in mind.

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