HC Deb 09 March 1959 vol 601 cc885-6
60. Mr. Brockway

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations what funds are available to enable students from Commonwealth and Colonial Territories to study at universities in the United Kingdom.

The UnderSecretary of State for Commonwealth Relations (Mr. C. J. M. Alport)

United Kingdom Government funds amounting to approximately £620,500 are available in the current financial year. I will, with permission, circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT a breakdown of this figure as between the different schemes for assistance. These funds do not necessarily restrict the student to University study, but are available for further education or training at any suitable centre in this country. In addition, there is, of course, a wide range of scholarships, tenable in this country, offered by international organisations like the United Nations Special Agencies and by charitable and educational trusts, universities, business firms and others.

Mr. Brockway

While thanking the hon. Gentleman in anticipation of what he will circulate, may I ask him whether, in view of the fact that one should have educated Africans when countries emerge into independence and the need for educated Africans in the struggle for independence, he will make a request for a higher demand than a mere £620,000?

Mr. Alport

I hope the hon. Gentleman realises that this matter was discussed at the Montreal Conference; and no doubt, in due course, the proposals will be carried further, which will have a significant influence on this educational field.

Mr. H. Morrison

Will the hon. Gentleman's Department keep in mind the desirability also of universities in Africa of an African character and that there is something to be said for the Africans having university facilities of their own in their own countries rather than that the general run of them should come to British universities and go back with somewhat un-African ideas?

Mr. Alport

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Colonies is fully aware of the point that the right hon. Gentleman makes. At the same time, however, the constant interchange between the countries of the Commonwealth and the United Kingdom is very often—I would say usually in the greatest percentage of occasions—to the benefit of those countries.

United Kingdom Government funds available to Commonwealth and Colonial students in 1958–59 for study in the United Kingdom.
Colonial Development and Welfare 180,000
Colombo Plan Technical Co-operation scheme 315,000
British Council Scholarships and Bursaries 66,400
Technical Assistance to Ghana 4,500
Federation of Malaya Merdeka Scholarship 600
Baghdad Pact Technical Assistance 4,000
Athlone Fellowships 50,000
Total 620,500