HC Deb 06 December 1962 vol 668 cc1472-3
6. Mr. Swingler

asked the Minister of Education to what extent in the last two years more pupils have been staying on at school to do sixth-form work with the intention of undertaking university courses.

Sir E. Boyle

In the educational year 1961–62, 92,000 secondary school pupils entered the first year of a sixth form course, 66,000 entered the second year and 15,000 the third year. I am unable to say how many intended to enter a university.

Mr. Swingler

Is not the Minister aware that the figures for this year already show that an increasing number intended to enter university but that many were desperately disappointed to find that the chances of entering a university were getting more difficult? Without making too much of the general point, would not the Minister, in view of the widespread dismay amongst teachers, parents and children about the frustration of not being able to got a place at university in spite of getting two or three passes at A-level, press his colleagues in the Government to have an immediate review of the chances for university education?

Sir E. Boyle

The hon. Member is going rather wider than his Question and he has a later one down to my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer. All I will say in answer to the hon. Member now is that it is a mistake simply to relate demand from the sixth form of schools to university education. One must think of higher education as a whole. It is important to remember the part that the colleges of advanced technology, the regional and area colleges and the training colleges also have to play in providing full-time higher education.

Mr. Rankin

Will the Minister remember that in Scotland we are short not only at university level, but at the higher technological level, and that he has supported this?

Sir E. Boyle

As the hon. Member knows, the Scottish aspect of the matter is not within my direct responsibility.