HC Deb 19 December 1963 vol 686 cc1409-10
1. Mr. P. Williams

asked the Minister of Education if he will detail the costs of the various extensions and additions to the Sunderland Technical College in each of the last 10 years; and how much of these costs has been provided from the Exchequer.

The Minister of Education (Sir Edward Boyle)

The total value of major building work at the college during this period was £1,127,327. The total value of other projects closely associated with the college during the same period was £557,660. I am sending the hon. Member a detailed breakdown of the projects and their cost.

Roughly 70 per cent. of the loan repayments and interest up to 1958–59 were made from the Exchequer. Since 1959–60 Exchequer assistance has been through the general grant, and it is not possible to specify the proportion which it represents of the cost of a particular project.

Mr. Williams

I thank my right hon. Friend for the detail which he is to send me. Against this background, the college being a leader of educational advance in the North-East, can he say why it has not been possible yet to recognise it as a college of advanced technology?

Sir E. Boyle

I explained the difficulty when I was in the North-East a fortnight ago. In the light of the Robbins Report, it would not be possible at this time to designate another C.A.T. because this would be, in effect, to designate a new university, and the Government must be influenced by the advice of the University Grants Committee. But I was careful to pay tribute to the large quantity of degree level work done at this very important regional college.

Mr. Willey

Does the Minister realise that, while we appreciate his present position, the reply which he gave on his visit to the North-East was very disappointing? If special consideration is to be given to the North-East, as has been promised by the Government, the provision of a college of advanced technology is an urgent priority. We want priority for technological and technical education.

Sir E. Boyle

I realise that my Answer was bound to be disappointing. That was why I was careful on television to lay emphasis on degree work done at this college. I have always emphasised that, just as there is an overlap between the colleges of advanced technology and the universities, so there is an overlap between the colleges of advanced technology and the regional colleges.