HC Deb 09 April 1964 vol 692 cc1195-6
25. Mr. Boyden

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many applications have been received by the Universities' Clearing House; how many students have now been provisionally accepted by the universities; and how many places remain to be filled.

Mr. Hogg

The chairman of the Universities Central Council on Admissions has sent me a statement which gives the information available on the points raised by the hon. Member. With permission, I will circulate this statement in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Boyden

Do not those figures reveal that there is still a considerable shortage of university places? Does the Minister propose to do anything about emergency arrangements in the universities for this year's crop of students?

Mr. Hogg

What the hon. Gentleman says is manifestly true in the light of the Robbins Report, and our acceptance of the Robbins target shows that we are treating the matter extremely urgently.

Mr. Willey

Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that it is now reliably estimated that, last year, there were 16,000 fully qualified candidates who failed to get entrance to university? Does not he accept this as a grave indictment of the Government's failure in university policy? Further, is he aware that, notwithstanding that, at the end of last year it was discovered that there were 1,000 vacancies unfilled? Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman ensure that, this year, the machinery is improved to prevent that happening again?

Mr. Hogg

I do not think that the 1,000 vacancies unfilled, if they were in truth genuine vacancies, are any evidence of the failure of this particular machinery. The fact that in one faculty there were potential vacancies unfilled does not assist in other faculties which are over subscribed. One must not assume that a potential place in one faculty can necessarily be filled by a candidate for another faculty. I do not think that the hon. Gentleman has taken this consideration into account at all.

Following is the Statement: The Universities Central Council on Admissions has received applications from about 57,750 individuals so far for entrance to a university in October, 1964. Up to 3rd April, U.C.C.A. received and processed on these applications 230,000 decisions from universities. These include unconditional offers, provisional offers, rejections and waiting lists. It must be understood that the main part of the operation will not be concluded till the end of May. I regret that it will not be possible until mid-summer to say with any degree of accuracy how many provisional acceptances have been given. So far as unfilled places are concerned, these cannot be known until the end of the whole process has been reached after the publication of the results of the G.C.E. Examinations, in the late summer.
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