HC Deb 12 November 1964 vol 701 cc1181-2
18. Mr. Russell Johnston

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will make public the reasons why the University Grants Committee chose Stirling as the site for the sixth Scottish university.

Mr. M. Stewart

The detailed terms in which the University Grants Committee advises the Government are confidential, but the general factors on which the advice in this case was based are set out in paragraphs 276–287 of its quinquennial report—University Development 1957–1962 (Cmnd. 2267).

Mr. Johnston

Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that the decision has caused much anxiety to those of us concerned with regional development, in that all the university centres in Scotland, bar Aberdeen, are now in the central area? Many of us saw the establishment of a university in the Highlands as an invaluable complement to the creation of a Highland development board which would assist in the work of the board.

Mr. Stewart

I appreciate what the hon. Gentleman has said but, as I think he will know, seven possible sites were considered for the sixth university. The New Universities Sub-Committee of the University Grants Committee visited sites and discussed the matter with local sponsoring bodies, the Scottish Education Department and the Scottish Development Department. I believe that, in the end, the criteria used for making the decision were sound.