HC Deb 20 July 1965 vol 716 cc1315-6
3. Mr. Boston

asked the Minister of Overseas Development what steps she is taking to increase exchanges of students between this country and other Commonwealth countries.

Mr. Oram

No steps are being taken by my Ministry to organise exchanges of students as such but a great deal is being done under a variety of schemes to encourage the two-way traffic of bringing to this country students who require training which is not available in their own countries and of providing teaching staff for service overseas.

Mr. Boston

Can my hon. Friend say at what rate the number of outgoing students is likely to expand? Would not he agree that, although it has risen by some 200 per cent. over the last five years, the number for which his Department is responsible is still quite small? Can he also say whether, at the Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference, there were discussions about exchanges, apart from two-way exchanges, between other Commonwealth countries?

Mr. Oram

My right hon. Friend, when she spoke to the Prime Ministers, raised the general question of student exchange but I understand that there was no considerable discussion on the matter. Other affairs were on the minds of the Prime Ministers. I should be grateful if my hon. Friend would give me notice of the figures he asks for.

Sir Knox Cunningham

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware of the Commonwealth scholarship scheme sponsored by the Drapers' Company? Will he give every encouragement to such imaginative schemes within the Commonwealth?

Mr. Oram

We are anxious to encourage all such schemes and I will take note of the one to which the hon. Gentleman has called our attention.