HC Deb 13 May 1965 vol 712 cc678-9
7. Mr. Armstrong

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what steps he is taking to improve the relationship between colleges of education for the training of teachers and universities.

Mr. Crosland

I would like to take this opportunity to affirm once again that the Government would welcome closer academic links between colleges of education and the universities, including the grant of university degrees in suitable cases. This is a matter for the universities and colleges to work out together through the institutes of education. I know that much thought has in fact been given to it, and I hope that some universities will soon be in a position finally to approve arrangements to this end.

Mr. Armstrong

My right hon. Friend's answer will give great satisfaction to the colleges of education, but will he constantly bear in mind that, owing to the heavy pressure which is being put on them, the colleges sometimes feel that they are regarded as units for the production of teachers rather than as places of higher education? Will he continue to give them the encouragement that he has been giving in recent weeks?

Mr. Crosland

I am much obliged to my hon. Friend. Recently, there has been a great deal of misunderstanding and quite unnecessary anxiety on the part of the colleges about what we have in mind. I am glad to have this opportunity to affirm how important, in the Government's view, the work of the colleges is in the whole field of higher education.

Sir E. Boyle

Will the right hon. Gentleman take it that we on this side have always wished to stress the part which academic studies can play in many training college courses, and we welcome the hon. Gentleman's question? What progress has there been since the end of March in the study group on the internal government of the training colleges? Are the universities ready, as it were, to give evidence to the study group, as suggested by the Minister of State when winding up the debate on that occasion?

Mr. Crosland

The study group will be having its first meeting at 10 o'clock on Monday morning, and I hope to take the chair myself.