HC Deb 15 December 1966 vol 738 cc636-7
12. Mr. Dalyell

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will publish some time in 1967 a progress-chasing analysis of the Robbins Report, giving details of his present policy towards its recommendations.

The Minister of Education and Science (Mr. Anthony Crosland)

I have given figures in recent weeks showing that the Robbins targets for student entry in September 1966 have been exceeded both for higher education as a whole and for each individual sector. I shall keep the House regularly informed of future progress.

Mr. Dalyell

That is all right as far as it goes, but what serious follow-up has been done on the 170 or so lesser recommendations of the Robbins Report on residents' wastage and other related topics? In particular, can he say what machinery exists in his Department to deal with the vital appendices to the Robbins Report?

Mr. Crosland

To answer the first part of my lion. Friend's supplementary, many of the 170 recommendations were addressed directly to universities and not to the Government. Of those addressed to the Government, a very high proportion have been carried out; and I would be happy to give my hon. Friend the details. To answer the second part—on what is sometimes referred to in the House as "keeping Robbins un to date"—I forecast in July, and shall be announcing the details today, that we would be setting up in the Department a long-term planning branch, one of whose objects would be precisely this matter.

Sir E. Boyle

Would the right hon. Gentleman give the House an assurance that university targets and grants after 1967–68 will reflect the fact that a larger proportion of the university age group is becoming qualified for university entry than the Robbins Committee expected?

Mr. Crosland

I can certainly give that assurance. However, as the right hon. Gentleman knows, the other side of the picture is that the size of the 18 year old age group is, for the moment, static and will fall by 25 per cent. over the next few years.