HC Deb 20 April 1967 vol 745 cc787-8
16. Mr. Charles Morrison

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what ideas he is investigating with a view to providing more living accommodation for university students.

Mr. Goronwy Roberts

In collaboration with the University Grants Committee, the Department has been studying the design of student living accommodation, not only in conventional halls of residence, but also in blocks of simple study-bedrooms, students flats and converted houses. A publication describing these studies will be available later this year.

Mr. Morrison

Bearing in mind that the reservoir of potential lodgings for university students is gradually drying up in many places, may I ask whether the Minister will say what consideration has been given to the raising of private capital? Is he aware that it is thought that difficulties of providing secure accommodation can be overcome, and that there should be no difficulty in raising private capital?

Mr. Roberts

Universities are taking a very great interest in the provision of low-cost accommodation and there are various ways of doing this, including that indicated by the hon. Member. There is a special committee, formed by the Vice-Chancellors' Committee, to look into this. The capital and legal aspects are being very carefully examined.

Sir A. V. Harvey

If the hon. Gentleman has not done so will he, or his right hon. Friend, take the opportunity of seeing the new French universities at Lyons, Toulouse and Lille, where something like 4,000 students are housed and fed, under the most modern conditions? Will he ask the Vice-Chancellors' Committee to investigate this?

Mr. Roberts

I have some knowledge of some schemes of this nature. There are some very interesting American schemes, at which we are looking.