HC Deb 21 November 1968 vol 773 cc1524-5
56. Mr. John Hynd

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many students from Latin American countries are at present studying in British universities; and whether it is the Government's intention now to offer facilities to increase the number of such students.

Miss Bacon

Information provided by the Association of Commonwealth Universities shows that at the beginning of the academic year 1967–68 the total was 559. Students from Latin American countries are eligible under the Overseas Students Fees Awards Scheme administered by the British Council.

Mr. Hynd

That figure of 559 is very poor compared with the over 12,000 studying in Madrid alone—more than the total of those in all other European countries. In view of the latest demonstration of the desire of Latin American countries for closer association with Great Britain, and the great possibilities—political as well as cultural and commercial—will she do everything possible to try to increase the number as soon as possible?

Miss Bacon

I take note of what my hon. Friend says. But admissions are entirely a matter for the university authorities, and it is not for the Government to stipulate quotas or press the claims of any national group.