HC Deb 13 November 1969 vol 791 cc592-3
10. Mr. Howie

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will withdraw circular F1/56/02, Boarding Charges for Students Coming From Outside England and Wales who Reside in Hostels Attached to Further Education Establishments.

Mr. Fowler

I do not think that local education authorities in England and Wales should bear the boarding costs of students who come from elsewhere.

Mr. Howie

Yes, but would my hon. Friend not agree that this circular not only discriminates against "foreigners" as they are called, but also between students in universities and those in polytechnics?

Mr. Fowler

No, Sir. There are different arrangements for the different sectors of higher education. I cannot agree that this circular to which my hon. Friend refers discriminates against foreigners. The circular, which was issued in May, 1968, did not enunciate any new principle but reminded authorities that, since 1955, the policy had been to charge the full economic cost of boarding for students from outside England and Wales.

Mrs. Ewing

Are Scottish students treated as foreigners under the circular? I had one case at a college reported to me in which this was so. Is the hon. Gentleman aware that in Scotland English students are not treated as foreigners for the purpose of deciding what money they should receive?

Mr. Fowler

There are separate arrangements. Scottish students who attend courses at further education establishments in England and Wales and live in the college hostel have the difference between the fee charged to the home student and the full economic cost met by the Scottish Education Department if they are holders of awards under the students' allowance scheme. Far from showing that Scotsmen are foreigners, the arrangements show that there is no discrimination against foreigners in that Scotsmen and Irishmen come into the same category as those who come from overseas.