HC Deb 18 January 1977 vol 924 c67
11. Mr. Canavan

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science, when she next expects to meet representatives of the National Union of Students.

Mr. Oakes

No meeting is planned, but my right hon. Friend and I are always ready to consider requests from the National Union of Students for meetings.

Mr. Canavan

Bearing in mind the concern of the NUS about reports in the Daily Record and elsewhere about the possible closure of Stirling University, will my hon. Friend take this opportunity of publicly declaring that there is no truth whatsoever in those reports? In view of today's Scottish Office document on teacher training, which suggests the possible closure of Callendar Park College of Education, would it not be better to study the feasibility of merging Callendar Park College with the University of Stirling, which is the only university in Scotland offering a degree course concurrent with teacher training?

Mr. Oakes

My right hon. Friend has already written to my hon. Friend to assure him that there are no Government plans to close Stirling University. I am glad to have the opportunity to say that in the House publicly and categorically. This is the first I have heard of the suggestion my hon. Friend has made. I shall look at it and consult my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland, who is responsible for colleges of education in Scotland.

Mr. van Straubenzee

Will the Minister confirm that he will remain as willing to meet the NUS when—as will happen before long—it is taken over by Conservative students?

Mr. Oakes

I very much doubt that eventuality, but, were it to happen, of course I should still be willing to meet the student body—the National Union of Students.