HC Deb 14 December 1992 vol 216 cc16-7
24. Mr. John Marshall

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what representations he has received about science policy from the Institution of Civil Engineers.

Mr. Waldegrave

We have received a final total of about 800 responses to the consultation process for the White Paper on science and technology. Copies of the responses from organisations, including the excellent contribution from the Institution of Civil Engineers, will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses as soon as possible.

Mr. Marshall

Can my right hon. Friend tell the House whether the institution emphasised the need for the adequate teaching of science and mathematics in schools? Does he agree that the national curriculum will make that far more feasible?

Mr. Waldegrave

The submission made the point about the importance of technological and science education more broadly. My hon. Friend is right. In the medium to longer term, the national curriculum will greatly improve science and technology education. In the past five years, there has been a welcome increase again—a recovery—in the numbers reading technology and science courses at universities and polytechnics. That is welcome, too.

Mr. Miller

In considering the responses that he has received, has the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster read the interesting report from Lancaster university headed, "Future Relations between the Ministry of Defence and the Office of Science and Technology"? Does he agree with the conclusions reached in that report?

Mr. Waldegrave

I am sorry to say that I have not read that paper, although I have a high regard for Lancaster university. I shall now read it and I write to the hon. Gentleman about the conclusions that it reaches. It will certainly be taken into account.

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