HC Deb 21 February 1919 vol 112 cc1302-3W

asked the President of the Board of Education whether, in the case of demobilised officers desiring to resume their interrupted studies in universities, the qualification for an interim grant from the Board of Education is at Oxford and Cambridge that the student has such capacity and attainment that he might expect to obtain a third class in a final examination for an honours degree, whereas at provincial universities he cannot be given this aid unless he has likewise already passed the intermediate examination; and whether he will take steps to remove this disability under which such students at provincial universities are suffering?


In the announcement of the 20th January it was stated that an applicant for an interim grant should be "fully up to the standard of a pass in the intermediate examination for a university degree, or, in the case of an Oxford or Cambridge student, have such capacity and attainment that he might expect to obtain at least a third class in a final examination for an honours degree if he followed a degree course."

The phrase used with reference to intermediate examinations was not free from ambiguity, and in a note circulated on the 7th February to provincial universities it was explained that an applicant who was "sufficiently advanced in his studies to enter such an examination at once with a prospect of success" would not be excluded.

I think there is still some disparity of standard between applicants from provincial universities and applicants from Oxford and Cambridge, and if the university authorities notify me that an applicant will, in their opinion, pass an intermediate examination before the end of the current academical year, I am prepared to regard him as qualified in this respect for an interim grant.

I may point out that the arrangements for interim grants are merely emergency arrangements, and that an applicant who does not receive an interim grant is not excluded from consideration for a permanent grant. I hope to make an early announcement as to the arrangements for the award of permanent grants, but I have been greatly embarrassed in this matter by the depletion of staff in my office.