§ 30. Mr. van Straubenzee
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science when the fund will be in operation to provide assistance towards the increase in fees for overseas students in cases of hardship; and what will be the size of the fund.
§ 35. Mr. Hooley
asked the Secretary for Education and Science what is the total sum which the Government will provide to relieve hardship arising from the increase in fees for overseas students; how this sum will be administered; and what information he has received from universities and local authorities about the sums they are setting aside for the same purpose.
§ Mr. Crosland
, pursuant to his Answer [OFFICIAL REPORT, 20th April, 1967; Vol. 745, c. 795–6], circulated the following:
TEXT OF THE LETTER REFERRED TO IN THE SECRETARY OF STATE'S REPLY
Overseas Students' Special FundYou will recollect that the Secretary of State announced in February his intention to set up a transitional fund to enable grants to be made towards the increased fees in cases where hardship can reasonably be claimed.I enclose a memorandum which sets out our views on the administration of this fund and I should be grateful for any comments on these proposals. You will appreciate the desirability of early action on the setting up of this fund and I should be grateful therefore if you would let me have your comments by 5th May.For your information, I should add that the Government are proposing that provision should be made, subject to the approval of 183W Parliament, for a fund of up to £½(m) in the academic year 1967/68 to cover cases of proven need where a student might otherwise have to curtail studies which have a reasonable prospect of leading to a qualification.We are keeping under review the long term situation.
The Overseas Students' Special Fund
1. This Fund is to be established in pursuance of the Secretary of State's announcement of 14th February, to help universities and colleges of further education to mitigate hardship where an overseas student might, because of the higher level of fees announced on 22nd December, 1966, have to curtail studies which have a reasonable prospect of leading to a qualification.
2. The Fund would operate by recompensing universities, colleges and local education authorities, as the case might be, to the extent that they remitted the increase in fees for overseas students within the scope of the Fund (see below) and subject to the criteria laid down. Responsibility for deciding to remit fees would be that of the university, college or authority concerned.
3. The students in respect of whose remitted fees recompense can be claimed will be those who up to and including the academic year 1967–68 had embarked on full-time or sandwich courses for which higher fees were payable (whether or not they change their course subsequently); and are not supported either by British Government funds or the government of a developing country. Priority would be given to certain classes of student—e.g. those from developing countries, and those already embarked on full-time or sandwich courses at the end of 1966.
4. The Fund would be operated by the British Council on behalf of the Department of Education and Science, and with the advice of an Advisory Board of, say, ten independent members with experience in educational and allied fields, including the Chairman. The Board would be appointed jointly by the Secretaries of State for Education and Science and for Scotland. There would be assessors from the Departments concerned and the University Grants Committee, and the Board could appoint other assessors.
5. The terms of reference of the Advisory Board would be to advise on the administration and disbursement of the sums made available to the Fund. The Fund's relationships would be with the universities, colleges and local education authorities, and not with individual students. It would be the responsibility of the universities, colleges, and authorities as the case might be to identify the students for whom recompense would be claimed, and the amount of such recompense. Each university, college, or authority would be given an allocation from the Fund for this purpose, determined on principles recommended by the Advisory Board, who would also give general guidance and indicate the particulars to be collected in respect of each student so as to 184W ensure that recompense was given on a consistent basis.
6. Recompense would be paid to the institutions or authorities by the British Council on the basis of certified schedules showing particulars of the students in respect of whom fees had been remitted and the amounts in each case. Recompense advised by the Board for each institution or authority, up to the amount of their allocation, would be regarded as final.
7. The British Council would receive, subject to the approval of Parliament, an annual grant from the Department of Education and Science for payment into the Fund over the period of its operation. The Department would be accountable for the grant.