HC Deb 27 October 1967 vol 751 cc592-3W
Mr. Dan Jones

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will make a statement about grants to universities in the next quinquennium.

Mr. Gordon Walker

The Government has considered recommendations made by the University Grants Committee for the sums to be made available to the Universities towards recurrent expenditure for the five year period covering the academic years 1967–68 to 1971–72, and has informed the Committee that, subject to the annual approval of Estimates by Parliament in the normal way, they should plan on the basis of the following grants for the five years beginning in August each year:

£ million
1967–68 150.8
1968–69 153.6
1969–70 159.5
1970–71 166.0
1971–72 172.5

2. The grant for the University year 1966–67 was £134 million. On 6th December, 1966, my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade announced a provisional figure of £147.5 million for 1967–8, and said that this figure would be reviewed in the light of advice from the University Grants Committee when they had completed their consideration of the estimates put forward by the Universities for the next Quinquennium.

3. The figures, as in the past, exclude provision for expenditure on rates, which are financed annually by separate grants outside the Quinquennial settlement. They include the cost of certain research work taken over from Research Council funds, and, from 1968–69 onwards, part of the cost of the Provincial Agricultural Economic Service previously met by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.

4. From 1968–69 onwards the figures exclude provision for equipment for teaching and research in existing buildings in view of the decision to introduce new arrangements for financing the purchase of such equipment. Under these arrangements each University will be provided with an annual sum of money, related in the main to student numbers, weighted to allow for differences in the balance of subjects and the balance between undergraduate and post-graduate students, from which the University will be free at its discretion to purchase equipment as needed for new or existing buildings. These grants, like the grants for recurrent expenditure, will be fixed for a period of years in advance, and the University Grants Committee have been informed that, subject to the annual approval of Estimates by Parliament, the following amounts will be made available for allocation to the Universities in the four academic years starting in 1968–69:

£ million
1968–69 16.5
1969–70 19.0
1970–71 18.25
1971–72 18.25

5. An additional £1.65 million is also being made available for the purchase of University furniture and equipment in the current financial year.

6. In 1966–67 the number of full-time students in Universities in Great Britain was 184,800. The Committee on Higher Education, on the best estimate that could then be made, suggested that 204.000 places would be needed in 1971–72. The grants for the next Quinquennium assume that the student population in Universities will in fact rise to between 220,000 and 225,000 by this date.

Forward to