§ Mr. Hooley
asked the Minister for Overseas Development if he is now able to inform the House about long-term plans for the education of Zimbabwean students.
§ Mr. Prentice
Her Majesty's Government have always recognised that an independent Zimbabwe would need developmental aid in education as in other spheres. However, no firm plans can be made to assist Zimbabwe until a lawful administration is established in that country and has decided upon its policies and priority needs. When that stage is reached the Government will consider sympathetically requests from the Zimbabwe authorities for assistance. Meanwhile it is my intention to continue during 1977 my Ministry's several established programmes of assistance to Zimbabwean education. I hope that about twice as many new, as distinct from continuing, awards will be made for study in the United Kingdom as were made in 1976, and considerable increases in the number of awards tenable in Third Countries and in Zimbwawe itself. The cost of these programmes in the financial year 1977–78 will probably be in excess of £3.5 million.