§ Mr. Bryan Davies
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if she will increase the amount of payments that may be made by employers to students following courses of higher education without reduction of the students' grants.
§ Mrs. Shirley Williams
Yes. I propose to amend the Awards Regulations so that as from September 1977 payments by employers to students whom they wish to sponsor, or by institutions which wish to give scholarships, of up to £500 per annum will not be taken into account in the assessment of mandatory awards by local education authorities. This will be in addition to the amount of income disregarded under the present arrangements which is £185 per annum and now under review for the academic year 1977–78. I understand that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland will introduce similar provision under the Scottish system of student grants. I hope that employers and organisations concerned will take full advantage of this change and that as a result more students will be encouraged to choose courses of direct value to industry.