§ Mr. Shersby
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will arrange for his Department and the University Grants Committee to invite the universities to 346W submit proposals arising from the Finniston report so that action can be taken without awaiting the formal constitution of the proposed engineering authority and which will enable pilot undergraduate courses on the Finniston pattern, for example the Bachelor of Engineering Degree, to commence in October 1982.
§ Mr. Macfarlane
My right hon. and learned Friend is at present considering the report of last October's national conference on engineering education and training, which he has recently received from the conference steering committee and which was published on 25 February. The conference was sponsored by my Department to allow wide public debate of the issues arising from the Finniston report's recommendations on education and training. The conference report's conclusions on the most appropriate pattern of engineering degree courses differ in some important respects from those in the Finniston report, and it would therefore be premature for us to take any action at this stage. Nevertheless, a number of universities and polytechnics are known to be considering the content of their engineering degree courses in the light of the Finniston report and the ensuing debate.