§ Mr. Corrie
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has completed his consultations on the report by the Council for Tertiary Education in Scotland on structure and management of tertiary education; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Younger
I have considered carefully the recommendations made by the council and the comments which I have received on the report. I am in broad agreement with the general conclusion of the council that improvements in the co-ordination of tertiary education in Scotland are needed, and I propose to take the following action on the report:
- 1. The Council for Tertiary Education in Scotland will be replaced after the end of 1983 by a new body—to be known as the Scottish Tertiary Education Advisory Council—which will advise me on questions relating to the development of non-university tertiary education and the priorities to be pursued, and on such matters as I may remit to it from time to time. The new council will also be asked to collaborate with the University Grants Committee, the National Advisory Bodies for England and Wales, the Manpower Services Commission and other relevant bodies.
- 2. The existing central institutions and colleges of education will continue to be managed by independent governing bodies, directly funded by the Scottish Education Department. The three agricultural colleges will continue to be funded by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for Scotland. Any unnecessary formal distinctions between central institutions and colleges of education will be removed.
- 3. I accept in principle the recommendation that Bell college of technology, Glasgow college of technology and Napier college of commerce and technology should be given the status of central institutions, with direct funding by the Scottish Education Department. Strathclyde and Lothian regional councils will be fully consulted about the financial and other arrangements involved, and account will be taken of the interests of staff and students at the institutions concerned.
- 4. I also accept in principle that Leith nautical college should be tranferred to Lothian regional council and will discuss this with the council and the college governors. Again, there will be full consultations on the financial and other arrangements involved, and account will be taken of the interests of staff and students at the institutions concerned.
- 5. Local authority colleges of further education will in general continue to be funded through rate support grant, rates and fees as at present. I will, however, be considering further the case for introducing specific grants to authorities for the provision of a limited number of courses to meet national needs, subject to the overall policies of the Government in relation to local authority expenditure.
- 6. The present arrangements under which advanced courses are approved by the Scottish Education Department will continue, and may be extended on a limited basis to certain non-advanced courses of national significance.
- 7. I shall commend to education author:ties the proposals in the report for strengthening the internal management of colleges of further education.
My Department will arrange discussions with local authorities, governing bodies and other interests about the implementation of these proposals.