§ Mr. Craigen
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when the Scottish Education Department will give approval to an honours degree course in librarianship and information studies; and what is the nature of the assessments undertaken by the Department to ascertain the demand among libraries for such a course.
§ Mr. Allan Stewart
With the approval of the Scottish Education Department, Robert Gordon's Institute of Technology at present offers a degree course in librarianship and information studies, which is validated by the Council for National Academic Awards. Before approval could be given to any proposal by RGIT for an extension of the course to honours level it would be for RGIT to provide adequate evidence of employer demand456W and thus of enhanced future employment prospects for potential students, together with a clear indication of the additional resources required. The Scottish Education Department would need to be satisfied that the resource implications were acceptable, that the extended course would fit appropriately into the overall pattern of higher education in Scotland and that demand for it was not met elsewere in the system. There is no current proposal before the Department either for extension of the RGIT course or for the introduction of an honours degree course elsewhere.