§ Sir Nicholas Fairbairn
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he has yet responded to the invitation from the chairman of the Standing Committee of the Scottish Universities to end the requirement that the courts of the four ancient Scottish universities should be chaired by the rector.
§ Mr. Rifkind
I replied yesterday to Principal McNicol's request by confirming that a provision is included in the Self-Governing Schools Etc. (Scotland) Bill, introduced today, to end the automatic right of the rector to chair the court of the universities of St. Andrews, Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh. Given the role of the court, I agree that it would be more appropriate that the court as a whole should be able to choose its own chairman from among those members who are neither staff nor students at the university.