HC Deb 26 January 1989 vol 145 cc665-6W
Mr. Nicholas Bennett

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he is able to announce his decisions on local authority higher education provision in 1989–90; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Peter Walker

Having consulted the Welsh joint education committee and the Welsh counties committee I have decide that the higher education quantum for 1989–90, formerly known as the advanced further education quantum, ahould be set at £39.4 million. This represents a 7.7 per cent. increase between 1988–89 and 1989–90.

I have received advice from the Wales advisory body for local authority higher education on the planned disposition of academic provision, the number of student places on higher education courses in local authority colleges in Wales and the distribution of the higher education quantum. The WAB proposals provide a growth of 2.9 per cent. between the target of 13,589 full-time equivalent students in 1988–89 and the target student numbers of 13,986 for 1989–90. They provide for continued emphasis to be given to courses in science, engineering and other vocational disciplines and for sub-degree and part-time provision to be protected. The proposals for distributing the quantum relate to the proposals for target student numbers by institution, mode of attendance and subject, and allow additional funding for degree and postgraduate courses. WAB has considered bids from institutions against the £400,000 set aside for selective initiatives and has proposed that this money be used to fund the following initiatives: Continued support for the manufacturing systems engineering degree course at the Polytechnic of Wales. Continued support for the engineering access course at the Polytechnic of Wales. Continued support for professional, industrial and commercial updating (PICKUP) courses at six institutions. Continued support for research activities at the Polytechnic of Wales, together with new support for research at the South Glamorgan and West Glamorgan Institutes of Higher Education. Support for the development of an all-Wales access consortium. Support for the development of a training course for management education teachers.

I have decided to accept the WA B's advice on academic provision and student numbers, on the methodology for distributing the quantum and on the distribution of the £400,000 for selective initiatives. The local education authorities have been informed of these decisions and of their individual allocations.

Copies of a note explaining the methodology by which the AFE quantum for 1988–89 is being distributed have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

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