HC Deb 26 July 1990 vol 177 cc455-6W
Dr. Thomas

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what resources his Department has made available in each year since 1983 to the Open university; whether he has reviewed the cost effectiveness of this contribution relative to contributions made to universities not widely employing distance learning methods; and if he will make a statement on the role of the Open university in United Kingdom higher education.

Mr. Eggar

The recurrent and capital grants made available to the Open university in each year since 1983 are given in the table. The Department is undertaking a review, together with the university, to enable the Government to determine the place of the university's provision within the total provision of higher education for part-time students, and to ensure that the public money devoted to funding the university is used to best effect.

The Open University: Recurrent and Capital Grants in the financial years 1982–83 to 1990–91.
Financial Year Recurrent £ million Capital £ million Total £ million
1982–83 55.21 2.03 57.24
1983–84 56.42 0.70 57.12
1984–85 59.05 1.40 60.45
1985–86 60.93 0.87 61.80
1986–87 60.39 2.08 62.47
1987–88 64.25 1.43 65.68
1988–89 66.39 2.37 68.76
1989–90 72.77 2.41 75.18
1990–91 80.94 2.13 83.07

Dr. Thomas

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science when he last visited the Open university headquarters at Milton Keynes; and what issues were discussed.

Mr. Eggar

My right hon. Friend visited the Open university on 14 February 1990 and discussed with the then vice-chancellor, Dr. J. A. Horlock, and his colleagues a wide range of issues relating to the university's strategy and provision, including the continuing education programme, the programme of teacher education, and the development of computer education courses.