§ 18. Mr. Michael Brown
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he has any plans to implement the White Paper "Higher Education: A New Framework in Northern Ireland," and if he will make a statement.656W
§ Dr. Mawhinney
As one of the joint signatories of the White Paper, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State fully supports the plans for the future of higher education set out therein and believes them to represent the best way forward for the entire United Kingdom. In determining the arrangements needed to reflect the new structures in Northern Ireland, he will wish to ensure that the Province's institutions retain the close cross-channel links and high quality standards that have enabled them to play their full part as members of the United Kingdom higher education community. At the same time, he will be seeking a strong and continuing local input to the decision-making process and will be considering what type of links with the new higher education funding councils will best secure these objectives.