HL Deb 14 July 1992 vol 539 cc14-5WA
Lord McColl of Dulwich

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will advise the new Higher Education Funding Council to recognise the expansion of optometry within primary and secondary healthcare by allocating sufficient funds for the clinical training of optometrists in universities and polytechnics for later accreditation by the General Optical Council; and

Whether they will advise the new Higher Education Funding Council that within the category of "subjects allied to medicine" the level of funding to be proposed should take account of the university staff and equipment costs to be entailed in the clinical training of optometry; and

What guidance they will give to the new Higher Education Funding Council concerning the relative funding of academic subject categories.

The Minister of State, Department of Education (Baroness Blatch)

The distribution of funding to higher education institutions from 1st April 1993 will be a matter for the new Higher Education Funding Councils. The Higher Education Funding Council for England is consulting institutions on the funding methodology for teaching and on the academic subject categories to be adopted from 1993– 94. The general principle which it has adopted is that the number of subject categories should be relatively small so as to maximise institutions' management freedom. The precise coverage of academic subject categories will be the subject of further consultation. It will be for individual institutions to determine the level of funding for particular subjects within each category, taking account of cost differences.