§ Mr. McMaster
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the academic contribution made by the university of Paisley to the social, industrial and economic life of Scotland since it 73W earned its new status; what plans he has to ensure the security of the university in its preparation for future development; and if he will introduce further measures to develop higher education in the Paisley area. 
§ Lord James Douglas-Hamilton
The university of Paisley has made a great deal of progress since the Further and Higher Education (Scotland) Act 1992 introduced new arrangements for the constitution and funding of higher education institutions in Scotland.
The academic achievements and diversity and scale of provision of the university were recognised in the granting of permission to use university title in June 1992, and of powers to award its own degrees in September 1992. I also approved in July 1993 the merger with Craigie college of education, and welcomed then the commitment to develop and strengthen the vocational mission of the new university.
Evidence of the teaching quality of the university is given in the published reports of the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council's assessment of teaching quality, and the report of the Higher Education Quality Council in April this year on its audit of the university arrangements for academic quality assurance.
Allocation of funds for the teaching and research of higher education institutions is now the responsibility of the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council. Each institution has been required to submit annual strategic plans and financial forecasts, as well as strategies for estates and research, to SHEFC. It is for SHEFC to determine appropriate allocations to individual institutions in the light of the information it receives and its assessment of the needs of the sector as a whole.