§ Mrs. Curtis-Thomas
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what steps he is taking to encourage school leavers of exceptional ability to study engineering at university; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Dr. Howells
In 1994 the Department began the Top Flight Engineering Bursaries scheme to attract high quality A level students to higher education engineering courses. This is a three year pump priming initiative to encourage engineering employers to sponsor students to take engineering courses and consider employment in the engineering sector. Those undergraduates already in receipt of Top Flight Bursaries (at £500 per annum) will continue to receive them until the end of their course in about 2001. So far over 6,300 students have received a Top Flight Engineering Bursary from the Department.
The Department is also supporting the Year of Engineering Success and pilot summer school for teachers. The latter is a specific outcome from the earlier Action for Engineering initiative and took place in June this year at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology.