HC Deb 06 July 1999 vol 334 cc425-6W
Mr. Alan Keen

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the launch of his Department's Defence Diplomacy Scholarship Scheme. [90046]

Mr. Doug Henderson

The Defence Diplomacy Mission has placed renewed emphasis on the provision of high quality defence related training and education in Britain for overseas students, for which we already have an excellent reputation.

As part of this wider initiative, I am pleased to announce the launch of the MOD's new two-tier Defence Diplomacy Scholarship Scheme. Its principal aims are to introduce selected overseas officers and officials to the principles of Defence Diplomacy, and to help them develop the skills needed to lead and run modern democratically accountable armed forces.

Cranfield University at the Royal College of Military Science will run this scheme.It will comprise a year long MSc based "Defence Diplomacy Fellowship" and a shorter seven-week "Diploma in Defence Diplomacy". Up to 12 Fellowships will be offered annually,starting from the next academic year (1999–2000).A further 30–40 places will be available annually for the shorter Diploma course.

This scheme is further evidence of the high priority that the MOD attaches to the Defence Diplomacy Mission, and is an excellent example of the MOD's contribution to the Government's initiative to attract more international students to the UK.