HC Deb 13 March 2003 vol 401 cc418-9W
Tim Loughton

To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects to apply for the Royal Charter for the NHS University. [100504]

Mr. Hutton

The National Health Service University (NHSU) aims to become an awarding and accrediting institution in its own right, by meeting the standards required to become a university. NHSU will apply to the Privy Council in its own right. The decision to grant university status will be then made by the Privy Council.

NHSU have set up a working group with the Higher Education Funding Council, with members drawn from the Higher Education Funding Council, NHSU, Department for Education and Skills, the Department of Health and the Quality Assurance Agency. This group will look at the appropriate processes and mechanisms for achieving university status, to offer advice and to draw up an action plan setting out the steps to be taken.