HC Deb 03 February 2004 vol 417 cc772-3W
Tony Baldry

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many university links have been established by the higher education Link Scheme funded by his Department; and how the scheme is promoted in UK universities. [152082]

Hilary Benn

It is estimated that some 3,200 Links between higher education institutions in the UK and in 45 developing countries have been supported by the scheme since its establishment in 1981. The British Council manages and promotes the scheme. Higher education institutions in developing countries submit applications for Links funding to the Council (which will help identify suitable UK partners if the applicant requests this).

The current Links Scheme is due to end in March 2006 and no new applications for funding can be accepted. However DFID is currently considering the report of a review of the scheme and possible future options for higher education partnerships. A decision on the outcome of that review is expected shortly.

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