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University Places

Volume 643: debated on Tuesday 4 July 1961

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish his estimates of the places expected to be available at each university in each of the next five years; which of these places will be for arts studies; and which will be for science studies.

I cannot give figures of the growth of university population over the next five years until the development plans for the universities which the University Grants Committee is now collecting for the quinquennium 1962–67 have been received. The distribution of students between faculties is a matter for the universities themselves. Overall, however, I would expect about two-thirds of the new places would be for science and technology.

In view of the desperate need for scientists and engineers, will the Chancellor say how that estimate compares with the present ratio between science and arts courses, and also whether he is satisfied with the two-thirds proportion, and that the estimates that he is anticipating from the University Grants Committee will come forward early enough not to make it very much more difficult for us in future than it is now?

With regard to the first part of the hon. Member's supplementary question, I could not do that without notice. Broadly speaking, I am satisfied with the proposed balance. I think that the University Grants Committee will report in time.

Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman able to give the figures of men and women concerned, in view of the great difficulty which women are having in getting university places?

I should require notice of that question, but I will let the hon. Member have the information if he requires it.