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University Students (Grants)

Volume 648: debated on Wednesday 8 November 1961

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19.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is aware that substantial differences exist between grants to university students in England and Scotland respectively, and that these differences are to the disadvantage of Scottish students;and if he will take steps to rectify this and to improve the position and prospects of Scottish students in these respects.

It has not been found possible to eliminate entirely disparities in students' maintenance allowances over the whole of Great Britain until the completion of the full-scale review of students' expenditure at present being undertaken by the Standing Advisory Committee on Grants to Students. It is hoped that, as a result of this review, equality of treatment over the whole of Great Britain will be secured by the introduction of new rates in October, 1962.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the recommendations on this subject in Cmnd. 1051, and will he reconsider them, in consultation with the heads of the Scottish universities, with a view to achieving better co-ordination, and more justice for Scottish students?

I think that the hon. and learned Gentleman will appreciate from my reply that we are moving in the direction he wants as fast as we reasonably can.

In reconsidering this matter, will the Secretary of State be very careful to see that any change made does not reduce the number of Scottish students who are able to go to Scottish universities by not allowing the amount to be spread over the maximum number of students available?