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Further Education (Women Students)

Volume 649: debated on Thursday 16 November 1961

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asked the Minister of Education to what causes he attributes the slow growth since 1952 in the number of women students attending part-time day courses in establishments of further education; and what steps he is taking to increase the number of such students.

I attribute this disappointing growth to the fact that employers have not yet appreciated the benefits of giving day release for continued education. Rather more teenage girls than boys take full-time courses in colleges of further education.

Does not the right hon. Gentleman think that the Conservative Government's policy of imposing much greater fees on students in part-time evening institutes caused the drop from 815,000 in 1950 to 670,000 and 674,000 in successive years? The figure has now only reached 683,000. Would that explanation not be nearer the mark?

When the fees were raised there was a great falling off in ballroom dancing, but the number of students attending vocational courses went up.