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Evening Institutes (Men Students)

Volume 649: debated on Thursday 23 November 1961

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asked the Minister of Education why the number of men students attending evening institutes in 1960–61 has not reached the annual level of attendance attained between 1949 and 1952; and what steps he is taking to improve the situation.

The number of men students taking recreational courses fell in 1952–53 following an increase in fees. The figures are now almost back at the previous peak. Many vocational courses have been transferred to technical colleges, so that current attendances represent a notable expansion in adult education over recent years.

I am surprised that the right hon. Gentleman did not attribute the drop of 68,000 to cutting out ballroom dancing. Will he look at the Education Act, 1944, to see what his obligations are in the further education of adults and try to build up some of the work that was lost by the imposition of fees by the Government which has damaged further education in the last ten years?