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Volume 932: debated on Monday 16 May 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether she will make a statement on the development of engineering education in the universities.

The University Grants Committee recently asked universities to make proposals for courses based on engineering which would be attractive to students aiming at careers in manfacturing industry. These courses would be of testing quality, with a high standard of entry, and could last four years instead of three. The UGC has considered the proposals put forward, and has decided to encourage courses of this kind at Birmingham University; Imperial College, London; in Manchester, at the University, the University Institute of Technology, and the Buisiness School; and at the University of Strathclyde, drawing on resources from other Scottish Universities. The UGC is also exploring similar proposals from the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and the Brunei University of Technology, and will be considering proposals for Wales. It is intended that the first entry to these courses, which will be strictly limited, will be in autumn 1978. I consider that this development will help to raise the standard of recruitment to management in British manufacturing industry, and will set a new objective for able boys and girls still at school.