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Volume 21: debated on Wednesday 31 March 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) whether all students at the New University of Ulster will be able to finish their present course there; and if he will make a statement;(2) whether he is able to give any assurances to the staff at the New University of Ulster regarding their contracts in the light of his response to the Chilver report; and if he will make a statement;(3) how many students from Northern Ireland have started undergraduate university courses outside Northern Ireland in each year since 1966; how many started such courses in each of those years in Northern Ireland, and in the latter case, how many did so

(a) at each degree granting establishment in Northern Ireland and (b) at the Open University;

(4) whether legislation will be required to create the system for the New University of Ulster outlined in his response to the Chilver report; and, if so, when he proposes to introduce such legislation;

(5) if he is satisfied that the University Grants Committee has the necessary skills to deal with the problems associated with the integration of a university and a polytechnical college offering courses at sub-degree level;

(6) what means he intends to use to assure prospective students at the New University of Ulster that there will be suitable degree courses available in the next academic year and that they would be able to follow such courses through and gain their degrees; and if he will make a statement;

(7) if he will publish a table in the Official Report showing for each year since the creation of the New University of Ulster was announced the sums of public money expended on (a) the university and (b) the polytechnic on (i) buildings, (ii) staff salaries, and (c) in total; and what the five years or other projections were for each of those years.

I can assure the hon. Gentleman that all students currently enrolled at the New University of Ulster and those admitted in the coming academic year will be able to complete their courses.The contracts of staff employed at NUU are a matter for the staff and the University authorities.Legislation will be required to establish the new institution to replace NUU and the Ulster polytechnic. Proposals for draft legislation will be published when detailed discussions with the two institutions on the practical problems and staffing implications of effecting the merger are complete.I am confident that the University Grants Committee, the Department of Education and the higher education institutions in Northern Ireland will cope with the novel concept of the merged institution. The merger will in no way limit the range of courses which the new institution will offer.The financial information is not available in the form requested, but the following Tables 1 and 2 give details of income and expenditure for NUU and the polytechnic. The principal sources of funds for both institutions are grants

1. New University of Ulster
Capital Grants from DENI including provision for initial equipment*Furniture and Equipment Grants*Recurrent Grants from DENI*Income from fees†Expenditure on salaries of teaching and research staff†
£ million£ million£ million£ million£ million
* Year ending 31 March.
† Year ending 31 July.
2. Expenditure and Income of the Ulster Polytechnic
Year ending 31 MarchCapital grants from DENI for buildings and equipment £ millionDirect grants by DENI for the recurrent expenditure £ millionIncome from tuition fees £ millionExpenditure on staff salaries and wages £ million