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Universities And Polytechnics (Commercial Activities)

Volume 81: debated on Tuesday 25 June 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make it his policy that universities and polytechnics should supplement their grant income by engaging in commercial activities.

Sections 5 and 9 of the Green Paper on "The Development of Higher Education into the 1990s" (Cmnd. 9524) outlined the benefits to universities and polytechnics from closer involvement with business, including the opportunity to obtain more income from commercial activities. The Government recognised that the scope for supplementing grant income from business and private sources will vary from institution to institution. In addition the Government confirmed that resources for the universities were no longer based on the concept of a deficiency grant and that universities could therefore seek to maximise their income from sources other than the ratepayer or taxpayer without fear of consequential reduction in grant. For polytechnics and local authority colleges the Government have introduced legislation to remove the technical barriers which have hindered their earning income from business, and from the transfer of technology to business.