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Volume 129: debated on Tuesday 15 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what further plans he has for increasing the role of the polytechnics in higher education.

The Education Reform Bill, now before Parliament, provides for the 29 English polytechnics to be re-established as free-standing corporate bodies outside local authority control and under contract to a new Polytechnic and Colleges Funding Council. This reform will enable the polytechnics to develop further their role as national providers of high quality vocational courses of higher education and promote better management and closer ties with industry.