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Dundee Institute Of Technology

Volume 201: debated on Wednesday 15 January 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the implications for Dundee institute of technology of the Government's proposed reforms of higher education.

I refer my hon. Friend to the reply which my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State gave today to my hon. Friend the Member for Dumfries (Sir H. Monro), confirming the criteria for the extension of university title to institutions other than polytechnics.This decision means that Dundee institute of technology does not at present meet the criteria for the right to use the university title. The institute will benefit from my right hon. Friend's announcement of 30 December under which it will acquire degree-awarding powers for both taught and research degrees in recognition of the very high academic standards it has attained. Clearly, the institute will wish to consider how best to build on its record of achievement. The institute can look forward to the opportunity presented by the establishment of the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council to compete for funds on exactly the same basis as all Scottish higher education establishments.The institute recently submitted proposals to the Secretary of State to merge with Highland, Western. Isles and Fife colleges of nursing and midwifery. I wrote to Dr. Cuming, the principal of the institute, on 12 December asking him to review an expanded range of options for its future development. In that letter, I made it clear that, before I could give a considered response to the proposals involving the nursing colleges, I would want to view them in the context of the institute's assessment of the merits and practicality of collaboration with other providers of higher education in the Dundee area. So far as the specific option submitted to my right hon. Friend was concerned, if this were to be pursued I made it clear that I would in due course require to see a more fully argued case which addressed the detailed criteria set out in annex B of the report on mergers by the Scottish committee of the Universities Funding Council published on 25 November.