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Oxford, Cambridge And Durham Colleges

Volume 300: debated on Monday 10 November 1997

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will estimate the cost to his Department arising from the duplication of administrative functions at the constituent colleges of (a) Oxford, (b) Cambridge and (c) Durham universities. [14628]

The organisation of their administrative functions is a matter for the colleges concerned, having regard to the resources available to them. The Department does not have information about the cost of those functions, but has asked the Higher Education Funding Council for England to review college fees. We expect soon to receive the Council's advice on the mechanisms for setting future funding for universities and colleges at Oxford and Cambridge and on any implications for the three independent colleges at Durham, which also receive funding through reimbursement of college fees.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will establish the total assets of each constituent college of (a) Oxford, (b) Cambridge and (c) Durham universities. [14625]

The constituent colleges of Oxford, Cambridge and Durham universities are private sector institutions. The Further and Higher Education Act 1992 specifically debars Government, through the Higher Education Funding Council for England, from having regard to private income in distributing public funds.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what proportion of his Department's budget in each of the last five years went towards college fees for undergraduates studying at colleges within (a) Oxford, (b) Cambridge and (c) Durham universities. [14623]

In 1997–98 the net cost of college fees (taking account of the amount of grant clawed back in compensation from Oxford and Cambridge universities by the Funding Council) was –19 million for Oxford, –17 million for Cambridge and –0.6 million for Durham, representing just under 1 per cent. of the Department's budget of –4.4 billion for higher education institutions. The proportion was similar in previous years.