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Higher Education (Knowsley)

Volume 480: debated on Thursday 16 October 2008

We are very encouraged by the interest in our new university challenge policy, and want to extend the benefits of higher education to more people and places. If any proposals are developed, in Knowsley or elsewhere, we shall be happy to meet delegations led by hon. Members to discuss them.

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for his answer. Does he agree that the collaboration involving Edge Hill university in Knowsley and efforts to provide more higher education opportunities at Knowsley community college will pave the way towards establishing a campus in Knowsley?

My right hon. Friend raised this matter with me during my first week in the job. He is absolutely right: the work between the further education college and the higher education college, and the establishment of a new university, are bound to promote regeneration and opportunities for both young people and adults in that part of the north-west. I am very keen to talk to my right hon. Friend further about any proposals. The decisions will of course be made by the HEFCE, but there is currently a great deal of enthusiasm across the country about new universities. That suggests that there is a lot of unmet need out there, which our policy is supporting.