Clause 19 — power to award foundation degrees
Orders of the Day
Nick Ainger (Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, Labour)
The hon. Gentleman is quite right, which is why I am seeking an assurance that the Order in Council process can actually deliver degree-awarding powers to FE colleges in Wales. It is a very important point and, as I say, I really hope that the Under-Secretary will come up with the same assurances that I sought to give to the Committee last month.
I conclude by saying that we need to recognise that we are to some extent feeling our way in these matters when dealing with the new powers requested by the Assembly. What we should learn from the experience is that we need to participate actively in the scrutiny. I was the only Welsh member of the Committee, but I am sure that it would have been different if, before the Committee stage, Members had been aware of the concerns that they have expressed today. The message needs to go back to Wales and to organisations that represent Welsh interests that this place is still a very important part of law-making that directly affects Wales. They need to engage with us in the same way that they engage with Members of the Assembly.