Commonwealth Students (United Kingdom)

Oral Answers to Questions — Technical Co-Operation – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 25th February 1964.

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Photo of Mr Stephen Swingler Mr Stephen Swingler , Newcastle-under-Lyme 12:00 am, 25th February 1964

asked the Secretary for Technical Co-operation to what extent his Department has given special attention to the need for practical training of Commonwealth students in commerce, accountancy, business administration, and banking, in the United Kingdom and overseas, respectively.

Mr. Carr:

Requests for training in these fields have so far been few. But in anticipation of a growing demand my Department is beginning to study the needs in consultation with the bodies involved. A grant of £5,000 a year is being made to the British Institute of Management and assistance has been given to institutions overseas, many of which offer courses in these fields.

Photo of Mr Stephen Swingler Mr Stephen Swingler , Newcastle-under-Lyme

Is it not time that the right hon. Gentleman altered his attitude to this problem? Is it not wrong to wait for requests to arise? Should it not be his policy to assess the need and go out to meet it and organise within industry and administration here the facilities to enable these countries to tackle their problems?

Hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

Mr. Carr:

If all those hon. Members who so easily applaud that sentiment were to visit the Governments of developing countries, they would take a different view. Of course we should try to anticipate needs and try to stimulate requests which we can meet and which it would be useful to help. As I said, in anticipation of the growing need we are beginning to organise the facilities.

Photo of Sir Isaac Pitman Sir Isaac Pitman , Bath

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind the importance of teaching not only students but the teacher-trainers, because if we get in the teacher-training colleges those who are capable of doing this job, we multiply by many times the effectiveness of what is achieved? Secondly, will he bear in mind what the independent schools can do, because they have felt a very strong demand for help in the lower orders of commercial practical work? Finally, will he make an attempt to help forward this excellent work in every way he can?

Mr. Carr:

I will certainly take account of what my hon. Friend says about the independent schools and colleges. Of course I agree with his last remarks. I also agree that the supply of teacher-trainers is very urgent, and in this respect we are deliberately trying to stimulate more requests than we are getting.

Photo of Mr Cyril Bence Mr Cyril Bence , Dunbartonshire East

asked the Secretary for Technical Co-operation how many Commonwealth students in electrical and mechanical engineering entered United Kingdom universities and technical colleges in 1961–62 and 1962–63.

Mr. Carr:

1,158 and 1,359 in the two years in technical colleges. For the universities, the only figures available are of students taking courses in technology. These numbered 1,796, and 1,962 in the two years.

Photo of Mr Cyril Bence Mr Cyril Bence , Dunbartonshire East

In view of the vastness of this problem and the huge area to be covered in the undeveloped parts of the British Commonwealth, does the right hon. Gentleman think that there has been satisfactory progress in the last few years?

Mr. Carr:

There has been considerable progress, but I agree that the progress still to be made in this and other fields of technical co-operation is very great. We are making it, I hope.