I am aware of three universities in England and Wales which have decided for the time being not to increase the fees payable by any full-time overseas students. In addition, one university has decided not to raise the fees for existing overseas students who are privately financed.
Do not these figures, which, as the right hon. Gentleman will doubtless agree, are of a preliminary nature, reveal that the economies he was so confident about will be quite substantially less than he expected and have been achieved only at the expense of very great hostility in the universities?
No, Sir. The decisions taken by these universities will in no way affect the economies which I had sought to achieve, because the effect of the decisions taken by these four universities will be that they find certain sums of money, which indeed is their absolute right to do, out of their own budgets; so that my estimated economy figures will be unaltered by these figures.