The total income of Oxford university, from recurrent grant allocated by the University Grants Committee and from university tuition fees for home full-time students, increased in real terms from £46·2 million in the academic year 1979–80 to an estimated £46·9 million in the academic year 1984–85. These data are in 1983–84 cost terms. The figures are not strictly comparable because of certain changes in funding arrangements over the period.
Does my hon. Friend agree that those figures, and other comparative figures which are available, suggest a continuing preferential treatment for Oxford university? In view of the declining reputation of that university — [Interruption] — is he prepared to reconsider resource allocation in the higher education sector so as to give a better deal to modern and progressive universities in the north of England, such as Bradford and Salford?
In an earlier answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Ealing, North (Mr. Greenway) I explained that the University of Oxford had done less well than the generality of universities. It is now nearly 50 years since we had a Cambridge man in Downing street. If the University of Oxford insists on committing hubris, we run the risk of being visited with the nemesis of another Cambridge man.
I see the rhythm of the questions running. The funding issues are complex. I regret sometimes that they are not quite as well understood in the University of Oxford as elsewhere.