Development Research

Oral Answers to Questions — Overseas Development – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 16th March 1987.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Stuart Holland Mr Stuart Holland , Vauxhall 12:00 am, 16th March 1987

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what measures he is taking to ensure the viability of development studies and development related research in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Patten:

The ODA currently provides £17 million a year for direct support of about 30 British institutions undertaking development-related research. Another £12 million is provided in grants for research by specific individuals or teams. Support for courses in development studies at British universities is provided by the Department of Education and Science through the University Grants Committee. The ODA also provides assistance to postgraduate students from overseas.

Photo of Mr Stuart Holland Mr Stuart Holland , Vauxhall

The Minister must be aware that the cuts undertaken by the Government have lacerated research in tropical development institutions and core funding of research institutes such as the institute of development studies at Sussex. Since December it has been clear that the whole future of the school of development studies at East Anglia is at risk. The Minister made a good start at this by expressing concern over the matter, but why has he not followed it through? Can he not get the Department of Education and Science to grant funding, and if he cannot, will he not come up with something from his own budget as a temporary measure to ensure that that school can survive?

Mr. Patten:

The first part of the hon. Gentleman's question is nonsense. As to the second, I was concerned to learn about the proposals being discussed to reduce undergraduate training programmes in development studies at East Anglia. As the hon. Gentleman suggested, I made clear publicly how much value we place on the work of the school of development studies there. I have also made those views known to my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Education and Science and to the chairman of the University Grants Committee. I understand that discussions are continuing, and I hope that there will be a satisfactory outcome.