Quality Assessment in Respect of Institutions without Degree-Awarding Powers

Part of Orders of the Day — Further and Higher Education (Scotland) Bill – in the House of Commons at 8:30 pm on 5th February 1992.

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Photo of Mr Michael Forsyth Mr Michael Forsyth , Stirling 8:30 pm, 5th February 1992

I was making the distinction between quality assessment and quality audit. I know that the hon. Gentleman is particularly concerned about the Dundee institute of technology. His constituency interests mean that that institution is rightly at the forefront of his mind. However, the circumstances of that institute, on which we have corresponded, are not related to the new clause.

8.45 pm

Wider access to higher education is a vital part of our proposals. Last year, 9,400 mature students entered full-time higher education in Scotland. That is an increase of more than 80 per cent. since 1979. That reflects particularly well on the Scottish wider access programme which we introduced in 1988. It will continue unaffected by our higher education reforms.

New clause 14 raises the position of graduates and employees of the Council for National Academic Awards after its dissolution. Perhaps I could take this opportunity to pay tribute to the CNAA. Too often in the past, public sector bodies have become self-perpetuating bureaucracies. The CNAA has avoided that—indeed, it has—[Laughter]—made a remarkable—