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Tuition Fees: EU Students

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:42 pm on 29th April 2019.

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Photo of Chris Skidmore Chris Skidmore Vice-Chair, Conservative Party, Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Universities and Science) (Joint with the Department for Education) 3:42 pm, 29th April 2019

I should be happy to have the opportunity to meet the hon. Gentleman and the vice-chancellor of Warwick University. I do not remember exactly where Warwick comes in my universities tour, but it may be coming up shortly. I recognise its international importance. I last visited it two years ago, in a different ministerial guise, and had the opportunity to meet Lord Bhattacharyya, who, sadly, departed recently. He worked across an international field to establish the university’s manufacturing centre.

I listen to concerns that are expressed. I have quoted figures that have been published, but some Members have raised issues relating to the current academic year, in respect of which figures have not been published. I want to ensure—as I do when I go to Brussels, when it comes to some of the negotiations on Horizon Europe—that I make the positive case that we want to protect postgraduate students in particular. We are committed to spending 2.4% of GDP on research and development, and if we are to hit that target by 2027, it is vital that we have a pipeline of talent that is national, European and international. That was a long answer to the hon. Gentleman’s question, but, yes, I will certainly meet him and the vice-chancellor.