Prime Minister's question time, Tuesday 30 January 1995

February 2, 1996

QUESTION: Mr Robert Jackson: Will [my right hon. Friend] confirm that universities are, in law, private bodies, that their financial relations with their students are a matter for them to determine and that the Government have no intention of nationalising the universities?

ANSWER: The Prime Minister: I certainly see no need for universities to introduce top-up fees. They certainly complain about how they have been treated by the Government. Between 1989/90 and 1994/95, university funding rose by 23 per cent over and above inflation. I hope that the vice-chancellors will recall that when they consider their future policy.

FACT: During the period stated by the prime minister the number of students rose from 1,089,000 to 1,573,000 - an increase of 45 per cent. According to the CVCP funding per head has fallen by 25 per cent in the same period.

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