§ 21. Mr. Douglas
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the relationship between the Scottish universities and the Scottish Business School.
§ Mr. Monro
The school's formal constitution provides for each of the three universities, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Strathclyde, which contribute a division to the school, appointing five members to its council which has an independent chairman. The school's academic executive committee consists of the academic members of the council together with two further members appointed by each division.
§ Mr. Douglas
I accept that it is not the Minister's direct responsibility, but is he aware of the extreme disquiet in Scottish academic circles about the constitution of the Scottish Business School and the feeling that it should be widened to include all Scottish universities within its orbit of operations? Will the hon. Gentleman take urgent steps to call a conference of vice-chancellors of Scottish universities to discuss this important new venture?
§ Mr. Monro
I cannot accept the hon. Gentleman's criticism. This is after all only the first year in which the Scottish Business School has been in full operation, and it is going particularly well. The tripartite nature of the school has allowed it to develop as fast as one could wish. There is natural co-operation between all the universities in Scotland in relation to the Business School. I think the hon. Gentleman should allow the matter to rest 1574 for another year or two before he puts pressure on universities.