§ 10. Mr. Tony Lloyd
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if she will make a statement on fees for overseas students. 
§ Mr. Lloyd
Does the Minister recognise the undoubted benefits, both commercial and cultural, that this country gains from those many people who, having been educated here, have risen to senior positions in their own societies? The Government's decision some years ago to increase fees was an act of vandalism. As we have a listening Secretary of State, is it possible that she might seriously consider whether that was a wise move for this country?
§ Mr. Forth
The hon. Gentleman ignores the fact that for several years, since the early 1980s, the number of overseas students in all categories has increased year on year, every year, and continues to do so. That suggests that the premise underlying his question is wrong.
The implication of what the hon. Gentleman has said is that we should find money from somewhere to subsidise more overseas students coming to this country. I would find it rather difficult to justify that in current circumstances. If, at some stage, he or his colleagues would say where they would find the money to do what he suggests, I should be very interested.
§ Mr. Luff
Does my hon. Friend understand that, following the withdrawal of so many local education authorities—including the Hereford and Worcester LEA, which covers his and my constituencies—from making discretionary grants, so many institutions that teach dance and drama depend on the income from overseas students? I urge him again to consider the possibility of revising the scheme to ensure that our constituents in Hereford and Worcester, as well as those in the remainder of the country, can benefit from a proper training.
§ Mr. Forth
It is entirely a matter for LEAs to make a judgment about the value of the discretionary awards and their nature. If the tuition in the subjects to which my hon. Friend referred is excellent, no doubt it will attract overseas students in exactly the way as it will attract students from the home market.
§ Mr. Madden
What action will the Minister take to prevent overseas students from being adversely affected by the Asylum and Immigration Bill, which denies child benefit to those granted limited leave to remain in the United Kingdom?