§ Mr. Beith
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what changes he has made in the level of maintenance grants for students undertaking courses or parts of courses in high-cost countries; whether he expects there will be a reduction in the number of students benefiting from such courses; and to what extent it is the policy of his Department to promote courses overseas whose main purpose is to study a foreign language.
§ Dr. Boyson
Students attending courses provided by foreign institutions are not eligible for mandatory awards. No change has been made in the method of calculating the rate of grant payable to students in receipt of mandatory awards and attending part of their courses in high cost countries but because of the relative strength of the pound in October 1980 and other factors this calculation has resulted in a reduction in grant from £2,050 to £1,825 between the academic years 1980–81 and 1981–82. The grant arrangements are intended to allow students on appropriate courses to undertake periods of study abroad and there is at present no evidence to suggest that there will be a reduction in the numbers doing so.