§ Mrs. Betty Williams
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what arrangements have been made to transfer the relevant assets from La Sainte Union college of higher education to the university of Southampton following the merger of the college with the university. 
§ Dr. Howells
La Sainte Union college of higher education merged with university of Southampton on 1 September 1997. The congregation of La Sainte Union des Sacres Coeurs owns the land and buildings used by the college. The congregation has agreed to sell the academic and associated buildings to the university and to grant the university an option to purchase the student residence at a later date. The estate has been partly financed by public funds and Government have an interest in ensuring that any disposals or transfers comply with requirements for propriety, regularity and value for money.866W
The Government have agreed that the Higher Education Funding Council for England may waive the standard condition in its financial memorandum with the college requiring it to repay the Government interest in the estate to the Exchequer when it is transferred to the university. In return, the university has agreed that the estate will continue to be used for higher education, and has accepted responsibility to repay the Government interest in the estate to the Exchequer if it is disposed of in the future.