§ Mr. Dalyell
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what discussions he has had with UK Vice Chancellors in respect of the advantages of eliminating differences in the level of fees paid by students for similar university courses from different parts of the UK. 
§ Dr. Howells
The Government's policy is that, subject to a maximum of £1,000, the level of the annual contribution towards tuition fees for eligible home full-time undergraduates should depend on the student's own and his or her parents' or spouse's income. This inevitably means that there will be differences in the level148W of contributions made by students for similar university courses. The only exceptions we are proposing relate to students in the fifth and subsequent years of medical and dental courses and the special concession which my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland, intends in relation to Scottish students on the fourth or additional year of honours degree courses in Scotland where those are a year longer than comparable courses elsewhere in the UK.
My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education and Employment, made clear in the House during the Third Reading debate on the Teaching and Higher Education Bill that he would be happy to join my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Scotland, in talking to the Vice-Chancellor of Edinburgh University and other vice-chancellors, but he has received no further approach to do so.