Examination of Witness (Questions 40 -
THURSDAY 11 JANUARY 2001
40. Right; and are you aware of the work of
Callender, whose report, I think, was done a little after yours?
(Professor Yorke) I have not seen that.
41. It has just been published. Are you aware
of the work of the Cubie Committee, which looked at these sorts
(Professor Yorke) Yes.
42. Do you think it is a similar sort of thinking
that led them to reintroduce grants, albeit funded by an endowment
payment at the end of study?
(Professor Yorke) I would imagine so.
43. My last question is something different,
which is the issue of the money given to universities to support
poorer students, they are given an amount of money to do that.
Do you think there is merit, and I think the Committee is thinking
about this, in increasing the amount of money but giving the increase
at the end, on completion, so the universities have an incentive
to use all sorts of measures, without following constraints along
the funding that they have already given, to ensure that they
get that incentive, that reward for taking students through? Do
you think there is merit in that, to focus universities' minds
on financial rewards for getting students through?
(Professor Yorke) I have handled this, in one of my
earlier incarnations. I was in charge of the access fund, and
very unhappy at being a one-man, credit-rating agency, which is
what it seemed to be, because it is very, very difficult to decide
between competing priorities. I am not sure that leaving the money
up till the end would be a good thing, because it could well be
that the students would be disadvantaged
44. I do not mean the access fund, sorry.
(Professor Yorke) Sorry, I misunderstood you then.
Dr Harris: I mean the money that is used, that
is given to universities, the premium for poorer students.
Chairman: I think Dr Harris is almost making
a parallel to the way in which the Government funds the New Deal,
whereby, the people that go onto the New Deal, on the six-month
programme, the trainers get a payment at different stages, and,
indeed, get a bonus at the end, (a) on completion and (b) on getting
a job. So it would be a similar process; am I right in that?
45. Yes; universities get the same premium they
get now but they get the same premium on completion, which may,
if they have not had to spend much money getting that student
through, give them a "profit", but, otherwise, it actually
compensates them and they get the reward for getting that student
through and putting in the extra support, and I think they do
that in Holland, for example?
(Professor Yorke) I would think that has some merit.
46. Professor Yorke, would you indulge the Committee
by staying with us, if you would, for a little longer, and can
I invite our two other contributors today to join us, because
I am sure, fascinating as the session we have had so far was,
it may be that the Committee want to come back and bounce something
off you, Professor; if you would not mind staying with us?
(Professor Yorke) Sure.
Chairman: Thank you.