Speeches, Interviews & Other Statements

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1971 Jul 28 We
Margaret Thatcher

Written Statement appealing for industry to support sandwich courses

Document type: Speeches, interviews, etc.
Document kind: Written Statement
Venue: DES, Curzon Street, London W1
Source: Thatcher Archive: DES press release
Journalist: -
Editorial comments: The statement draws attention to a written answer published that day.
Importance ranking: Minor
Word count: 345
Themes: Higher & further education, Employment


A call to industry to maintain its support of sandwich courses, through the provision of industrial places for students for their practical training was made in the House of Commons today (28 July) by the Education Secretary, Mrs Margaret Thatcher.

In a written answer to a question from Mr Fergus Montgomery (Brierley Hill) who asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what difficulties were being experienced by polytechnics and other colleges for which she was responsible in placing sandwich course students in industry for the practical training part of their courses, Mrs Thatcher said:

“Difficulties have arisen in finding sufficient suitable places. I greatly value this type of course, which is designed with the needs of industry as much as of the student in mind. The Confederation of British Industry recently drew the attention of their members to the great gains that industry could derive from the sandwich system of education and training and asked for strong industrial support in this area. I endorse this appeal. Any trend away from sandwich courses could well do great harm to a unique element in our higher education arrangements.”

Notes for Editors

The Committee of Directors of Polytechnics and the Council for National Academic Awards (CNAA) have recently expressed their growing concern about the availability of industrial places, pointing out that a static supply will not match the increasing demand by students. Some 60 per cent of CNAA courses are of the sandwich pattern and the number of students enrolled has been increasing steadily since the Council was established. There are now over 14,000 CNAA degree students following sandwich courses in polytechnics and other further education colleges in England and Wales, some 12,500 on sandwich courses leading to Higher National Diplomas, almost 4,000 seeking other higher education qualifications, and some 6,000 taking lower-level sandwich courses. The total, including the university sector, is about 50,000 students.