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University students to get fees paid by States

Credit: PA Images

Students in Jersey could have their university fees paid by the States from next year.

Treasury Minister, Senator Alan Maclean announced the new plans for the States to foot the bill for student tuition fees in the Assembly this morning.

Full grants will be given to students living in households earning under £150,000. Students living in households with an income of £150,000 or more will get 50% of their tuition fees paid.

The payment for a first degree would be capped at £9,500 (the maximum annual cost of a standard UK degree). Although medical students would be eligible for a higher amount as the degrees are often more than three years long.

There is clear evidence that families in Jersey are suffering significant hardship whilst putting their children through university and others who don’t because they can’t afford it. That can’t be right.

In addition, I plan to extend the current means-tested maintenance grant, which contributes towards living expenses, to more students and their families.

At present, students from a household with income above £63,500 receive no maintenance grant to assist with living expenses – I plan to increase that threshold to £95,000.

– Senator Alan Maclean, Treasury Minister

Maintenance grants are also going to be extended to families with an income of up to £95,000. The proposal is to increase the maximum grant by £500 to £6,500.

One of the ways the Minister plans to make money to pay for this is by abolishing the higher rate child allowance for parents with children in higher education. That currently raises £3.5 million for the Treasury each year.

This new student finance scheme will be made possible from resources in 2018 and 2019.

The States would then need to agree ongoing, additional funds after 2019, which are estimated to be approximately £4 million a year.

  • Education Minister Deputy Rod Bryans reacts to the announcement:

Highlands College, the only college in Jersey which offers university courses, is also included within the proposed student finance grant scheme. Principal Steve Lewis said it offered further education opportunities for those wanting to study on-island.

Credit: Highlands College

It is great news that the Treasury Minister has announced a grants scheme for students who are eligible to attend University. This brings Jersey in line with the widening participation agenda to which all Universities in the UK subscribe.

University College Jersey at Highlands College is committed to offering affordable on-island degrees. This proposed grant scheme makes it possible for students who may not otherwise have considered higher education as an option, to study with us at University College Jersey.

The scheme is equally attractive to students wanting to study, live and work on-island as it is to those who wish to study elsewhere.

– Steve Lewis, Highlands College

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