Channel Islands students 'less affected' by fee hike

Any rise in English university tuition fees will not be as bad for Channel Islands students, Guernsey's deputy minister of Education has said.

Fees may rise after a report suggested removing the current limits on English university tuition charges.

Deputy Tony Spruce said: "It won't be as bad for students in Guernsey because we already pay a commercial rate."

He said island students may see a small rise in fees, but were already paying more than the new recommended levels.

'Tooth and nail'

Students from the islands are described as attractive to universities as they pay only slightly less than overseas students in fees and need no pastoral care or language lessons to help them to adjust to life in the UK.

Deputy Spruce said currently students from the islands are given grants by the States of Guernsey, based on means testing, with the overall cost of courses being between £6,500 and £23,000.

He said: "We don't pay UK taxes so we have to pay our way somehow."

The current deal between the islands and the UK is due to run out in 2012.

Deputy Spruce said the States would conduct a review into university grants and funding before negotiations began with UK Universities in 2012 and any increase in fees would be "taken into account".

David Greenwood, Jersey's Assistant Director of Education, said of a renewed deal: "We're going through economic crisis the same as everyone else and we'll be fighting tooth and nail for our people."

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