Channel Islands university 'simply an aspiration'

The creation of a university in the Channel Islands is currently "simply an aspiration", Guernsey's chief minister has said.

Proposals for facilities in Guernsey and Alderney for up to 2,000 students were unveiled last year.

Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq said the project was not ready to progress as the developer said it had yet to secure the £10m of funding needed.

However, Susan Jackson Associates said the plan to open in 2016 still stands.

Susan Jackson, from the company behind the proposals, said: "We are working towards a 2016 opening of two key faculties of the university on the basis of the funding we have accrued to date."

Deputy Le Tocq said: "Until such time as funding is secured then the likelihood of the University of the Channel Islands being established remains simply an aspiration."

He said the developer had reported "good progress with developing links with universities not just in Europe, but further afield".

Ms Jackson said the company had been "approached by truly eminent universities" and was working closely with them during the development stage.

The group aims to offer three course areas:

  • School of Humanities including modern languages, economics, politics and arts
  • School of Sciences including biology science, post-registration medical studies, sports science, marine engineering and computer sciences
  • School of Education including special educational needs, international education and English as an additional language

However, owing to the lack of funding a review of the "practical and policy implications" of a university opening in the islands was on hold for the time being, the deputy said.

The potential impact on the island in terms of accommodation and employment are among concerns raised.

Deputy Le Tocq said any other moves to develop links with other higher education institutions should be pursued and not put on hold.

He reminded States members the government had made no commitment to invest taxpayers' money in the project.

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