Isle of Man students to present tuition fee petition

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A petition signed by 2,500 people will be presented to Tynwald as members consider the introduction of university tuition fees on the Isle of Man.

The document will be handed over by two sixth-formers from St Ninian's High School in Douglas.

Sam Turton and Ben Ingham are opposing government plans to make students pay towards their university education.

Sam Turton said the petition would be handed directly to the court of Tynwald before the issue was debated.

He added: "We were going to present the petition outside Tynwald until we realised we could actually present it directly to the court.

"The clerk of Tynwald's Office has helped up with the process.

"We had to collect the signatures and hand the document in before the end of December so it could be checked."

Loan scheme

The Department of Education (DoE) announced plans last November which could see island undergraduates paying at least £2,500 a year towards their university education from 2014.

Students whose parents earn more than £80,000 a year will be asked to pay more.

A government loan scheme would be set up to help students meet the payments.

The island DoE currently spends £11m of its £95.8m annual budget on student awards, supporting 1,400 Manx students every year.

The changes, said a spokesman, will lead to an annual saving of £4.4m a year.

The debate is expected to take place at the January sitting of Tynwald next week.

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