Start degree in the Isle of Man

Professor Ronald Barr, principal of the Isle Of Man College

Professor Ronald Barr, principal of the Isle Of Man College

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HIGHER education provision is to be extended at Isle of Man College from September 2014.

It will provide a much cheaper way for students to gain a degree – with no plans in place to charge tuition fees.

At last month’s Tynwald sitting, members voted in favour of introducing tuition fees for students attending UK universities.

College principal professor Ronald Barr said: ‘We think these courses will appeal to people because the range of courses that is going to be expanded would allow people to come to the college to do their first year.

‘It would save them living expenses off-island for the first year so there would be fewer costs that families would have to meet.

‘Students would still get the chance to go off-island in their second and third years.’

He added: ‘We had been planning this on the basis that at some point government was going to have some means of asking people to pay [tuition fees].’

The Douglas college has an associated college status with the University of Chester for the next five years.

Professor Barr said that proposed new courses included Bachelor of Arts degrees BA (Hons) in fine art – with options in photography and multimedia – English, geography, hospitality management/tourism management, and law, policing and criminology.

And there would be Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree courses in agriculture/horticulture, and motorsports.

Mr Barr said it was envisaged that students would study the first one or possibily two years in the island and then transfer to a UK university, not necessarily Chester, for the remainder.

He said that universities would be happy to admit students on to their courses because they don’t count towards universities’ head count set by the UK government.

‘They are additional income to those universities.’

He said the plan was to provide a dedicated area at one of the college sites, which also includes The Nunnery site, for higher education students.

The college has offered higher education courses for 10 years, primarily through the University of Chester, as well as Liverpool John Moores.

Existing courses include BA (Hons) courses in business studies, and history and heritage with Manx studies. HND courses include art and design, and hospitality. HNC courses include computing and construction.

Mr Barr said island students tended to achieve higher grades than their Chester counterparts due to smaller class sizes.

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