EDUCATION chiefs expect they will soon be able to announce the details of a loan scheme for university students.
In February the department announced that, subject to Tynwald approval, students’ contributions for the fourth and subsequent years of degree courses starting in 2012 will increase from £1,000 a year to £5,000 on a ‘loan-supported basis’.
Director of education Martin Barrow said: ‘The loan scheme is subject to discussion between Treasury and the local banks that have expressed an interest in running it. We think we are very close to finalising that arrangement and anticipate very shortly being able to address students on what it will be.’
Former Castle Rushen High School student Stacey Astill, who is due to start a postgraduate course in September, raised concerns that students have been given little notice they need to ﬁnd the extra money.
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When asked about the timing of the change, Education Minister Peter Karran MHK explained it had been made due to the ‘severe’ cut in the department’s budget.
Mr Barrow added: ‘The department could just have introduced this for postgraduate schemes and left students alone to get loans.’ He said the arrangements had taken ‘a bit longer than we had hoped’ but added: ‘We are working very hard to introduce an organised [loan] scheme.’