Tynwald approval sought for increase in higher education maintenance grants
Maintenance grants for students in higher education will increase if Tynwald approves regulations this month.
Maintenance is paid on a means-tested basis and assists towards the cost of travel, accommodation etc. Around a quarter of higher education students are eligible for it.
Tynwald is always asked to approve changes to student awards criteria.
The Department of Education and Children has included the maintenance increase in the Education (Student Awards) (Amendment) Regulations 2017, which will be considered this month.
Levels of maintenance vary depending on where the student is studying and on family income.
If the increase is approved, eligible students taking undergraduate/postgraduate courses on-Island at University College Isle of Man (UCM) will receive up to £3,800, an increase from £3,620.
In London or abroad, the sum paid for a 30-week course will rise from a maximum of £5,190 to £5,700.
For a 25-week course at Oxford or Cambridge University, or a 30-week course elsewhere in the UK, the sum would increase from a maximum of £4,680 to £5,200.
The regulations allow for adjustments for courses that run beyond a standard length.
Graham Cregeen MHK, Minister for Education and Children, said: ‘As we encourage our young people to fulfil their potential and to grow our skilled workforce, we are pleased to commit £10.3 million this year to student awards and maintenance grants.
‘The Island still generously funds the majority of tuition fees for all but highest earning families, so it costs local students far less than their UK counterparts to undertake higher education.
‘Nonetheless, a proportion of students need assistance with living costs, too, and we are seeking to raise these.’