28 November 2017
Treasury and Education Ministers are proposing to pay student tuition fees for all families with a household income of less than £150,000.
This payment for a first degree, would be capped at the £9,500 maximum annual cost of a standard UK degree, although medical students would be eligible for a higher amount, as is currently the case. Families with higher household incomes would receive half the cost of tuition fees.
Ministers also propose to increase the maximum maintenance grant by £500 to £6,500. This will remain a means tested grant, but eligibility will increase to an annual household income of £95,000.
In order to help pay for this increased support for college students, Ministers propose removing the higher tax allowance for parents with children at university. This change will, from 2021, add an extra £3.5 million to the Education Department’s £10.5 million annual budget for higher education. While families continue to receive these tax allowances, grants for tuition fees will be correspondingly reduced.
The Education Minister, Deputy Rod Bryans, said “This proposal helps all Jersey students, and it supports our strategic objective of developing a highly-skilled workforce. We want to support our young people to acquire the qualifications they need to thrive in an increasingly-competitive environment. This measure will help us to meet the economic and social challenges of the coming years.”
The Treasury Minister, Senator Alan Maclean, said “This solution makes Higher Education accessible to all students with the required grades. It improves the grants system and makes it easier for families to understand what financial help they are entitled to.
“This substantial extra investment in our children will be made from within existing resources in 2018 and 2019. The States Assembly would then need to agree ongoing, additional funds, estimated to be approximately £4 million per year.
“This proposal assumes that the plans to deliver balanced budgets by 2019 are agreed by the States Assembly, as only then will we able to provide sustainable and affordable solutions.”
A consultation on this proposal is planned, starting with meetings with stakeholders before the end of the year.