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Tuition fees proposal withdrawn

A proposal to introduce tuition fees has been halted for a month.

The Education Minister this evening (Tuesday) offered a package of concessions to Tynwald over his plans for Island university students.

The plan to make all students contribute £2,500 toward their fees, with further means-tested charges for higher-earning families, has caused an outcry and at teatime more than 30 students held a noisy protest outside Tynwald before presenting a petition to the court.

There was also growing concern parents, rather than students, would be expected to take out loans for the higher charges.

Tonight Tim Crookall told Tynwald he had listened to those concerns and was prepared to raise the means-test threshold:

Several members expressed concerns the concessions outlined had come too late in the day for proper consideration and Speaker of the Keys Steve Rodan suggested the debate be adjourned until next month's sitting of Tynwald.

That was seconded by Chief Minister Allan Bell.

After some clarification from the Clerk of Tynwald, Mr Crookall said the clearest course of action would be to withdraw the current proposals and re-submit new orders next month.

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