The Education and Home Affairs Scrutiny Panel has begun a review of the Student Finance proposals that have been brought forward by the Minister for Treasury and Resources and the Minister for Education.
The proposals, if approved by the States Assembly, would fund the full cost of tuition fees (£9,250 per year) for households with income up to £150,000 per year, with any households earning over this amount receiving 50% of the total. It also allows for maintenance to be paid on a sliding scale up to household income of £95,000. A public consultation is underway, and will close on Friday 12th January 2018. The Panel would urge members of the public to contribute to this consultation. It can be accessed here https://survey.gov.je/s/unifunding
The Panel undertook a review of the current student finance system earlier in the year and concluded that the current system was inadequate for the needs of students and families in the island. It made recommendations in its report that the Chief Minister should endeavour to address this issue through a sub-committee of the Council of Ministers that was formed during the review.
The Panel's Terms of Reference for the review are as follows:
- To examine the appropriateness of the preferred Student Finance funding option(s) put forward by the Council of Ministers Sub-Committee in relation to:
a) local families and students
b) public finances
c) States of Jersey manpower resources
- To establish any other options considered but rejected by the Council of Ministers Sub-Committee and assess the rationale for any such decisions.
Deputy Jeremy Maçon, Lead Member for the review, said: "The Panel is pleased that the Council of Ministers has brought forward plans to solve the issue of student financing, however it is only right that further scrutiny is undertaken to assess the appropriateness of the proposals. The Panel will look to identify whether the proposals meet the needs of local students, and whether they are sustainable for the Island."