University fees: students meet Isle of Man education minister

Tom Crookall The scheme would see students pay at least £2,500 a year from 2014

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Isle of Man education minister Tim Crookall is to meet students who oppose the introduction of university tuition fees later.

A vote on the proposed introduction of fees has been deferred until February's Tynwald.

Tim Crookall said: "I know they are not happy about what is going on... but I have got a job to do and this is part of that job."

The scheme would see students pay at least £2,500 a year from 2014.

More than 100 students protested outside Tynwald on the 16 January and former education minister Peter Karran handed over a 2,500 signature petition on their behalf.

'Biggest hope'

Mr Crookall said he was happy to talk but the motion would still go before the court next month.

Sam Turton, 18, a pupil at St Ninian's High School in Douglas, hopes to study politics at university.

He said: "We are eagerly anticipating the opportunity to meet with Mr Crookall face to face.

"Our biggest hope is that he can find a way to look at other areas where savings can be made."

More than 100 students protested outside Tynwald earlier this month

Mr Crookall said the students had "acted impeccably" and they had done a "great job".

If the scheme is passed in February, it would be the first time Manx students have had to pay tuition fees.

On the 18 January, Douglas MHK Bill Henderson was sacked from the treasury after a disagreement over the proposed introduction of fees.

According the department, fees would bring in about £4m a year, which is the equivalent of more than 100 teaching posts.

The island's Department of Education spends £11m of its £95.8m annual budget on student awards, supporting about 1,400 Manx students every year.

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