Guernsey university grants 'will not be affected'

Guernsey's mean-tested grant scheme for university students will continue despite changes to UK tuition fees, education bosses have said.

Grants are in place to help students towards the cost of tuition fees, their living costs and travel expenses.

They will remain despite island students being told they will be charged the same course fees as those in England, from next year.

The Education Department warned the situation may have to change in 2014.

The department said it would continue to means-test parents to find the level of contribution to both tuition fees and maintenance costs and did not anticipate any major changes to parental contributions.

The change in fees only affect new students, with those already at university expected to face a yearly rise equal to less than inflation.

'Choose best option'

The department has a "ring-fenced" the budget for funding higher education, which has been £6.5m a year since 2006, and currently supports 811 students.

"There have been several factors which have helped reduce the impact of the increased university fees on our higher education budget," Education Minister Carol Steere said.

She said these included many universities not charging the maximum £9,000 fee and the island's reducing population of 18 year olds.

Deputy Steere said: "We are planning to bring a States Report to the Assembly in March which will provide further detail of the impact on our current budget.

"Our message is that students should continue to choose the best option for them in terms of course and location."

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