UK unis treating Guernsey students as overseas

SOME parents will be forced to pay more for their children’s university fees after four universities refused to treat Guernsey students the same as those in the UK.

SOME parents will be forced to pay more for their children’s university fees after four universities refused to treat Guernsey students the same as those in the UK.

Education minister Robert Sillars, pictured, announced the move during yesterday’s States meeting.

The maximum parental contribution is to be raised from £6,983 to £7,983 for students beginning their studies in 2013 and to £8,983 for those starting in 2014.

‘There are a number of parents that get a full grant and it won’t affect those,’ said Deputy Sillars.

‘Parents will still be means tested.’

Comments for: "UK unis treating Guernsey students as overseas"


I'll admit that it was about 10 years ago that i was at Uni, but back then, all Guernsey students were classed as overseas students.


Simples. Boycott the out of cync four


We were consided overseas students when i was at uni a few years ago, and which four unis?



The four are Cardiff,Cambridge,Imperial College and Warwick

The extra charge would be near 5K per student per year


At my university I was classed as a Channel Islands student instead of an overseas student. I believe overseas students pay slightly more than someone from the Channel Islands.


We've always been classed as overseas so these 4 are only remaining the same, the others have changed. It's high time the States were a bit harder on giving out very generous grants. Surely Students should be encouraged to do courses which will lead to a career useful to Guernsey, particularly if they want maximum grants. Too many are seeing Uni as a 3or 4 year jolly paid for at least in part by the tax payer. An interesting read would be a break down on courses Guernsey students are taking. Also there should be aa age limit on grants given, surely we shouldn't be paying 30 something's to go off for 3 years because they don't like the way their life is going, case in point 3 year 100% grant for degree in Theatre make up!! Very useful in Guernsey, cost to taxpayer in excess of £30,000.


Paul, I agree with your point about 3 or 4 year jolly's etc however you say students should be encouraged to do courses useful for a career in Guernsey. Very true as long as it is not applied across the board because there are many Guernsey students who want to do other things that Guernsey just can't offer and want to go out into the big wide world and contribute there. We can't constrain them to return, that would be inward thinking.

Yes we need many to come back and agree we should continue relationships with the S coast unis etc that provides relevant courses but we must recognize that others will want to pursue other careers. Guernsey has a history of its people going out into the world; some have become famous, most have just done their bit out there. We should be proud of them.

Perhaps if we have to restrict things make it that we fund the traditional arts and sciences plus finance and other local related. You probably won't find those courses are jolly's, certainly not science at top unis as my children would tell you - very hard work.


While i total agree that university should not been seen as a 3 year jolly and that course chosen should have some relevance and benefit, I disagree strongly with any suggestion that and age limited be put on grants.

When I completed my A levels i saw little benefit in Uni and so decided that finance was the way to go.

After a number tedious but successful years I finally decided it was time to take a risk and find something i really wanted to do with my left.

I feel I was much better able to chose a useful degree and also more mature and able to make best use of the experience and education. This option would not have been viable with out the states grant.

I think waiting a few years before uni would be a huge benefit to a number of people and it should be encouraged not taken away


I heard from a relaible source that the cohort of Year 13s in 2012/13 is considerably lower than in 2011/12 so how can this raise be justified this year.

Also, more universities than these four treat Guernsey as overseas, you can add Edinburgh, Aberdeen etc. to that list. This has always been the case and education has negotiated with some on these universities individually. Some treat Guernsey as Home EU, some treat them as Island (middle ground) and some overseas.

Nothing has changed so what is Mr Sillars talking about. Does he have a historical knowledge of the University fee system in the UK?

Also there is a question of morals here. Many Year 13 students (with support from parents) have applied this year on the basis that fees would not be changed. These students now have offers and have spent a considerable some visiting universities for interviews etc. How can the goalposts be moved when the application cycle for 2013 is already in place?


Is it legal to raise the contribution when many students have already applied to University of the basis of this document from May 2012.

This has the contribution for 2012/13 set at £6900 and is still on Education's web site and the cycle for applications is already underway?

David K

Seems strange as I remember Carol Steere mentioning last year that the number of 18 year-olds in Guernsey would drop significantly in 2013 and onwards. Also, this (fees) wouldn't be reviewed until 2014.

By default, there will be fewer Guernsey students going to University anyway.


I feel disgusted on behalf of the taxpayers as their capital is being used to allow students to indulge in drunken revelry- the academic aura of many universities is being lost because students spend greater time engaging in otiose activities and do not exert substantial mental effort. A former university graduate once remarked "university isn't just about getting a degre"- laughable I think...


You missed out an 'e' in degree Ed, but perhaps that was deliberate to illustrate one of the "value added" aspects of going away that former student was talking about? ;-)

Sugared Brazil Nut

Whereas your own propensity towards otiose activities appears to be centred upon being inebriated by the exuberence of your own verbosity and posting the outcome on this site.

Laughable I think.


er.....we are overseas !!!


many islanders take great pains to rightly point out that we're not part of the UK...and the various perks that brings. Can't have it both ways I suppose, so fair play to Robert Sillars for keeping it down to four.


What amazes me is you can study for a full honours degree right here in Guernsey (through the GTA and UK universities) part time at a fraction of the cost and yet last Autumn the GTA didn't get enough people to run a course.

I appreciate the course choice is very limited at the moment etc. but surely in tough economic times the chance to get a degree at a fraction of the cost (whilst potentially earning money at the same time) must appeal to some people.



You are of course forgetting the true reason for studying in the UK - very little work to do and cheap beer in the student union, all funded by mummy and daddy.



I think it was just a genuine typing error, but I admire your discernment- perhaps I am subconsciously employing figurative devices in order to illustrate may underlying motives ? ...


I never thought I'd say this but I agree with Ray. Don't use those unis . What could be simpler?


Compliments of the season kevin :)))


Can anyone confirm or deny that employees of Education are treated exactly the same as everyone else when the States Grants for University costs are calculated. Rumour has it thatthey get additional assistance for their children and I must admit I have been surprised at some teachers ability to put several children through University at the same time.



I've heard the same thing. Another one which needs to be looked into.


With the average cost per student around £15,000 p.a./£45-50,000 per course duration this would very quickly add up to hundred's of thousands of pounds if it was true. It would raise questions of who sanctioned these payments, are they part of employees contracts, has tax been paid on the benefit etc etc. Or if they are not sanctioned by the States the reprucussions would be worse. However I can't believe this would be true perhaps one of the Deputies who visit this site could nip the rumour in the bud?


Funny the Education oracle doesn't have a comment on this!



If you go to the further education section on the education website there is information on the funding arrangements and there is an FAQ sheet which addresses your query about multiple children at uni at the same time which would apply as equally to education staff as anyone else.

I have no idea whether any education staff have negotiated any contractual benefits relating to their childrens' education but if they have then there are legal obligations in relation to their tax affairs surely.

I cannot imagine the education department would ever confer benefits to individuals outside of their contracts due to the personal risks involved with such a scam.


So, to your knowledge does any member of staff at Education benefit from assistance towards University fees over that which is offered to the general public?



I don't have any knowledge, sorry.

Just as an opinion, I don't see why they shouldn't, as part of their negotiated employment package.


Pardon? You mean use up a part of the States' overall budget for university education which is meant to be available to all? Is that the sort of deal which civil servants should get, ON TOP of the unaffordable defined benefits scheme?

What next - free water or electricity?


Maybe a generous relocation package and a guaranteed bonus after being here for a specified period of time? Or subsidised accommodation?


Absolutely not from the FE budget. I said "as part of their negotiated employment package". I would expect it to be part of the budget for salaries and benefits if it's a contractual benefit.


Thanks for that Spartacus. I for one would have a major problem if Education were giving out these sort of 'bonuses' as some individuals would be receiving tens of thousands of pounds per annum. Surely a States dept does not have that kind of flexibility in their budget, to reward individuals for simply having more children than someone else. If true this just highlights the light approach Education has had to spending our money.



I have no idea if there is any substance to the rumours but would point out that many parents who have single or multiple children and who are not states employees already receive tens of thousands in grants for their childrens' education, through secondary education at the colleges and then also at university.

Any benefit conferred to states employees would need to be a contractual benefit in relation to the amount a parent would otherwise have to pay, after grants had been calculated, and therefore their salary would be lower than they would otherwise command. I don't know whether this actually happens or even whether it is possible but I don't see a problem if it is true.

Greater transparency of any such unusual provisions would be helpful, or official confirmation that there are none. There should be nothing to hide in relation to general remuneration terms and lack of information does seem to make people like you quite anxious about rumours of practices which might be construed as being underhand.


Sounds like one for the Press to look into


Anyone take a guess how much this perk ( agreed by the States ?) is costing per annum and over what period? And they think cutting the College 's grants is reasonable!

Aving a laf

I think that if you are resident in Guernsey you can get a grant for your children to go to UNi, so if you are here on a 5 year licence and have 3 children then they could all get grants.

Since a lot of our teachers are on 5 year licence they could get the grants for their kids, it would not be part of their package.

So our taxes pay for their children to go to Uni!


Your right everyone is entitled to apply for a grant which is mean tested. What is under doubt here is that despite having a combined income in excess of the upper limit some Education employees seem to be getting the full grant.


I was classed as overseas 8 years ago or so when I went to university. We don't pay UK taxes, therefore we're classed as overseas in order that we payer higher tuition fees. That's the deal.

Although, because they classed me as overseas they made me enrol on a compulsory language course to make sure I could speak English. I turned up and said "Cor la mon vieux, what's this then?"


I was an 'overseas' student

Due to my international status my university let me take a module of 'English as a foreign language'.

So that bumped my years tally up ;-)


Just because there seems to be some confusion:

I think all the people saying they were classed as overseas aren't aware that they were classed as "semi-overseas" as the channel islands negotiated a discount with the unis. Real overseas prices were/are much worse! I say this as a Guern who went to uni 7 years ago - international friends (depending on the course) could be paying £15k - £28k per annum!

Also, if people have more than one kid at uni the amount they have to pay is often exactly the same (so it makes sense for 2 kids to be at uni at once) due to the maximum contribution limit.