Universities 'should charge our students home fees rather than international'

EDUCATION is seeking emergency meetings with the four universities that refused to treat island students the same as those in the UK.

Robert Sillars

EDUCATION is seeking emergency meetings with the four universities that refused to treat island students the same as those in the UK.

Cambridge, Cardiff, Warwick and Imperial universities announced it would bring in higher overseas fees for Guernsey students in December.

But higher education and legal manager Eddie Martel said the department has been trying to arrange meetings with the institutions to talk about the issue.

‘What we would like to get out of those meetings is for the universities to charge our students home fees rather than international fees.’

Education minister Robert Sillars, pictured, said further comment would be made once meetings had taken place.

Comments for: "Universities 'should charge our students home fees rather than international' "

Island Wide Voting

"Cambridge, Cardiff, Warwick and Imperial universities announced it would bring in higher overseas fees for Guernsey students in December."

Easily solved.No grants at all to local students who choose to attend those centres rather than equally good alternatives


Island Wide Voting

Firstly, there is no equal alternative to Cambridge in any ranking table. Quite simply, it is the best university available in the UK, meaning that there are no 'equally good alternatives'.

What the States is attempting to do, to their credit, is fantastic, because they are attempting to create a level playing field for all students regardless of differences in financial means.

All four institutions quoted in the article are incredibly popular with Guernsey students due to their specialisation in certain subject areas and their very high level of reputation for future employers.

To suggest that local students who are capable of getting into these universities should apply to other universities that do not offer the same level of opportunity because of fee issues that were out of their control is ludicrous. How can you expect Guernsey to develop for the future when their best students cannot attend the UK's best institutions?

Surely you do not want a return to the days where only the rich elite went to the best universities and the poorer citizens, despite no difference in intelligence or capability, were left to universities that could not provide the same levels of opportunity?

Further, this year's intake were only alerted about the fee changes after the application deadline had passed. Cambridge applicants in particular had already had their interviews and therefore had no knowledge of which universities they would be supported at, and those at which they wouldn't. Certainly, these students should not be disadvantaged with lesser or even no grants when they had no control over the circumstances.

How would you feel if you had applied to one of these universities, but were held back by a refusal of a government grant?

Island Wide voting


I take your point ... up to a point

I'm just left wondering if these four Uni's take different / harder exams at the end of their courses so that a 1st or a 2.1 degree at Cardiff is harder to achieve and therefore more valuable than at any of the other Uni's in the UK

Perhaps rather than refusing them any grant at all,student's should make up the extra monetary difference in fees themselves if they insist on choosing the more expensive institution


Island Wide Voting

I guess it's a matter of prestige which means the very best lecturers and students gravitate together to the "centres of excellence" meaning the overall learning and understanding experience is enhanced. It's never just about the exams or grades.

Island Wide Voting


Wot ... like Elizabeth College?



Whilst it's not the exams that make the courses more valuable, the fact that you attended one of these universities would place you in better stead in whichever field of work you wanted to go into after University.

Universities that offer more valuable courses generally have higher entry grade requirements. For example, to study Law at Cambridge you need to obtain at least A* A A at A-Level, whereas to study Law at Winchester, commonly considered a lower university, you need to obtain roughly B B C at A-Level.

Essentially, it's true to say that the 'better' the university, the harder the work, hence the higher levels of academic achievement needed to attend. Thus, it could be said that achieving a degree at one of these institutions is harder and more valuable.

In regards to the monetary side of things, I understand why you would think like this. However, having gone through the university application process this year, I think that it would have been very difficult to structure my university studies around financial means.

If I truly believe that a university is best for me in pure terms of educational development, should I not be able to go there paying the same fees as everyone else?


Island Wide Voting

Ha ha. Elizabeth College is not in the same league or in any way similar to Cambridge university! No!

In any case you seem to have forgotten that EC is a comprehensive not an academy of just elite students.



The grade requirements for law at Cambridge are surprisingly lower than what I thought. I think that there are quite a few students who are capable of attaing an A*, A and another A if they sacrificied further leisure time and some of their lunch break for extra work.

This is slightly irrelevant to the subject matter, but I think the Guernsey Sixth form is losing its academic aura due to the influx of merely avergage students and the seemingly casual nature of the teachers, which is something that mars the learning experience for those more able (not ones who merely scraped 'C' grades and perhaps a double of 'B's) as it is the lower achievers who create disruption in classrooms (yes, that still happens at Sixth Form level) and invite the fully academically-able students to engage in idiocy.

Furthermore, teachers give in to their pupils by allowing them to bring in food, usually in Fridays, and have so-called 'cake days' and engaging in the conversations with their students during lesson time, which means that it is often 20 minutes into the lesson when the pupils actually do work- something that impairs the education of the more academically-able students by creating a less intellectually-stimulating environment.

Therefore, I think radically changing aspects of the Sixth Form is more important than addressing the university-related issues- from a spiritual and intellectual perspective at least.


Yes it is irrelevant but what pomposity!

I presume you are referring to yourself as one of these more intellectually able people?

In my experience, those that claim to be intelligent are not as bright as they think they are and just for the record, being intelligent does not make you wise.


Absolutely right. Why should we pay overseas fees when we are British nationals?

Cake and eat it!

Er, because you don't pay 'British' tax and therefore don't contribute to our economy and from that perspective ARE overseas. As a (Guern) UK taxpayer, why should I fund overseas students' education? That would be exactly the same as you coming over here and getting the same NHS benefits etc as UK residents without contributing.


Very well said!


Guernsey doesn't contribute to the UK tax system, the UK tax payers help fund Universities. Why should we be expecting equal treatment? If it becomes cost prohibitive, the onus should be on the States to assist with the costs, if Scotland can do it,Guernsey can too! Why must we always try to have our cake and eat it?


Does the States not contribute at all currently?


Max, absolutely right. The UK has no reason to offer subsidised rates for channel island students, what does Guernsey give in return. When we stop giving free Uni education to Education employees who can afforde to fund their own children and insist that those who do benefit from States assistance complete degrees which are useful to Guernsey then we might be able to shout 'foul'.


We don't contribute to their tax system, therefore we shouldn't be eligible to reduced education costs. I don't get it, my fees were £9,500 a year when I went to university, but English people's were £3,500-£4,000. What's changed?


Guernsey can't have it both ways - opting in and out of the UK system as it suits.


Having come from the UK in the last three years I now enjoy the benefit of much lower tax, no VAT, no Road Tax and no Council Tax. All in all a huge saving and we have found the cost of living far less. Yes, the rent is high but is more than compensated by cheaper food - hedge veg etc , similar utilities costs and no transport costs to speak of - no longer £400 a month petrol costs !

The average UK citizen should not be expected to subsidize lucky people like me. My kids went to university when we were in the UK and the truth is it's always going to be expensive. However they worked 20 - 25 hours a week in retail whilst in Uni - got their first class degrees and learned about the real world. Job done !


One of my colleagues came here on a five year licence and wasnt told by their employer that by coming to the Channel Islands, their children will be subject to CI uni fees because they have been out of the country. Ouch!


Unless agreed otherwise, its surely up to the individual to check how a move to the CI would impact her in ways such as this.

You can't expect your employer to inform you of every potential issue and difference, and if you can't be bothered to research relevent things like this for yourself, I have no sympathy!


Oh I fully agree. The employer in questions is pretty rubbish though when staff come from the UK. There are lots of differences and there is no assistance (changing drivers licences, social security, Liberation Day). Not that it's a problem at the moment as they have been in the Press laying off staff, so I imagine there wont be too many secondments from the UK.

Island Wide Voting

This is quite a helpful site for movers



While Guernsey is without a doubt a wonderful place to live, it does come at a cost. To quote from a Press article in 2011:

"The cost of living in Guernsey is considerably higher than in the UK, according to a report for the States.

It shows that most residents need a 20-30% higher budget to achieve a minimum standard of living.

This figure rises to more than 40% for older islanders, with a single pensioner needing £356.17 per week to pay for for food, rent and other needs.

The study was carried out by the University of Loughborough's Centre for Research in Social Policy (CRSP).

It examined a range of people and their needs, and arrived at a set of figures representing the income needed to live a "minimum, socially acceptable life".

The areas looked at included housing, fuel, food, clothing, transport and cultural participation."


You may think the UK has no obligation to offer us reduced rates but the Education department has managed to get them with all but four Universities. I appreciate the job they have done - its saved us all money that can be spent elsewhere. A great end result.


For now.

Universities are all on the lookout for ways to increase their coffers so won't be suprised if this is just the start...


It is unfair in one way but Guernsey students benefit hugely from Cambridge treating them as overseas.

For one thing, other than medicine, there is no cap on the number of 'overseas' students that Cambridge can accept. It is no co-incidence that a large number of College and Grammar students have got into Cambridge for Arts and Science courses in recent years.


But they (personally) will still pay less than if stayed in UK as maximum parental contribution is around £6500+/- this year rising to £7500+/- for 2013 entry. In the UK it would be the full £9000 for most places.

L'eree Lad

If they stayed in the UK they would have substantially lower travel costs and possibly accomodation/subsistence also should they chose to attend a Uni close to home.

Residing on the rock they would not have this choice and believe me that could double the cost of the course - with potentially no additional grant available as it is means tested...

Island Wide Voting

I see in the written Press that about 50% of Uni students return to work in the island

Can't make up my mind if that's a good return on the 3M per year in grants

Novel idea......

The States should give bursaries to local students studying overseas (for some subjects, such as medicine) and fund their tuition fees on the proviso that they will come back to Guernsey to work within 10 years of graduation and stay for a minimum of, say, 10 years. If that contract is broken then the student has to pay the money back. Thereby reducing the need for importing labour in certain fields and reducing housing licences etc. Not for all degrees, such as Media Studies etc, but for ones where typically the states have to recruit non-locals.


agree 100%, there are other countries that have this system and it seems to work.


Agree... although forcing recipients to stay for 10 years may be a bit much- an amount of time equivalent to that for which they received a bursary would suffice in my opinion so 3 years for a 3 year degree etc.


What a novel idea(novel idea)

Make sense to me. Wonder what our young posters think?

Uk girl ex Guernsey resident

Guernsey is not part of UK so therefore Guernsey wishes to establish itself and its residents as its own entity and not part of UK/GB

Clearly this demonstrates channel island residents are by default 'international' students and therefore are not entitled to UK resident university fees.

Sometimes Guernsey wishes to act/be part of UK/GB just to abuse/exploit the benefits UK universities offer to UK residents

Funny how when boot is on the foot of a UK/GB person living in Guernsey we are treated as being foreign and asked to leave when housing licence expires and yet we have no power or rights to remain on island even though we are UK/GB citizen who has paid into Guernsy tax and social security system

Fair is fair if Guernsey treats English people like me as foreign and asked to leave when licence has expired why then does Guernsey thinks its even appropriate or fair to be entitled to UK student fees when actually Guernsey students ARE classified as international

In addition athletes from Guernsey were classed as team members from GB yet this puzzled me as I am not sure this was correct?? Make up mind Guernsey are you your own Island or part of UK/GB ?!

Island Wide voting

Some good points UK girl

I wonder what the Guernsey soldiers fighting the 'war on terror' in liar Blair's Afghanistan balls up would make of them ?


Guernsey is not part of the UK but it is part of the British Isles which must count for something. Are all British Isles being classified as "international"?

UK Girl

Tell the housing department that when they kick English people off the island after licence expires .... Why if we are BRITISH why are we not allowed to remain on island on a more permanent basis if we can work and pay into system and even buy properties and invest and pay into system for a number of years


Can anyone say how the other British overseas territories are treated for University fees, eg Cayman Islands, Bermuda Gibraltar and so on? Same rules for them?


Those islands you mention are not part of the British Isles like Guernsey is. I would like to know how other British Isles are treated such as the Isle of Man, Isle of Wight, Isles of Scilly, Hebrides etc Are all of these also being classed as overseas?


Yes it would be interesting to hear about the Isle of Man fees. The other islands you mention are in the UK so I guess will be charged the same as any other part of it.


The "UK tax" arugment doesn't really hold water upon closer inspection


It currently costs the UK taxpayer roughly £18k to fund each student though university. However since the changes to HEFCE, the vast majority of this goes on "student support" (maintenance grants for poor families, write offs on unpaid loans etc) which would not be received by CI students anyway.

The remaining UK taxpayer subsidy for actual teaching costs is probably in the region of 1-1.5k over the whole time at college, so allowing CI students to pay local fees is hardly the great tax swindle some are making it out to be.



Guernsey is very proud to have hosted Island Games, however, when global sport is on the agenda, then the Channel Islands, and indeed other offshore Islands with UK affiliations are equally proud to be a part of the UK Team.

Guernsey cannot encompass all licence holders who wish to remain here, we are pleased to welcome those of you who hold a licence, given to those due to a skill we cannot provide on Island.

Guernsey Education has done a great job by achieving places for our students where they have, well done to them.

Medium G

We do pay the tv licence fee: that's a UK tax!


I do not believe that any student pursuing further education in the UK should receive any free financial help from our States. Instead they should be offered a loan that should be paid back once they have finished their course. We are assuming that those that go away to further their education do so with the serious intent of securing a well paid job so it should not be a hardship to pay this back. It teaches people that nothing in life is free. If someone leaving school at 18 wants to take the entrepreneurial route they have to go to a bank and hopefully get a loan for their business. There should be no difference in the treatment of the young entrepreneur and the student.


Bridge,there are thousands of British citizens who do not pay UK tax.

Why should they have special treatment?



In response to your reply to post , your experience is 1 out of millions; if we wanted more reliable evidence we would have to carry out a sophisticated investigation. It's like saying that tobacco doesn't have any ill effects on one's health because a mere few supercentenarians and semi-ultra centenarians have smoked.

With concern to your idea that I consider myself intellectually gifted, how do you know that I am merely expressing my disgust at the incompetency of certain teachers and how students who don't particualrly want to be at the Sixth Form mar the experience for those who are eager to avail themselves ? Don't you think that is the situation as well ?


My tuition fees were £10,500 whilst at uni, my fellow UK students were around £3500... This was 2007-2010. I'm not sure much has changed for us? It's the Uk students that are getting hammered now isn't it?

Mr Lloyd

'Get lost back to where you came from, that includes people from the mainland who arent local'

'we're not part of the UK, so stop comparing us to it'

'sort out your own back yard before you come picking on us'

All comments seen on TIG in the recent past! Even a prominent local deputy gleefully pointing out the difficulties the UK find themselves in, and comparing that to Guernsey's relatively cushy position.

There is more than a small element of hypocrisy here.

Eric Heffer

The per capita income in the island is much higher than that in the UK. Hence it is reasonable that UK universities charge our students as a whole the international rate or some premium over a domestic student. Why should the UK subsidise our choice to have lower tax rates?


You can also say that of certain UK cities but i they do not charge in accordance with post code.

In Guernseys case the cost of living and housing is also higher, it also costs more to house students whilst studying in the UK and added to that the fly/ferry fees back and forth between semesters.

Tam Dayle

UK universities drop their entry standards for international students both in grades and English language proficiency.So there is that benefit.


Guernsey used to have an agreement with England to be treated the same, but it was decided we couldn't afford it.

Some universities treat Guernsey as part of UK.

However Scotland treAt Guernsey the same as England (but they like us better than England).

I have even read somewhere one of their laws explain England Wales and the Islands are to be treated the same. They then go on to define the Islands and we are included.

UK Girl


Wouldn't it be nice if the housing department had a similar arrangement/agreement to allow uk/British citizens a more permanent housing licence if we are working, paying tax and social security instead of being treated as foreign and required to leave when expiry date is set


They do- you have to get a 15 year license.