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Open University Fees For Iom Residents Set To Soar

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Given the restricted education opportunities on the IOM (despite the rhetoric !) I have been a part time student with the Open University (OU) for some time. The learning material is generally very good and the qualifications acknowledged by employers as being some of the best. Low and behold the OU has now written to every IOM OU student to tell them that as the IOM is not part of the UK the fees are going to be hiked up later this year. This is because the OU gets substantial grant income from the UK Government, derived from contributions of UK taxpayers. As IOM residents do not pay UK taxes, (I thought we had reciprocal agreements on various financial fronts) the fees are no longer to be subsidised as they are for the UK students.

Depending on the course someone is studying this could mean fees going up several hundred pounds per course module. Given that there are quite a number of OU students on the IOM, many of whom do jobs during the day and study at night and at weekends to try and improve their education and therefore get better job opportunities this seems grossly unfair - and even more so if tax relief on such courses is also removed by our local friendly Income Tax chums!

IOM Education Dept charging UK students higher fees if they study here (very few of these I would guess) as they do not pay Manx Taxes will not work as it will make the IOM even more expensive. So it's a proverbial poke in the eye with an educational stick!

Many of our MHK's probably will not be interested in the slighest in this topic since the last time I guess they were in a classroom or did any studying was as frequent attendees of remedial classes - but for many residents who do want to improve themselves and their families, higher fees will result in many packing in educating themselves - sad not only for them, but for the Island as a whole.

Whilst the addage "if you think education is expensive, try ignorance", certainly applies, the practical implications of this is, regretfully, only too evident and omnipresent in our political governance.

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Most universities have been charging more for IOM students for a long long time. I went to uni 10 years ago and we had our own more expensive fee category then.

 

Re interested MHKs, Bill Henderson has an interest in OU education.

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It's far from an ideal situation. Seems a little ironic to me that the Government are prepared to pay for Manx students to go to the UK to study but won't subsidise OU students who are still living here and contributing to the economy.

It's going to be a struggle for me to finish my degree now. It's hard enough with the 'normal' fee but to pay extra while trying to save up for a house and a wedding is going to be pretty impossible

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Any chance you can find a mate in the UK whose address you can use to register for the course? All he/she woudl have to do is forward you any mail.

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Is this something the Government were aware of prior to the OU's letter?

 

Has anybody approached any MHK's or the Education Dept about this? If so what was their reaction?

 

I would be interested to know how they respond to this.

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Is this something the Government were aware of prior to the OU's letter?

 

Has anybody approached any MHK's or the Education Dept about this? If so what was their reaction?

 

I would be interested to know how they respond to this.

 

I've lost count of the number of times I've spoken to the Dept of Education about it. They're basically not budging. I've spoken to a number of MHKs who have promised much but delivered little.

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Probably waiting for a meeting sometime in the distant future.

 

This is a very important matter for many island residents. Anyone who gets a degree through the OU deserves support. It was one of the best things Harold Wilson started.

 

It is good for the Island to enable its residents the ability to improve themselves and in so doing to better the community. I can see those at the Education Dept. examining the economic benefits of particular courses before subsidising students. But when will the students and those wanting to start studies know?

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To my mind, the DOE funding OU students on Island makes economic sense as they will probably stay on the Island after they have graduated. Whereas, if you leave the Island to study the likelihood is that you will find a job off-island so never bringing the return on the DOE's investment.

 

Does the DOE now fund local students (i.e. a living expenses grant) at the International Business School? It seemed daft to me that they didn't as that would keep the funding on the Island and hopefully broaden the courses that are available, whilst giving those students who would prefer to stay here for their higher education "a level playing field" with those that either wanted to taste life across or who wanted to study non-business subjects.

 

The grant doesn't have to be at the same level as for those that go across (in my day there was a travelling allowance built in) but it would be good to see the IBS as a real alternative for those that want to continue their studies but remain here and study subjects that were pertinent to the local commerce.

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To my mind, the DOE funding OU students on Island makes economic sense as they will probably stay on the Island after they have graduated. Whereas, if you leave the Island to study the likelihood is that you will find a job off-island so never bringing the return on the DOE's investment.

 

Does the DOE now fund local students (i.e. a living expenses grant) at the International Business School? It seemed daft to me that they didn't as that would keep the funding on the Island and hopefully broaden the courses that are available, whilst giving those students who would prefer to stay here for their higher education "a level playing field" with those that either wanted to taste life across or who wanted to study non-business subjects.

 

The grant doesn't have to be at the same level as for those that go across (in my day there was a travelling allowance built in) but it would be good to see the IBS as a real alternative for those that want to continue their studies but remain here and study subjects that were pertinent to the local commerce.

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