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Higher Education provision on the Isle of Man 1 February 2008

The Department of Education has affirmed its commitment to developing the provision of higher education at The Nunnery, Douglas.

The location will become the Department’s higher education centre, though some courses will continue to be provided in specialist facilities elsewhere, Minister for Education Anne Craine MHK today confirmed.

Last July, the Department went out to consultation over a proposal to combine the Isle of Man College and the International Business School to create the ‘Isle of Man College and University Centre’.

The intention was to create a single base for Higher Education on the Isle of Man.

The consultation paper proposed that Higher Education provision would operate from The Nunnery site, where the International Business School is located, while the Isle of Man College site in Homefield Road, Douglas, would continue to provide Community, Further and Vocational Education. Degree and other higher education courses are offered on both sites at present.

The new policy of providing Higher Education on The Nunnery site will allow course provision to be expanded and allow for the main providers to work together. This will also address the acute shortage of accommodation at the Isle of Man College, which has seen rising demand for space as the number of full-time students grows and vocational training is provided for some 500 Year 10 and 11 pupils at secondary schools.

Issuing an update, Mrs Craine said:

‘The International Business School is already present at The Nunnery and the Department wishes to see the Isle of Man College and the Centre for Manx Studies providing their higher education courses there, too, so that the majority of students following HE courses on the Island will share the same, distinctive facilities, regardless of which provider is being used.’

She said:

‘In order to achieve this outcome, a three-year transitionary period has been set and, towards the end of it in December 2010, the Department will commission a review of progress and evaluate whether the resultant provision should at that stage be termed a “University College”.
‘To assist the various course providers to align their plans and operational practices, including the rationalisation of the use of staff and accommodation, the Department will establish a Higher Education Council (HEC), chaired by Eddie Lowey MLC, with representatives from various organisations.’

Mrs Craine continued:

‘A Co-ordinator will be appointed to oversee and manage implementation of this policy, reporting to the HEC. The governing bodies of each of the providers will also have a key role in supporting the delivery of the Department’s expectation that there must be collaboration and alignment.
‘The Department looks forward to the various organisations working together strategically to develop HE provision on the Island.’

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