After the disruption to Manx students attending university last year, with some, but not a majority, deferring their first year, the Education Minister believes that we will likely see a return to usual numbers this autumn.
Under the gov’s exit strategy, there should be no border restrictions in place by the end of September, when many of the island’s students will go off to university.
Dr Alex Allinson said that last year, while many universities accepted students’ decision to defer or work remotely, they will want to get them back into lecture theatres and campuses this year and many Manx students will likely want to go.
He said: ‘It wasn’t that many actually who chose to defer, a lot of people did go over because they wanted to get started. But then of course they went over, they went into lockdown and we all saw the picture from Manchester University, it was fairly miserable for some students, particularly for those who were in first year.
‘What we’ve certainly seen more of is people doing distance learning, or studying at home and going over for a short period of time and then coming back. That could be the way of things in the future with people deciding if they’re not getting the full experience after spending all that money, they’re better off staying here and doing something on island. So we’re working closely with UCM to look at expanding the options they provide but we’re also doing a review into funding so we can look at funding more people to have the choice to do distance learning.’