Universities to charge fees of £7,000 to £8,000 a year

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The Independent Online

Most universities will charge between £7,000 or £8,000 a year in fees, it was forecast last night.

Ministers will announce their response today to Lord Browne's inquiry into student finance. They will reject his plan to lift the £3,290-a-year cap on tuition fees altogether and instead opt for a two-tier system – under which universities can charge between £6,000 and around £9,000 a year.

However, a study for Universities UK, which represents vice-chancellors, indicates £6,000 a year will not be enough to cover cuts in the teaching budget announced in the Spending Review. A separate study by the University of Leicester indicated a move to fees of £10,000 would not seriously jeopardise the number of applications from students.

A survey by the National Union of Students painted a much bleaker picture – warning that seven out of 10 students would think again about going to university if fees were raised to £7,000. At £10,000, 79 per cent would be deterred.