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Students: Fees and Charges

Volume 479: debated on Monday 1 September 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what the Government's policy is on variable university tuition fees. (219848)

The Government's policy is that it is right that students should bear a fair share of the costs of higher education. The variable fees regime that we introduced in 2006 will provide an additional £1.6 billion for higher education by 2010-11. At the same time we have ensured that there is strong support to meet students' personal financial needs. This has enabled us to make further progress in widening access to higher education, with the proportion of accepted applicants from England who are from the bottom four socio-economic groups has increased from 31.7 per cent. in 2006 to 32.1 per cent. in 2007.

The maximum fee that can be charged each year is capped at £3,000 (at 2006 prices) and no increase can be made to this until Parliament has considered an independent review of the first three years of the new system.