According to the government's higher education watchdog, at least 12 universities would reconsider the amount of tuition fees that they are going to charge. Starting from the next autumn, the average fee was estimated to be £8,393 while the maximum was announced to be £9,000.
More than a third of universities throughout England believed that a standard fee would be £9,000, the Office for Fair Access (Offa) says. However, after the governments gave strong reasons and incentives to universities to reduce the fees, the universities are reconsidering the sums and are intended to charge less than £7,500.
This summer a white paper was published by ministers although the universities have already agreed upon the fees for the next year. The main purpose of the white paper was to show universities that in case they charge less than £7,500, they can accept almost 20, 000 applicants in 2012.
As a result, at least 12 universities asked whether they could change the planned amount of fees. The watchdog has recently sent all universities an email that contained instructions on the way the universities could lower the fees. In a fact, a while paper said that the universities have to reissue an agreement that would state how they are going to broaden their mix of students so that more teenagers from low-income homes got places at universities.
"You may be considering measures to lower your institution's net average fee, in order to bid for places. This guidance … sets out how to make any resulting changes", the email states.
It is obvious that while choosing which universities to apply for, some applicants base their decisions on the university's fees.
According to Eric Thomas, president of Universities UK, universities that want to bid for the 20,000 places, have to lower their fees.