Many universities are planning to charge the maximum fees in amount of £9,000 a year and this can cause a £1bn gap in university funding. In order to cover the cost of tuition fees, the government can be forced to spend this money over the next four years. As a part of a reform of the funding of higher education, universities are allowed to charge trebles fees from autumn next year.
The initial charge is determined by the government. It pays fee for each student in the form of loan and when a student graduates and gets a job, he is to pay this money off in amount of more than £21,000. However, critics claim that government can compensate the money from other higher education spending which will lead to cuts in research budgets and decrease in university places. David Willetts, the universities minister, says that although the universities will charge the maximum fees, the market will develop. Out of 16 universities that have already stated how much they are going to charge, 13 claimed that they intend to charge the maximum. Only University College London, Birmingham
and Lancaster are planning to stick to average fees.
Taking the funds from universities’ budgets, research and teaching grant is likely to face cuts and the number of university places can decrease.
Gareth Thomas, the shadow universities minister, wrote in his essay papers
: "The government repeatedly promised that fees over £6,000 would be the exception, but it is increasingly clear that they are powerless to stop most universities charging close to £9,000. This will push up average fees beyond the £7,500 estimate on which the government's spending plans are based, requiring deeper cuts elsewhere in the higher education budget."
Among universities that are planning to charge £9,000 are Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College London, Exeter, Essex, Aston, Manchester, Warwick and Durham while St Mary's University College and Twickenham are going to charge £8,000.