Ed Miliband, the leader of the Labour party has warned that "unravelling" tuition fee reforms will result in at least 10% cut of university places for undergraduates. He said that nearly 36,000 full-time places would be axed by ministers each year.
In December ministers have voted to increase tuition fees from £3,350 to £6,000 in 2012 and up to £9,000 in "exceptional cases". The average fee, initially predicted by David Willets, was £7,500 which later rose to £8,000.
At first, £9,000 tuition fees were expected to be implemented in exceptional cases only. However, almost three-quarters of universities announced that they would charge the maximum fees for some of their degree courses. The most beneficial way for the government
to make up for the higher upfront cost would be to decrease student numbers.
On Tuesday, Miliband said: "It will cost students more. It will now cost the taxpayer more. And it may cost thousands of young people their place at university". He accused the government of a "second betrayal" and said that with such high fees the government would have to pay out more and more in loans.
He believes that David Cameron had broken a promise that £9,000 fees would be an exception. Miliband wrote in his essay papers
:"Nick Clegg promised not to raise tuition fees, and now David Cameron looks set to break his [promise] by saying that £9,000 fees would be the exception. What's more, this incompetence blows a hole in the claimed savings in the tuition fees policy." Meanwhile, a charity has warned that many teenagers from low-income families are likely to refuse from entering the university next year because of the absence of information on government's tuition fee reforms.