According to a government watchdog, more than one-fifth of institutions providing higher education in England are going to reduce their tuition fees up to £7,500 from the next autumn. Namely, 28 universities and colleges agreed to change their initial fees. In summer it was announced that the estimated average fee for all colleges and institutions in the country was £8,393 per year. Then fee waivers for less affluent students were included and the set fee dropped to £8,161. However, 47 universities claimed that the standard fee would be £9,000 – the maximum charge.
After the watchdog made its announcement, the government provided universities with incentives to decrease the fees and charge less than £7,500 through giving extra 20,000 places for undergraduates starting from 2012. According to the business secretary, this figure will increase in years.
When all universities set their fees for 2012, the white paper was published. The condition under which universities can charge more than £6,000 a year is to give evidences on how they are going to provide places to disadvantaged students. These plans had to have been approved by the watchdog to come into power. In case the universities and colleges want to make changes to these plans, they need to receive re-approval from the watchdog.