The upper limit for domestic and EU tuition fees at English universities will be increased from £9,000 to £9,250 per year, starting from autumn 2017.
The new regulations were uploaded to a government site on 15 December, on the same day the English school league tables were published. No public statement was made by the Department for Education at the time, and few people noticed the change had been published until the BBC picked up the story.
Who will be affected?
The fees increase applies to domestic and EU students, enrolling on full-time undergraduate degrees at English universities. Fees for international and postgraduate students are set by each university, and are not affected by these regulations.
The Department for Education has stated that universities will only be able to increase fees if they “meet a strict quality bar”. However, the BBC reports that almost all universities are expected to charge the full amount.
As well as new students enrolling in 2017/18, current students may also be charged the higher fees, if universities choose to apply the increase across the board.
Are further increases likely?
The short answer: yes. While the tuition fees cap has been fixed at £9,000 since 2012, the government now plans to increase fees annually, in line with inflation.
Following criticism about the lack of publicity or debate, the Department for Education has said the regulations “will now be subject to normal parliamentary scrutiny and could be debated”.
Although the country’s universities are currently closed for the Christmas break, it is anticipated that students across the nation will soon be adding their own voices to the debate.
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