Two Yorkshire universities set to raise fees

Angela Rayner
Angela Rayner
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TWO UNIVERSITIES in Yorkshire have become the latest to confirm that they plan to increase tuition fees in line with inflation, if Government reforms are approved.

Bradford and York St John universities both said that they planned to pursue a fee increase from 2017.

The Government plans to allow higher education providers to increase maximum tuition fees in line with inflation if they meet the expectations of a new Teaching Excellence Framework.

This would mean fee annual fees would rise to £9,250 in 2017/18.

The reforms are included in a Higher Education Bill which passed its second reading in Parliament earlier this week.

It was reported earlier this week that Durham, Kent and Royal Holloway Universities are all planning to increase their fees next year.

Now both Bradford and York St John have said they are planning fee increases as well.

A Bradford University spokesman said: “Subject to Parliamentary approval, the University of Bradford intends to raise fees in line with inflation from 2017/18.”

A spokeswoman from York St John said: “In line with other institutions, we were approached by the Office for Fair Access a few months ago asking us to confirm whether, subject to Government approval, we would be putting our fees up for the 2017/18 academic year.

“We are not automatically assuming that the legislation to increase fees will be passed by MPs later this year. But, costs pressures in the sector are rising so, if approved, we plan to increase our fees by 2.8 per cent, in line with inflation, to £9,250.”

Leeds University’s website says that its fees for September this year are £9,000 a year but adds: “Fees may increase each year in line with Government regulations.”

Huddersfield, Hull and York universities told The Yorkshire Post they were still considering their position on fees.

Sheffield University’s website says: “We will set fees for 2017-18 when the Government establishes limits for tuition fees” while Sheffield Hallam University’s site say its fees for 2017–18 will be announced soon.

The Yorkshire Post approached all ten universities in the region to ask about their position on increasing fees.

All ten have met the expectations of the new framework and could therefore increase fees with inflation if the Government reforms are passed by Parliament. None of the ten universities ruled out increasing fees yesterday.

However, Bradford College, which provides degrees and has also met the expectations of the new framework, has ruled out increasing fees. It said “fees for undergraduate degrees will remain at their current level for existing students and £7,950 for those commencing their studies in 2017”.

Students fees are not paid up front but are taken on as a loan.

Announcing the new fee cap in a written statement to the Commons this week, universities Minister Jo Johnson said the maximum fee loan for students would rise to £9,250.

Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner said at the time: “The Tories are letting down young people. First they trebled tuition fees saddling students with debt, now they’ve confirmed they’re set to go up again.”