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Fixed uni fees till 2009 helps students

31 Jul 2007

Fixed uni fees till 2009 helps students Students will not be burdened with higher top up fees before 2009, it has emerged.

The maximum universities can charge students in top up fees will be frozen at £3,000 for the next two years, a minister said.

John Denham, the secretary for Innovation, Universities and Skills, told the Fabian Review that he would rule out raising top up fees before then.

He added that there would be "a major debate about the size, shape and role of higher education" before a new decision was made.

The £3,000 figure as a maximum rate for top up fees was first set in September.

Since then it has been claimed that the government would need to raise the fees-ceiling so that universities can cover their costs.

Last year a survey found that many university heads believed top up fees would have to rise to £6,000 if teaching costs were to be covered.

However, official figures on student numbers show that top up fees have not triggered a decline in the number of students going to university.

Nonetheless, student debt is attributed as one of the key reasons students give for dropping out of their courses - as one in five do.

Figures from the National Audit Office show that more than 100,000 students a year fail to continue to their second year at university.

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