Ipswich: University head calls fee rise ‘outrageous’

WHILE almost a thousand of Suffolk’s students were busy celebrating their achievements, the future of university education was propelled into a debate as education chiefs may choose to raise the tuition fee limit to three times its current amount.

Students across the country could pay up to �9,000 a year in tuition fees from 2012, government ministers announced in Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday.

Universities minister David Willetts announced proposals to raise the tuition fee cap to �6,000, with institutions able to charge up to �9,000 in “exceptional circumstances.”

Under the new plans, set to come into force in two years’ time, bosses at University Campus Suffolk are likely to increase their tuition fees from �3,290 to somewhere in the region of �6,000.

At University Campus Suffolk’s graduation ceremonies yesterday, Andy Speed, president of the student union, blasted the decision as “outrageous”.

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“I think the raise in fees is outrageous, it’s shocking,” he said. “It will be the poorer students that are most affected by this, and it seems that these poorer students are likely to be used as currency to many of the bigger institutions.”

Mike Saks, provost for UCS, said: “We are going to be doing a lot of analysing since the announcement over tuition fees.

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“We will be pitching tuition fees at around the �6,000 mark because we want to ensure that students from all backgrounds can benefit from the facilities UCS offers.

“We want to give all students an opportunity to study at UCS and we want to remain high quality.

“It is important for us to leave the doors open to all students.”

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