University Tuition Fee Cap raise to £9,000 — 14 Dec 2010 at 20:16

The majority of Lords voted against raising the UK's undergraduate tuition fee cap to £9,000 per year.

The majority of Lords voted against changing the motion for debate from:


  • This House
  • regrets that the Government has failed to consult adequately with parents, students, higher education bodies, employers and local authorities on raising student tuition fees and to convince many people of the fairness and sustainability of its proposals for funding higher education;
  • urges the Government to undertake more public consultation on the issue, including consultation with future graduates and their families who did not contribute to the consultation over the Browne review;
  • further considers that there should be an independent impact assessment on (a) the financial consequences of the proposed fees on students from both lower and middle income families, and (b) the financial consequences of the proposed fees on women, including a full assessment of the impact of the fees on equalities and fairness, and further calls on Her Majesty's Government to commission new research to analyse the probable impact on demand for university courses of fees being increased to the range of £6,000 to £9,000 per annum from students from lower and middle income families and women; and
  • further considers that, prior to contemplating any increase to the basic amount specified in section 24 of the Education Act 2004, the Government should publish a White Paper on reform of higher education funding, allowing for consultation and for consideration of alternative proposals.

Command paper Cm 7986 is a draft document which became The Higher Education (Higher Amount) (England) Regulations 2010.

The £9,000 "Higher Amount" is the maximum fee an institution can charge if it has a plan in place under section 33 of the 2004 Higher Education Act[3]. Such plans require institutions to set out how they are to promote awareness of financial and access arrangements for the course. Regulations may be introduced to require governing bodies to monitor their institutions' compliance with their plans.

Sections 30-38 of the 2004 Higher Education Act deal with plans, and their enforcement. The plans are approved and enforced in accordance with Section 34 of the Act, by the "Office for Fair Access" which calls the plans "access agreements"[4]. Access agreements can be viewed on the OfFA website[5].

Ministerial guidance as to the content of the plans has been issued.[6]

In the absence of such a plan institutions are only permitted to charge the "Basic Amount". This division was followed by another vote which set the "Basic Amount" at £6,000 per year.[7]

The £4,500 cap applies to final years and sandwich course years where there is a shorter than usual amount of attendance required at the institution.

There was a [ House of Commons vote on the same Statutory Instrument required for setting the upper limit for the university fee to £9,000 per year.

Debate in Parliament | Source |

All Votes Cast - sorted by party

Lords for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party are marked in red. Also shows which lords were ministers at the time of this vote. You can also see every eligible lord including those who did not vote in this division.

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