University Tuition Fee Cap raise to £6,000 — 14 Dec 2010 at 19:56
The majority of Lords voted against raising the "basic" tuition fee cap to £6,000 per year. The "basic" cap applies to courses for which there are no plans in place to promote access and student finance information.
Technically the vote was on changing the motion before the house from:
- That the draft regulations laid before the House on 29 November be approved.
- 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.
The draft regulations set the "basic amount" under section 24 of the 2004 Higher Education Act at £6,000. That is the maximum fee an institution can charge in the absence of a plan under section 33 of the 2004 Higher Education Act. Such plans require institutions to set out how they are to promote awareness of financial and access arrangements for the course, and with such a plan institutions can charge up to £9,000 per year. (This division was preceded by another vote which raised the overall tuition fee cap to £9,000 per year.)
Ministerial guidance as to the content of the plans has been issued.
The regulations passed included provisions to cap tuition fees at £3,000 per year for final years and sandwich course years where there is a shorter than usual amount of attendance required at the institution.
There was also a the vote vote in the House of Commons on the same Statutory Instrument required for setting the basic university fee to £6,000 per year.
-  The Higher Education (Basic Amount) (England) Regulations 2010
-  Section 24 of the 2004 Higher Education Act - describes "plans" required to enable charging more than £6,000.
-  Section 33 of the 2004 Higher Education Act - The legislation which defines the plans required to charge the higher rate of fees.
-  Tuition Fee Cap - Raise Overall Cap to £9,000 - House of Commons Division, 9th December 2010.
-  The Office for Fair Access Website
-  Ministerial Guidance to the Director of Fair Access, The head of the Office of Fair Access - Issued December 7th 2010
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.