Students to find out uni tuition fees

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STUDENTS will discover in the next 10 days how much Sheffield’s universities are planning to charge when tuition fees are increased from September 2012.

The University of Sheffield’s ruling body meets next Monday to decide whether to charge the maximum £9,000 a year - up from the current cap of £3,000.

Sheffield Hallam is not set to announce its decision until April 19, which is right on the Government’s deadline for a figure to be announced.

Sheffield is part of the exclusive Russell Group of universities - and all eight of its fellow members to have confirmed their fees so far have opted to charge £9,000.

They include Cambridge, Oxford, Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham, Warwick and some top London colleges.

Hallam is part of the University Alliance grouping. Fellow member Liverpool John Moores is also to charge £9,000, but Portsmouth has opted for £8,500.

A Hallam spokeswoman said: “Like all universities Sheffield Hallam is taking its decision about fee levels extremely seriously and discussions are ongoing.”

A Sheffield University spokeswoman said: “Various fee options are currently being modelled and a final decision will not be taken until the university’s council has met and considered these recommendations.

“As part of this process the university has entered into an open and inclusive dialogue with staff and students on why prospective students should choose Sheffield and what they can expect when they are here.

“Whatever the decision on fee levels, Sheffield University will continue to place great emphasis on widening participation and will continue to strive to ensure cost is not a barrier to students.

“We are, and will remain, committed to ensuring that higher education is open to anyone who has the potential, ability, determination and motivation to benefit.”

All universities charging more than £6,000 have been told to devise cheaper payment schemes for poorer families and some have come up with sliding scales of charges.

Ministers predicted universities would be allowed to charge £9,000 a year only ‘in exceptional circumstances’ - but critics say top institutions are opting for the maximum as a ‘badge of prestige’.