Vice-chancellors are understandably reluctant to commit themselves on the pricing of courses four years hence, despite the prompting of newspapers, including The THES . Why should they? Any announcement is likely to be greeted with dismay on campus and could send an unwanted message to potential applicants, even though they would not be affected by higher fees. But by 2006, it will be surprising if nearly all universities are not charging full fees. Inflation will have narrowed the gap with the standard fee, and £3,000 a year is almost certain to become the norm. How many universities will want to belong to the probably small club holding out at a lower price?