House of Lords backs tuition fee hike despite a last-minute bid to derail the proposals

Plans to almost triple the tuition fee cap to £9,000 have passed through Parliament after being backed by the House of Lords.

Labour’s last-minute attempt to derail the proposals failed after peers voted down two “fatal” amendments tabled by the party.

It means universities look set to be able to charge much higher fees from 2012-13, although they will be required to sign agreements on widening access for poor students if they charge more than £6,000 a year.

Speakers in last night’s debate included Lord Browne of Madingley, whose controversial report paved the way for the government’s plans. He said he “strongly supported” the measures despite differences from those proposed by his review.

Among those voicing concerns was Liberal Democrat education specialist Baroness Sharp of Guildford, who said she had “substantial reservations” about the proposals.

These included the fact that by switching to loans, the government was moving taxpayers’ investment in higher education “off the books” to tackle the deficit.

“That is very convenient, but it will come back on to the national debt at a later point”, she said.

Peers voted by a majority of 68 against Labour’s amendment to stop the basic level of university fees rising to £6,000 and by a majority of 73 to block its move against raising the higher cap on fees to £9,000.

There was little in the way of protest outside the Lords, unlike last week when thousands of students protested outside Parliament as MPs voted through the plans by a majority of 21.

Already registered?

Sign in now if you are already registered or a current subscriber. Or subscribe for unrestricted access to our digital editions and iPad and iPhone app.

Featured Jobs

Learning Enhancement Manager UNIVERSITY OF DERBY

Register to continue  

You've enjoyed reading five THE articles this month. Register now to get five more, or subscribe for unrestricted access.

Most Commented

Universities to scale back liberal arts and social science courses

  • David Humphries illustration (24 September 2015)

A Russell Group tagline rap is further proof that we need to reform the academy’s approach, argues Philip Moriarty

  • World University Rankings 2015-2016 methodology

Change for the better: fuelled by more comprehensive data, the 2015-2016 rankings probe deeper than ever

  • World University Rankings

US continues to lose its grip as institutions in Europe up their game

Inspired by previous movement in 1960s, PhD students say that ‘science is not neutral’ and urge scientists to confront their assumptions