But today, the institution that tried to create a market in fees last time around announced it will charge close to the maximum allowed under the new fee regime.
Leeds Met plans to set undergraduate fees at £8,500 in 2012, just £500 shy of the cap.
Lord Woolmer of Leeds, chair of the university’s board, said: “We are totally committed to providing a high-quality student experience.
“In the face of huge cuts in government funding we face difficult and tough choices. We shall continue to secure cost savings, but it is essential that we remain able to invest in high-quality university education and facilities for our students.
“We have a proud history of widening participation and will continue to support access into higher education and ensure that our students are successful at university and after they graduate.”
Leeds Met is one of just a small handful of institutions that have announced plans to set fees below the £9,000 maximum, subject to agreement with the Office for Fair Access.
Its decision comes after its attempt to contribute to a market in fees under the old system was abandoned in July 2009, when its governors voted unanimously to increase fees to the £3,312 maximum. The decision followed internal wrangling in the run-up to the controversial departure of Simon Lee, former vice-chancellor of Leeds Met.
Professor Lee wanted to keep fees at the discounted rate of £2,000 a year against the wishes of members of the university’s governing body. He resigned in February 2009, claiming that the disagreement over fees was the reason for his departure.