The Committee of Vice Chancellor and Principals has been accused of "holding a gun" to the heads of students over tuition fees.
Chris Faddy, president of the University of Huddersfield student union, urged the CVCP to change its position and said it had no right to use students as a political pawn.
He was speaking at the House of Commons on Wednesday at a meeting to launch a conference against tuition fees, to be held at Huddersfield on November 2. Huddersfield has dropped a proposed Pounds 1,000 "registration fee", but could still impose a top-up fee.
Labour MP Ken Livingstone said fees would create a two-tier system where only the rich could afford the best universities.
The National Union of Students is today expected to approve a ballot of student unions over a national shutdown of higher education, to coincide with proposed industrial action by campus trade unions on November 19.