Andrew Hamilton said yesterday that the “real cost” of an Oxford education was £16,000 a year and fees should be “more closely related” to that cost.
The fee cap has been set at £9,000 since 2012-13. The government has not allowed any increase to account for inflation and, earlier this year, again fixed the cap at £9,000 for 2014-15.
Wendy Piatt, director general of the Russell Group, said: “Professor Hamilton is right to highlight the problem of the cap on tuition fees. Increased income from fees in England has largely offset significant government cuts to public teaching grants. Fees should certainly increase with inflation in 2014-15.
“It is important to remember that there are no up-front fees, repayments are only made when they’re affordable and Russell Group universities provide lots of bursaries and fee reductions for students in need.
“Our leading institutions cannot continue to be internationally competitive, provide a first-rate teaching experience and offer generous support to disadvantaged students without access to increased funding.”
David Eastwood, the Russell Group chair and University of Birmingham vice-chancellor, warned earlier this year that the £9,000 fee cap “will constrain quality”. He said the cap would probably be frozen at that level until 2017, equating to a 16 per cent cut in tuition income for universities.