University College Falmouth and Keele University opt for £9K fees

University College Falmouth plans to charge tuition fees of £9,000 in 2012.

April 8, 2011

Today’s announcement by the specialist arts college was swiftly followed by Keele University, which also declared plans to charge the maximum allowed.

The decisions have dealt a further blow to the government’s hopes of keeping average tuition fees at around £7,500, the level for which it has budgeted.

They come just days after Vince Cable, the business secretary, accused vice-chancellors of being “irrational” in setting fees at or near £9,000.

Speaking at the annual conference of the Higher Education Funding Council for England, Mr Cable also warned that student places may be withdrawn if fees are too high.

In a statement today, the board of governors at Falmouth says that the £9,000 fee will allow the institution to continue to offer a “world-class student experience in art, design, media, performance and writing”. The statement adds that it will also allow the college to invest in new areas such as computer gaming and social media.

Anne Carlisle, Falmouth’s rector and chief executive, said: “University College Falmouth enjoys a growing international reputation for the quality of its teaching and we will not compromise on that quality.

“Students and employers rightly expect the very highest standards, and those expectations will be raised by the government’s new fees regime.

“We want to protect the legacy of that investment by continuing to cultivate highly employable graduates and investing in new courses and facilities to make University College Falmouth one of the top five specialist multi-arts universities in the world.”

Professor Carlisle added that Falmouth was facing a “disproportionate” cut in its income as a result of its status as a specialist arts institution.

In a statement following its fees decision, Keele points to its “very strong” record on promoting access to higher education.

“Keele’s absolute commitment to supporting student access on the basis of merit, regardless of financial status, means a significant financial support package will be available to students from disadvantaged backgrounds,” it says.

Of the 39 institutions that have now shown their hand, 28 have opted for a flat fee of £9,000, before any waivers are taken into account.

john.elmes@tsleducation.com

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