Today Leeds Metropolitan announced they’re planning to charge £8500 a year from 2012.
Given that Leeds Metropolitan (the former Leeds Polytechnic) is not considered a top university, this shows that almost no universities will charge the basic £6000.
According to the Guardian, “David Willetts, the universities minister, had anticipated that a market would develop, with institutions charging a wide range of fees”.
I don’t understand why he had anticipated that, though. If fees had to be paid upfront or paid back over a smallish number of years, you could have expected people to go for a cheap university unless employment prospects were exceptionally good at a dearer uni.
However, the way the CoLD coalition have created a system that means that most people will pay 9% of their salary for 30 years, after which time the loan is cancelled, for the majority of people there is never any real hope of paying back the loan early, so they might as well borrow as much as possible because the difference will be paid by the taxpayers.
In other words, if Leeds Metropolitan had decided to charge £6000 a year instead, very few of the graduates would by 2042 have paid any less for their education, so by charging £8500, they basically get £7500 extra per graduate over three years, all paid for by the state.
As I’ve said before, I think the whole idea of tuition fees and graduate taxes is a disaster, and we should make all education free again and pay for it by cutting down on the number of students.