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Universities charging higher tuition fees before government gives the green light for increases

20 July 2016 | last updated: 22 July 2016

Some English universities have already started setting their course fees for 2017 at £9,250 - despite MPs not yet having approved plans that could see an increase above the current £9,000 maximum.

Under the government's controversial plans higher fees are supposed to be linked to quality of teaching. However, critics say the tools being proposed to measure quality are flawed.

UCU has called for the controversial bill to be scrapped following the vote to leave the EU and the ministerial merry-go-round that followed. The union said today that universities hiking up fees before the legislation had even passed would do little to halt criticism that universities are just seeking to extract as much cash as they can from students.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'Universities advertising increased fees before the law has even been changed is just another blight on the sorry debacle that is the government's plan for higher education.

'We have the difficulties of Brexit to deal with at the moment and the transition of higher education policy from the old business department into the department for education. The time surely has now come for the government to stop the Higher Education Bill and think again.

'Those universities foolish enough to advertise higher fees will be doing nothing to quell concerns from students and parents that they are simply after as much cash as they can get.'