The university will be seeking to charge the full rate in 2012, a decision that shows £9,000 won’t just be the price for Russell Group institutions.
We have not yet seen what concessions Exeter will make in terms of accepting more state school pupils.
But the signs so far are not good. Britain’s vice chancellors are confident they’ll be able to jack-up their fees while doing little to change admissions.
Just take the example of Cambridge. Chris Cook, our education correspondent, got hold of their draft proposal on fees (from their rather obliging press office). It is hard to interpret their big concession as anything but pathetic.
The Cambridge internal document preparing for their 2012 submission on fees says:
“The Working Group therefore recommends that in its letter to OFFA, the University should agree to move annually from the current figure of 58% into a range of between 61% and 63%.”
Even at face value, if you accept the baseline of 58 per cent, then this is not a stretch. But just compare it to the access letter it agreed with OFFA in 2009.
“The University’s aim is to increase the proportion of suitably qualified UK national students from the state sector admitted by 2011 to a figure somewhere in the range between 60 and 63 percent.”
It is worth repeating: a range between 60 and 63 per cent. Cambridge basically reckons it can triple student fees and placate the government by adjusting the bottom of its target range for state school pupils by one percentage point. And the maximum target will remain at 63 per cent.
A big concession? Clegg and Cable should watch out: the top universities aren’t following the coalition script.