Government allows universities to raise tuition fees to £9,250

Universities in England and Wales have been given official confirmation that they can increase maximum tuition fees to £9,250 a year from September 2017, in a move described by critics as "a kick in the teeth to students".

Several universities have already begun advertising courses at that rate, after being told earlier this year that they would be able to increase the £9,000 maximum - in place since 2012 - in line with inflation.

The increased cap will be available only to higher education institutions deemed to have met the expectations of the Government's Teaching Excellence Framework. A list of hundreds of colleges and universities which have passed this threshold was published earlier this month.

Announcing the new cap in a written statement to the House of Commons, universities minister Jo Johnson said that the maximum fee loan for students would also rise to £9,250. Loans for living costs will rise to £8,430 outside London and £11,002 in the capital.

Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner said: "The Tories are letting down young people. First they trebled tuition fees saddling students with debt, now they've confirmed they're set to go up again.

"Labour has consistently warned that these further increases in fees will be a barrier to aspiration, making it even more difficult for those from low and middle-income families to get the best education they deserve.

"Theresa May's warm words on standing up for working people have been exposed as a sham - all her Government is offering is more of the failure we've seen from the Tories for the last six years."

Liberal Democrat universities spokeswoman Baroness Burt said: "It is a kick in the teeth to students to tell them that fees are going to rise at the same time as freezing the point at which they have to pay them back.

"The Government are reneging on the deal reached in 2010 - and that means poorer students paying back more and for longer. We will fight them every step of the way.

"Linking fees to teaching quality in this way is unacceptable - enabling any university that scrapes a 'meet expectations' rating to increase fees by 2.8% shows that this isn't about teaching quality at all.

"If universities need further support then let's have a proper discussion about where that money comes from, rather than pretending that this is somehow a quid pro quo for providing the quality of teaching students should already be able to expect."

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