Any university or college will be able to charge a graduate contribution of up to £6,000.
In exceptional cases, universities will be able to charge higher contributions, up to a limit of £9,000, subject to meeting much tougher conditions on widening participation and fair access. It will be up to the university or college to decide what it charges, including whether it charges at different levels for different courses.
Any university or college will be able to charge below £6,000. Universities and colleges wanting to charge above £6,000 a year will have to show how they will spend some of the additional income making progress in widening participation and fair access. The Office for Fair Access will be able to apply sanctions in cases where universities do not deliver on the commitments in their access agreements, up to and including withdrawing the right of the university to charge more than £6,000.
Loans and maintenance grants
The Government will lend any eligible student the money to pay the university or college for tuition costs. For the first time, part-time students will be entitled to a loan and no longer forced to pay up-front costs, so long as they are studying for at least 25% of their time. A new £150m National Scholarships Programme will be targeted at bright potential students from poor backgrounds. It will guarantee students benefits such as a free first year or foundation year.
Students from families with incomes of up to £25,000 will be entitled to a more generous student maintenance grant of £3,250 and those from families with incomes up to £42,000 will be entitled to a partial grant.
Maintenance loans will be available to all eligible full time students irrespective of income.
Further details of loan rates for students living at home, those living away from home and studying in London, and loans for longer courses will be provided in due course.
Students deferring from 2011/12 to 2012/13, will be able to apply for loans and grants at the 2012/13 rates. Tuition charges for 2012/13 will be determined by individual universities.
All eligible part-time undergraduates who study for at least 25% of their time will now be able to apply for a loan to cover the costs of their tuition which means you no longer have to pay up front
Part-time students will not however be eligible for maintenance support.
The Government is committed to the progressive nature of the repayment system. It will consult on potential early repayment mechanisms so that people on high incomes are not able to unfairly buy themselves out of this progressive system. These mechanisms would need to ensure that graduates on modest incomes who strive to pay their contribution early through regular payments are not penalised.