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Tuition fees and loans frozen for 2015

University tuition fees for UK home and EU students will be frozen next year, universities minister David Willetts has announced.

The minister said the maximum tuition charge for students embarking on full and part time degrees in 2015/16 and those continuing their courses that started on or after September 2012 would be maintained at the current levels, with a maximum charge of £9,000 for full-time programmes. Those on courses that started before September 2012 will continue to pay a maximum of £3,465.

The announcement comes despite vice chancellors’ lobbying to raise the £9,000 cap on fees, at least in line with inflation.

Professor Sir Christopher Snowden, the President of Universities UK and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Surrey, said in October that fees could “not be frozen forever”. Oxford’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Andrew Hamilton suggested last year that fees needed to be significantly higher, at around £16,000, to cover the true cost of degrees.

In a speech at Brunel University on Monday, Mr Willetts acknowledged that a decision about increasing fees had to be made in future but added that “the question does not arise yet.”

In today's announcement (March 13), he said maintenance grants in 2015/16 will be maintained at 2014/15 levels, while living cost loans will be increased by forecast inflation – 3.34 per cent - for 2015/16.

The means tested dependents’ grant, the childcare grant and the parents’ learning allowance will also be increased in line with inflation.