Government propose sanctions to soften high-fee impact on poor students
In an attempt to soften the blow of the fees hike the Government have announced that English universities could have the power to charge tuition fees of more than £6,000 a year removed if they don't admit enough students from poorer backgrounds.
Universities who set the highest fees could face fines for not hitting targets.
The plan also includes a National Scholarship Programme funded by these universities to give at least £3,000 a year towards poorer students' fees and living costs.
The Government are desperately trying to show that their raising of the tuition fees cap to £9,000 per year will not deter poorer students from higher education.
Any university hoping to charge more than £6,000 per year will have to negotiate an annual access agreement with the Office for Fair Access (Offa).
This will set a target for how many students from state schools or poorer backgrounds it must recruit in future years, and will be reviewed each year, rather than every five years at present.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, tried to curtail student anger after breaking his pledge to vote against raising tuition fees, by offering a message of improving access to England's universities.
"There is a social crisis in this country - a crisis of opportunity. Universities, the gateway to the professions, are too often acting to inadvertently narrow opportunities, rather than widen them," said Clegg.
But critics have said these plans do not go far enough and NUS president Aaron Porter issued an angry response accusing Clegg of "living in a fantasy land" if he thought he could become a "champion for students".