English universities will raise their tuition fees to just over £8500 on average, the feared levels that sparked the massive student protests in late 2010. The government promised back in 2010 that its plan for tripling maximum university fees from £3,125 to £9,000 will see a great majority of universities charge pupils less than £6,000. Officials also promised that when the rises take place, fees of more than £6,000 would be exceptions for a few top universities. However, figures by the Office for Fair Access (OFFA) show the 2013 fees will average at £8,507 that makes the plus-£6,000 fees a norm and fees below that level an exception. Based on the OFFA figures, the Scottish universities remain free from local students but all pupils from outside Scotland would have to pay the same astronomical figures with a degree from St Andrews and Edinburgh costing £9,000 a year. This comes as president of the National Union of Students Liam Burns has said the figures show one third of English universities would be charging the maximum £9,000 fees next year. The tuition fee protests of 2010 saw London rocked with the largest demonstrations in a generation in protest to the Conservative-led plans to triple fees. A massive rally in protest to the fee rises saw hundreds of thousands of students flood the streets of London and occupy the Conservative party’s headquarters in Milbank tower. AMR/HE
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