By Claire Smyth
Brighton University will charge undergraduates the full amount of £9,000 in tuition fees from next year.
This is despite claims by the Government that universities charging the maximum amount will be the exception.
Professor Julian Crampton, the university’s Vice-Chancellor, said: “We have considered very carefully and fully all the implications of the coalition government’s new policy on university funding.
“We have attracted nearly 40,000 applicants this year, making us the 12th most applied for university in the country, and our proposed fees reflect the real costs of providing the kinds of educational experience which our students expect, require and deserve.”
At least two thirds of UK universities want to charge the upper end in tuition fees, according to a BBC survey this month.
The proposed hike in fees still have to be approved by the Office of Fair Access (OFFA) who has had to take on more staff to cope with the number of universities wanting to charge students more than £6,000 a year.
Aaron Porter, the outgoing president of the National Union of Students, accused the government of causing “costly chaos” with its university reforms.
He said: “When the government forced these ill-considered plans through Parliament, they claimed that fees above £6,000 would be the exception rather than rule, but that was quite clearly a pipe dream.”
Foundation degrees taught at Brighton University’s partner colleges across Sussex will attract fees of between £7,000 and £8,300.
Sam Mallender, president of Brighton University’s Students’ Union, said: “We continue to condemn the government’s relentless attacks against higher education and will carry on fighting for a fairer funding system.
“Due to governmental cuts we understand the university’s decision to charge £9,000, and in this realise there is little other option to bridge the funding gap.”
Professor Crampton claimed that more than £5 million in financial support will, however, be available each year, which could save the recipient around £4,000 over the duration of the course.
He said: “”We target financial support at those who need it – at young people leaving local authority care, those on low incomes, students from areas with low participation in higher education, and mature learners with no income.”
And a further £2.8 million will be invested in outreach programmes with local schools and colleges to assist applicants most in need.
He added: “Overall, we are shifting from giving small amounts of money to targeting substantial bursary support towards those who need it most.
“Local students satisfying the eligibility criteria may receive as much as £13,000 over three years.”