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UK: Universities may face fines for high fees
The UK's coalition government is considering a Soviet-style central intervention policy to effectively fine individual universities in England if they impose unreasonable tuition fees next year, write Patrick Wintour and Allegra Stratton for the Guardian.

Vince Cable, the Business Secretary whose department is responsible for universities, and David Willetts, the Universities Minister, are looking at allowing colleges that charge a modest fee to expand and constraining those that are charging too much.

The government, through the Higher Education Funding Council, sets the grant and numbers for each university and has the power to fine a university as much as £3,000 (US$4,810) per student if it over-recruits in a single year. Ministers are looking at cutting funding from universities that unreasonably charge the maximum £9,000 fee from 2012-13. They admit it is likely most universities will charge well over £8,000 a year.
Full report on the Guardian site

Meanwhile, Angela Harrison for the BBC reports that universities in England are facing cuts of 12% - before funding changes linked to student fees come in, writes. According to figures from the Higher Education Funding Council for England, teaching and research funding is falling on average by 4%, while capital spending is being more than halved.

England's 130 universities are learning how much they are being allocated in direct government funding, which is given through the funding council. Overall, the grant for teaching has been cut by more than 8% and that for research by nearly 3% compared with last year. Capital spending is down by 58%. Almost all universities will experience a cut.
Full report on the BBC site
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