Business Secretary Vince Cable has declared that he is “proud” of the government’s plans to raise tuition fees for universities in England.
Opening a noisy Commons debate on 9 December 2010, after which MPs would be asked to vote on the rise, Mr Cable insisted that the proposals were “progressive” and would “maintain high quality universities in the long term”.
Ministers want to raise the ceiling on annual tuition fees for English students to £9,000 – although the government says that would only apply if universities met conditions on widening participation.
The basic threshold would be up to £6,000 a year, and the changes would be introduced for the 2012-13 academic year. Graduates would not start paying their loans back until they earn £21,000 a year.
Mr Cable noted the “very strong feelings inside and outside the House” as he was greeted with cries of “shame!” by Labour backbenchers.