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9 October 2013, 07:09 | Updated: 9 October 2013, 07:22
There are calls for the price students pay to study at Oxford University to go up to more than 16 thousand pounds a year.
At the moment Universities can't charge more than nine thousand pounds - but Vice Chancellor of Oxford University Professor Andrew Hamilton says that should be increased to make up for a seven thousand pound per student shortfall in funding saying he believes fees should be linked to what it offers.
in his annual Oration to the University, Prof Hamilton said that for Oxford, the finances ``do not compute''. "Like most universities in the country - old and new, small and large - we have set tuition charges at the maximum permissible: #9,000 a year,'" he said.
"I have read that some universities are doing very nicely thank you on that basis, comfortably covering the cost of what they provide to their students. That may or may not be the case for them, but one thing I am quite sure about is that it doesn't add up for Oxford, where the new regime of increased tuition charges for students, but greatly reduced Government spending on teaching, have done little to change the basic financial equation. ``How can they when the real cost of an Oxford education is at least #16,000 per undergraduate every year? That represents a funding shortfall of more than #7,000 a year per student. Or put another way, a University-wide gap - more of a chasm really - of over seventy million pounds a year that Oxford has to plug."
Sally Hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union said: "Professor Hamilton is correct to say our universities need more funding - we invest just 1.4% of GDP on higher education, compared to an international average of 1.7%. However, he is wrong to argue that students should pick up tab when we already have the most expensive fees in Europe. Higher education is vital to the economic future and social fabric of our country and needs sustained public investment if we are to retain our proud global status.''
Tuition fees in England were tripled to a maximum of nine thousand pounds per year in 2012.