UNIVERSITY of Huddersfield chiefs have defended a hike in tuition fees.
Professor Mike Page, pro-vice chancellor at the university, backed the plans to charge £3,000 a year to study in Huddersfield from 2006 and claims it will benefit students.
He said it would suit those from poor and more affluent backgrounds.
"The new method means students do not have to pay the fees up front," said Prof Page, who has worked at the university for more than 30 years.
"Instead the £3,000 per year will be paid off afterwards, once graduates are earning £16,000 or more. So the money will be taken when they can afford it and not before."
Although students will be asked to pay more, the Government has pledged support.
Poorer students will receive a grant of up to £2,700, which they will not have to repay. On top of this the University of Huddersfield will also give some students £1,000.
Prof Page said: "This is a much better deal for everyone than the current system, but a lot of people don't see it like that.
"The enormous benefit is that people will not have to struggle while they are at university. And if, for whatever reasons, they never earn more than £16,000, they will never be asked to pay a penny back.
"I don't think the Government have promoted the changes very well. A lot of people have been left confuse."
And Prof Page promised the extra money generated will go back into improving resources for students.
"There have been a lot of changes on the campus in the first 10 years since we became a university. We are determined to get even better.
"The new method will allow us to spend more money on teaching and facilities."
Every university in the country will charge the maximum amount, except Leeds Metropolitan, whose students will pay £1,000 less per year.
What the students think ...
Name Adam Clarke
Says: "It really is a mixed bag in my opinion. The grants for the poor students is welcome news, but the price rise is incredible. If you take the £9,000 for fees and then the £14,000 the average student takes out in loans they acquire enough debt to buy an Audi TT. But I don't think most students think about it at the time. And I don't think most look at it as a debt. Personally I see it as an investment into my future."
Name Ellen Shaw
Job Creative imaging and advertising design
Says: "It seems like a good idea that will make things better for a lot of people. I'm lucky that my parents can pay my fees, but I'm sure they will be pleased at not having to pay for it up front. I think students accept they have to pay for their education and hopefully this method of will make things better for most people."
Name Katherine Kowalski
Says: "I think increasing the amount we have to pay is terrible. At the moment fees are just over £1,000, but they are going up to £3,000 - that is quite a rise. Poorer students will get support but there are those who will miss out. My parents earn too much for me to get support but not enough to be able to afford to put me through Uni without me working. It seems to me that the Government want to put everyone in debt and tie them down to years and years of repayments."