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London South Bank University to charge up to 8,450 tuition fee

London South Bank University plans to charge tuition fees of an average of £8,390 per annum from September 2012 onwards for undergraduate full time programmes, it was announced this week.

Fees will range from 5,950 for an undergraduate foundation degree at a partner college to 8,450 for a full time undergraduate degree.

The university's board of governors approved the decision at a meeting last week.

"The board believes this average fee is the right one to ensure that we can continue to deliver the quality of teaching that we offer to all of our students," says vice-chancellor Professor Martin Earwicker.

The new fees are subject to approval by the Office for Fair Access.

LSBU boasts that it has invested more than 50 million in the recent past in modern teaching facilities. Future plans include a new student centre scheduled for completion in late 2012; and an enterprise centre to showcase the achievements of students and staff in early 2013.

The university says that it is developing a scholarship and bursary programme to further support its students where possible.

Camberwell and Peckham MP Harriet Harman raised the matter of LSBU's proposed fees in the House of Commons on Tuesday afternoon.

Questioning Nick Clegg, she said: "Even in the constituency of his ludicrously titled advocate for access to education, London South Bank University, which has always done all it can to provide quality higher education to local people on low incomes, now says that it will have to charge 8,450.

"He said that the 9,000 fees would be the exception rather than the rule, but it has turned out that he is wrong. Is that not just typical of this coalition of cuts, chaos and confusion?"

Speaking before the LSBU announcement, Simon Hughes MP told the London SE1 website that he had discussed with business secretary Vince Cable his fears that universities were charging as much as they could get away with rather than setting fees that reflect the true cost of the courses.

"We've got to be really careful that universities don't exploit the opportunity simply to get more money in.

"The reality is that some of them are now announcing they are charging for courses much more than the courses cost to teach.

"That was never the plan and it is abusing the system.

"My strong message to universities is: don't charge more than you need to and don't try and exploit the system by charging a high fee and using that to subsidise some kind of bursary or scholarship and beware that if you don't respond to the fact that you should be charging real costs, then the Government has weapons in the army which it can deploy.

"Government isn't going to stand idly by."

Listen to the full interview with Simon Hughes.

Listen to audio

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