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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 December, 2004, 14:12 GMT
University offers cut-price fees
Leeds Metropolitan University campus
Leeds Metropolitan University has more than 41,000 students
A university has promised to charge all students less than the maximum 3,000 a year for courses when higher fees are introduced in England.

Leeds Metropolitan University, which said it would set tuition fees "in the region of 2,000", is the first in the country to make such an offer.

Variable fees replace a flat rate - currently set at 1,150 - in 2006.

Some universities, including Oxford and Cambridge, will charge 3,000 a year for all undergraduate courses.


Leeds Metropolitan's governors unanimously backed the plan for lower fees.

Chairman Nimble Thompson, said: "We are proud to be the first university to offer the lower fee and believe it reinforces everything that the university stands for - high quality education but at an affordable price."

The vice-chancellor, Simon Lee, added that this would support the goal of "widening participation as well as delivering the highest quality of courses and education for our students".

Leeds Metropolitan is one of the country's biggest universities, with more than 41,000 students.

Nearby Bradford University is reportedly also considering implementing lower-than-maximum fees across the board.

Variable fees are part of the Higher Education Bill passed by the Commons earlier this year by a margin of just five votes.

This followed a backbench rebellion by Labour MPs and widespread protests by students over increased costs.

The government says the extra money raised from 2006 onwards will be essential to funding an expansion of higher education, to include "towards 50%" of people aged under 30.

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