I can't imagine the Universities who believe themselves to be 'high status' will be far behind (indeed, Oxford has made similar noises).
The logic behind charging the top amount that will be allowed by the new government-set maximum fee?
An internal report seen by the BBC News website argues that to charge any less than the maximum would be "fiscally irresponsible" and would raise doubts about the university's "commitment to excellence".Oh well, that makes it alright then. As Cloud said last night, "It's the same logic that banks use to justify bonuses: it's the only way to ensure we get the best." Well quite.
Our response to the Oxbridge logic = cobblers.
So much for the Parliamentary idea that "fees of £9,000 will be allowed only in 'exceptional circumstances'" (as said by David Willetts. universities minister) . Watch the Russell Group et al leap to match the Oxbridge stance.
Thing is, it isn't as straightforward as saying that poorer students will be put off going to University (or even from applying to 'good' universities - good for what? good how?). I don't doubt some will be - much as at the moment. Rather, as has been the case since the Higher Education system became something explicitly paid for by students (whether during or after graduation), there will be an increased expectation that - whatever the course - the product (the degree) will be expected to be awarded. And nothing less than a 2:1 will do. The product purchased by all those fees isn't 'an education' but the final classification of degree: as one student said recently to a tutor "I only got a 2:2 mark - what are you going to do about it?"
I don't believe that better teaching cannot be delivered to enable students to do as well as they are able, but this idea that the effort to improve should come entirely from the tutor is surely unsustainable and will lead to a devalued degree system and marking. How will external moderation of marking work effectively? The two-tier nature of higher education has never gone away, but these fee changes will surely reinforce it --- and not in a good way.
I feel pretty miserable about the future of Higher Education in the UK** I wish I didn't, but I do.
* Yes, I know many US Universities and colleges offering higher education qualifications charge this and more.
** Actually, education full-stop isn't looking healthy at present. The whole thing has lurched from reinvention to reinvention since the early 1980s and not much has made the situation better (or at least is still going to survive the cuts of the current government...)