It has been announced that Oxford University are planning to raise tuition fees to the maximum level of £9,000 per year, but will balance it out by offering a package of fee subsidies and bursaries.
This means there will be reduced fee levels for students from families earning less than £25,000 a year.
Means-tested bursaries will also be available – so students will not have to take jobs during term time.
Oxford is the fourth university to announce that it intends to charge the maximum fee level from 2012.
Under Oxford’s new plan for fees, students from households earning less than £16,000 per year would only pay £3,500 for their first year, with the university subsidising the rest. Subsequent years would cost £6,000 per year, which is still a reduced rate.
There will also be reductions to fees for students from families earning up to £25,000 per year.
A sliding scale of means-tested bursaries will also be on offer , available to students with a family household income of £42,000 or less.
Oxford University Student Union president, David Barclay, said the plan would effectively freeze fees for students who would have been eligible for free school meals.
“Oxford has sent out a message that we will not leave a generation of bright young students confused and excluded by the new fees system,” said Mr Barclay.
The university says higher fees will increase income by £10m, but promises that £7m of this will be used for subsidies.