By Marcus Leach

Fees watchdog Office for Fair Access (OFFA) has confirmed that over a third of English universities have had their plans to charge £9,000 for every course approved.

It has been confirmed that 58% of universities will be allowed to charge £9,000 for some courses in 2012, although no establishment was forced to cut its fees during recent negotiations.

Following an announcement that eight out of ten universities in Wales would charge the maximum £9,000 for most or all of their courses, ministers have said more money would now be spent to attract poorer students.

Any university wishing to charge in excess of £6,000 for their courses has had to have their proposals to attract students from disadvantaged backgrounds approved by OFFA.

Known as access agreements, these include fee-waivers, bursaries and outreach activities, to encourage students from disadvantaged backgrounds to apply.

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