Tuition fees will go up to £9,000

Coalition plans to say that most universities cam charge £6,000 per year, with a higher tier of £9,0

Students in universities in England will face tuition fees of up to £9,000 per year from 2012, it will be announced today.

The coalition's response to Lord Brown's review of university funding is to be released later today.

Under the compromise plans, most universities will be able to charge £6,000 per year, with the option of a higher tier of £9,000 allowed on condition that steps are taken to attract poorer children.

These measures will include outreach programmes, summer schools, and targeted scholarships.

The higher tier is nearly triple the existing level of £3,290. However, it represents a watering down of the report's proposal that the cap on fees be removed altogether.

Ministers have attempted to strike a balance between sustainable funding for higher education and the desire to avoid a backbench Liberal Democrat rebellion. During the election campaign, every MP in the party signed a pledge to vote against any rise in tuition fees.

While the Browne Review was set up by the Labour government to tackle the funding crisis in universities, the rise in fees will now primarily go towards replacing the public funding withdrawn from universities in last month's spending review.

Many arts and humanities subjects will now depend on fee income rather than state funding.

Aaron Porter, the president of the National Union of Students, says it is unfair to "remove almost all funding for teaching in universities, and force students to foot the bill".