College unveils its tuition fees rise

Students starting courses at City College Norwich will pay fees of just under �6,000 a year from September, it has been announced.

More than 14,000 students study at the college and with the government introducing its controversial fees increases there were fears that many young people could be put off signing up for courses.

College principal Dick Palmer, said that with 87pc of the college's students coming from the Norfolk area, it had set its fees to make its courses afforadable to all sections of the community.

The rise is also less than the University of East Anglia, which plans to charge the full �9,000, while on Tuesday Norwich University College of the Arts set it planned to set its fees at �8,500.

'In setting our fees we have sought to make the college's distinctive offer of professional and vocational higher education courses affordable to our community in Norfolk,' Mr Palmer said. 'Thanks to the college's strong links with local and national employers, and our focus on courses that prepare students for their chosen career, our higher education courses represent excellent value as an investment in your future.

'With tuition fees increasing in all institutions students will rightly look more closely at what they are getting from their higher education and we are confident they will find a quality and relevant provision at City College Norwich,' Mr Palner added. 'We are committed to providing students with the skills they need to succeed in their chosen career whilst offering the best possible student experience'.

The announcement comes as a report by the think-tank Centre for Cities warns that the government's controversial decision to triple tuition fees could choke the economies of university towns and cities such as Norwich.

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Centre for Cities analyst Paul Swinney said that universities, and the cities they are based in, face challenging times ahead.

'In this age of austerity, universities have needed to revise their fee structures, but it is important that cities understand that decisions made by universities about fees, students and staff will have implications for local economies,' he said.

Norwich South MP Simon Wright, who voted against the tuition fees increases in the House of Commons, said the strong national reputations of the city's academic institutions would help ensure there would still be a strong demand to come to the city.

'I don't we in Norwich have got anything to worry about,' Mr Wright said. 'I would be amazed if there was a drop in student numbers in the city as a result of the student fee increases. Although I opposed the increase I'm actively encouraging those who feel university is right for them to apply. It's really important we continue to get the message across to both parents and prospective students that the fees aren't paid upfront.

'Norwich continues to be an attractive destination for potential students. Many students stay here after their studies and continue to make a contribution to the economy.'

Norwich North MP Chloe Smith said she was confident that the city could hold its own by attracting the best and brightest students.

'Obviously there is a student economy, but what I think we will see is that Norwich will stay an extremely attractive city for students because it has top quality educational institutions,' she said. 'Students will want to continue to live here and receive an education here. It's important to be realistic about the future and students will be very realistic about their education and take it very seriously. Good universities remain good universities and good cities remain good cities to live.'