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Cambridge votes for £9,000 fees

Cambridge University's governing body has voted in favour of a £9,000 tuition fee, the university said.

Members of the Regent House have approved plans to charge the controversial maximum figure permitted. Of the 4,000 members who were eligible to vote on the proposal, 1,387 voted in favour, with 416 against.

Allowing educational institutions to charge £9,000 has led to widespread discontent among students around the country, including protests which have turned violent.

A spokesman for the university said it would now submit an "access agreement" to the Office for Fair Access (OFFA) in support of its proposal to charge the fee. He said it would offer one of the most extensive and flexible packages of financial support in the UK.

Professor Steve Young, senior pro-vice-chancellor, said: "This agreement will include the commitment to spend £9 million a year on financial support for Cambridge undergraduates from 2012, in addition to the Government's loan and grant schemes.

"Cambridge is committed to providing students with one of the highest levels of financial support during their studies at our world-class university.

"We will also commit to spending an extra £1 million to expand our outreach work which aims to help raise the attainment and aspiration of state school pupils. This is in addition to the £2.25 million a year which we already spend on outreach activities."

Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz said: "The University of Cambridge is committed to recruiting the brightest and best students irrespective of their background. No UK students should be deterred from applying to the University of Cambridge because of financial considerations and no students should have to leave because of financial difficulties.

"Cambridge has one of the highest retention rates of students of any UK university and its graduates benefit from an extraordinary quality of education and employability."

The access agreement includes the Cambridge Bursary, a non-repayable grant, which will be available to students from households with an income below £42,600. Where a student's parental annual income is less than £25,000, he or she will receive a full Cambridge Bursary of £3,500 per annum. Awards will be tapered down to earnings of £42,600.

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