LANCASHIRE education chiefs are predicting only wealthier people will be able to go to university if tuition fees double in cost.
Yesterday, Lord Browne’s review said that students could pay more than £6,000 a year to get university qualifications if the £3,290 cap is removed.
This has left many universities, colleges and schools fearing money worries will mean students will not go on to study at higher education levels.
Malcolm McVicar, University of Central Lancashire vice-chancellor, said: “Browne’s review has some startling implications for the Higher Education sector.
"Removing the cap on tuition fees will significantly increase the level of debt accrued by students and will deter thousands of people from all over England from going to university.
"Britain’s Higher Education sector is a global leader.
"If the government gets this wrong, not only will we damage our reputation globally, we will face an industry-wide brain-drain with our students seeking education and employment abroad.”
Anthony McNamara, headteacher at St Augustine’s RC High School, Billington, said the announcement was disappointing.
He said: “I was one of nine children and it was not possible for a family like ours to send children to university.
“So many people from my background could have a university education.
But this will close the door for so many young people who could make brilliant contributions to society.”
Yanina Williams, vice-principal for quality and development at Blackburn College, said: “We will honour our original agreement with our current students.
"This means that whatever Browne recommends, Blackburn College will not change the fee level until they complete their current qualification.”
What college students think
Raiven MacFarlan, 17, from Blackburn.
RAIVEN Is studying A-levels in media studies, film studies, sociology, and RE and hopes to study animation and illustration.
She applied to go to Dundee University but has reconsidered following yesterday’s proposals.
She said: “I really wanted to go to Dundee University but because they have put the prices up I won’t be able to go. I will have to study at Blackburn.
I am very, very disappointed that I’m not going to experience living in dorms and getting the whole university experience because I’ll be stuck in Blackburn.”
Jake Rooney, 18, from Lower Darwen.
JAKE is studying A-levels in film, media, history and English language. He has applied to study journalism in at the University of Central Lancashire.
He said: “It is outrageous. Not to stereotype Conservatives but it is making education too expensive for those who can’t afford it.
“I’m still going through with university though but some people wouldn’t be able to do it.
"Students will spend two years getting their A-levels and won’t be able to do anything with them. I don’t agree with it in the slightest.”
Stephen Doherty, 18, from Accrington.
STEPHEN plans to study business after completing his A-levels in business, English language and literature and media.
He said: “It wasn’t an unexpected announcement. "It is bad if you have experienced university at a low price.
"It wouldn’t stop me. I would just make sure that I would get a better job so I can pay off my debt.
“I wasn’t going to go because of money issues but you have to do it to be successful at the highest level.”
Danielle Razaq, 17, from Blackburn.
DANIELLE hopes to study forensic psychology. She is currently completing A-levels in sociology, psychology, film and media studies.
She said: “It is not good because university education is only going to be for the rich in the long run. It could stop a lot of people going.
“I am still going to apply but it is going to affect people’s decision to go or not.
"I think it is ridiculous.”