£8,000 a year to study at UCLan in Burnley?

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REPORTS of tuition fees at £8,000 a year for students at UCLan’s Burnley Campus have been dismissed as “speculative”.

University of Central Lancashire chancellor Malcolm McVicar confirmed students wanting to start courses in September next year face tuition bills of at least £6,000, but whether the final figure will be higher has yet to be decided.

Dr McVicar voiced his fears for the future when he addressed academics and staff at Preston. Currently, the university is the fifth largest in the country, with 34,863 students.

He told his audience: “Radical change is needed if we are going to survive as an institution. By 2014/5 we will effectively be a private business. There is no safety net. No one is coming to save us.”

Since his address the university has stressed it has not made a decision about how much it will charge students enrolling on courses that begin in September.

In a statement, Dr McVicar said: “For the last six months the Government has made it clear there are to be significant cuts in funding for English universities.

“The planned cuts in public funding are so great it will be impossible not to raise fees to at least £6,000 a year for new entrants from September next year. At this point in time it is too early to predict what our exact fee levels for 2012/3 will be or how they could affect our applicant numbers, although we are scenario planning to cope with any eventuality.”