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Debate begins again over the cost of degree. How much will students pay in future?

The debate is starting all over again about how to fund Higher Education. Christine Alsford speaks to vice-chancellors Sir David Bell at Reading, Professor Joy Carter from Winchester, and Southampton Itchen MP and former universities minister John Denham about the challenges ahead.

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Could the cost of a degree be set to rise again?

The deadline for prospective students to apply for university in September passed at 6pm today. Students are already paying fees of up to nine thousand pounds a year. But could the cost of a degree be set to rise again?

One top university has already said it wants to charge up to seventeen thousand. Meanwhile, the whole debate over who should fund higher education - and how - is rearing its head once more. ITV Meridian's Social Affairs correspondent Christine Alsford reports.

In her report Christine Alsford speaks to University of Reading Vice-Chancellor Sir David Bell, students at the University of Southampton and the University of Winchester Vice-Chancellor Professor Joy Carter.

UCAS university forms deadline at 6pm

Students
Students celebrating their graduations after finishing university courses

Any would be students in the region hoping to apply for university have until six o'clock this evening to submit their forms on the UCAS website.

Several sixth form colleges in the region are reporting an increase in applications, in some cases entries are up by as much as six per cent. Applications fell two years ago following the trebling of tuition fees. Final figures will be released at the end of this month.

'Sigh of relief' as Uni applications go up

Universities breathed a sigh of relief today as new figures showed the number of applications for degree courses were up.

In total, there's been a 3.5 per cent increase on last year. The news follows a drop of ten per cent in England in 2011 - the first year of higher tuition fees.

The Universities of Kent, Southampton, Oxford and Bournemouth are now all reporting figures that are stable - rising - or even breaking records.

Our Social Affairs Correspondent Christine Alsford reports and speaks to Karen Pichlman, Head of Admissions, University of Bournemouth, Steven Holdcroft, Head of Admissions, University of Kent, and Prof Alix Neill, University of Southampton.

Students keen to go to University despite tuition fees

The application rates of 18 year olds across the UK are at, or near, their highest recorded levels. Credit: Press Association

Figures released today by UCAS show the number of students applying to go to university has risen by 3.5%

Application rates, which take population changes into account, show that the proportion of English 18 year olds applying in 2013 has increased by one percentage point.

Applications to Bournemouth University have increased by 2.5% from last year whilst Southampton has seen a 7% rise.

The number of applications hasn't returned to 2011 levels, but the signs are being seen as an encouraging step by the government.

It was thought that numbers would be down because of tuition fees and the rise in apprenticeship schemes.

Applications in Kent have previously fallen by over six percent, but have risen sharply to pre-tuition fee levels.

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