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.
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.
Staff at universities, including Brighton, Sussex and Southampton Solent, will be going on strike today in a row over pay.
Members of Unison and Unite will be forming picket lines from 7am.
It is their first national strike over pay in 7 years.
The strikes could mean that lectures or tutorials are cancelled, possibly causing disruption to whole departments.
The strikes are predicted to have a "low level impact" on students.
Video. It is being billed as one of the biggest changes to higher education for generations and some believe it could spell the end of the university campus all together. The first wave of a new generation of free online lectures and courses has just been launched in this country.
But will they result in higher education learning a tough lesson, as they lose income from tuition fees? Our Social Affairs correspondent Christine Alsford reports.
Police in Dorset will be carrying out additional patrols and offering advice to students during freshers' week to reduce alcohol related crime.
It comes as part of the 'In Focus' campaign which will run over five days from 18th to 22nd September.
It aims to highlight the realities of dealing with drunkenness and alcohol-related incidents.
The campaign coincides with freshers' week - when new students arrive at their chosen universities.
Police hope that a greater presence will help people face up to the problems of excessive drinking.
University Liaison Officer PC Andy Scarratt said: "We will be offering students advice on staying safe whilst on nights out. Our aim is for individuals to enjoy their student experience, but in a safe and well informed way.”
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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.
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.
Portsmouth University has revealed who its new Vice-Chancellor will be. Professor Graham Galbraith, currently deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Hertfordshire, will take over in September from Professor John Craven who is retiring after 16 years in the post.
Chairman of the Board of Governors, Stuart Iles, said: “He brings with him a wealth of management experience and a strong entrepreneurial outlook which, combined with a substantial record of academic achievement, makes him an ideal person to lead the University forward."
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