HC Deb 14 January 1998 vol 304 c237W
Mr. Willis

To ask the Secretary of state for Education and Employment if he will make a statement on his policy concerning universities charging students for(a) laboratory fees, (b) library fees, (c) photocopying fees and (d) IT and internet fees. [22368]

Dr. Howells

Under the present funding arrangements, it is for universities to decide what fees to charge students. We have, however, made it clear that top-up fees play no part in our plans for the future funding of higher education. In deciding whether or not to exercise the power to control fees charged by universities under the provisions of the Teaching and Higher Education Bill, my right hon. Friend would consider the circumstances relating to particular types of fee. In particular, he would have regard first to the amount charged and secondly to whether such fees related to an optional service for which students could choose to pay or to essential elements of their courses for which they would be obliged to pay in order to undertake and complete those courses. Small charges for services such as photocopying are entirely a matter for universities.