Universities Minister Jo Johnson has announced plans that mean that from Autumn 2017 universities in England will be able to increase tuition fees above the standard £9,000.
The proposals are designed to 'encourage more competition and better consumer value for students'. Also, as outlined in the White Paper 'Success as a Knowledge Economy' in which the proposals were published, they would make it easier for new universities to open. The paper also outlined plans to speed up the application process for new higher education institutions, effectively allowing them to award degrees sooner.
That said, the option to raise tuition fees will be contingent on inspections which will assess the teaching standards of the institution. The Conservatives are therefore saying that the plans will mean that teaching standards rise, and students will get better value for money. The option to raise fees, once granted, will only extend to rises in line with inflation however. In order to carry out these inspections effectively a new mechanism called the Teaching Excellence Framework will also be phased in over the next four years.