A warning on how much universities will charge students
How much are students going to end up paying for a university education?
The government is increasing the amount to £6,000 a year from next year. It is allowing institutions to charge a maximum of £9,000 in exceptional cases.
But it's becoming increasingly clear that if universities get their way, the maximum fee will be far from the exception.
So far we know Liverpool, Manchester, Lancaster and Liverpool John Moores University are all planning to charge the full £9,000.
This week I spoke to Professor Michael Brown, the Vice Chancellor of John Moores University, who was quite frank about the position.
"If we charge £6,000, we lose £26m. Can't do it," he said.
So, I asked him, did that mean no university would be able to charge that fee?
"If they do, I don't think they'll be around for very long. And they'd be a very different institution in a few years time," he replied.
Several universities are no doubt still deciding how much to charge, others are simply refusing to say.
It would only need to do that if it wanted to charge more than £6,000, but how much more is not known.
The government is significantly reducing the amount it's spending on undergraduate education which means the financial burden is shifting onto students.
Universities say they cannot maintain quality without increasing fees.
But the Liberal Democrat peer, Lord Mike Storey, and the Conservative MP for Warrington South, David Mowat, told the North West Politics Show that universities could manage with £6,000.
"If you actually do the sums, and I sit on a university council, you find the sums do add up," responded Lord Storey.
But Professor Brown thinks the government has got it wrong: "I didn't do the government's sums. You'll have to ask the government how they did their sums.
"They presumably took some advice from somewhere."
It seems likely that some courses, possibly even some institutions, will close as students think long and hard before committing so much money to their education.
By then Michael Brown will have gone. He's retiring as Vice Chancellor later this year.