AVERAGE tuition fees at the Arts University College will be around £700 higher than those at Bournemouth University from next year.

The estimated average for the Arts University College is £8,600, while Bournemouth University will be charging an estimated £7,889.

They are among 123 English universities and further education establishments to apply for permission to charge more than £6,000 for students starting their courses next year.

The figures – and each institution’s plans for preventing disadvantaged youngsters from being priced out of higher education – were released today by the Office of Fair Access.

A spokeswoman for Bournemouth University explained that it would be charging a fee of £8,200 for about 90 per cent of its honours degree courses, but £9,000 for a small number of flagship degree courses in subjects such as tourism, computer animation, television production and journalism.

She added: “There will also be another fee tier of £6,000 for the majority of BU foundation degrees – which are predominantly delivered through BU’s regional partner Further Education colleges. This lower fee reflects BU’s commitment to providing flexible entry routes into higher education.”

A spokesperson for the Arts University College said: “The fee of £8,600 will remain fixed for the duration of the studies of students entering in 2012.

“It was determined by a careful analysis of costs.”

Universities that fail to meet their agreed targets for recruiting and retaining poorer students will face fines or lose their right to charge the higher fees.

Oxford and Cambridge are among the 38 per cent planning to charge the maximum £9,000 across the board.

“Eighty universities and one further education college will charge the maximum for one or more courses. Overall, students starting undergraduate courses in autumn 2012 face an estimated average fee of £8,393, falling to £8,161 when fee waivers for poorer students are taken into account.

OFFA says when other financial support such as bursaries is included, the estimated average fee will be £7,793.