Cambridge University expects to take the same number of students from state schools as last year, despite increasing its fees to £9,000.
The university had been told that it would only be allowed to charge the maximum fees under the new system if there was a "dramatic" increase in its admissions from state schools.
But in documents seen by the Observer, the university said that it expects the "uncertainty" over tuition fees to diminish the number of state school students applying. Last year, 59 per cent of Cambridge's successful applicants came from state schools.
"Given the uncertainty regarding application trends in light of the new financial circumstances, our minimum objective for 2012 will be to maintain our intake profile," Cambridge University said in a letter to the Office for Fair Access.
So far, a third of those universities to announce their fees for the next academic year have opted to introduce the maximum charge of £9,000.