Dozens of universities in England expect to be teaching fewer students over the coming years, it has been revealed.
Analysis by the Higher Education Funding Council of England found that on average, universities expect student numbers to decline by two per cent.
However, one institution said it anticipates a reduction of 20 per cent, while five others predict a ten per cent fall in students.
More than a third of English universities are set to charge tuition fees of £9,000 a year by 2012.
The organisation noted that there is "no certainty over the likely level of student numbers in the future".
"We are aware that institutions have developed contingency plans to deal with changes in income," it added.
In related news, it was revealed earlier this week that middle-ranking universities may begin offering scholarships to lure the brightest students away from elite institutions.
Posted by Katy Kearns