Dr Julian Lewis: Will it not be a sad day for academic meritocracy if and when able students from poor backgrounds are deterred from going to top universities because those universities are allowed to charge more than other universities in fees to students?
[The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (Vince Cable): Yes, the hon. Gentleman is quite right, and for that reason he will recall my comments about the need to be careful about following through the request of the Russell group universities for unlimited fees. There are serious problems with that. Of course there are advantages in terms of world-class universities, but we need to be careful about going down that road, and we will reflect further on it.]