Cllr Paul Scriven, leader of the council, said “Sheffield is home to thousands of students and families who might be thinking of sending their children to university in the future. I’ve made my position clear; I don’t want to see students saddled with unbearable levels of debt. Therefore we oppose any increase to tuition fees.
“We may be in coalition in Westminster but we’re not in coalition in Sheffield and as Liberal Democrats we will continue to voice our opposition to measures with which we disagree.”
Cllr Scriven also ruled out Labour’s favoured policy of a graduate tax, calling it “unfair”.
A government review, led by former BP chief executive Lord Browne, recommended removing the cap on student fees, allowing universities to set their own rates.
But Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister and MP for Sheffield Hallam, said earlier this week that the coalition were considering keeping an increased cap. “I am uneasy about the idea that you, in theory, have unlimited fees,” he said. “So we are looking at something which would be more restrained.”
Business secretary Vince Cable said last week that he was considering a cap of around £7,000 per year. Currently undergraduate students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland pay a maximum of £3,290 per year.
Cllr Scriven will put forward a motion opposing the proposed rise at next week’s meeting of the full council.
Both Clegg and Cable, who delivered the Browne review to the House of Commons pledged to vote against rises in tuition fees before May’s general election.