The University says it took on 1500 more students than it should have last year, following an unprecedented rush for place before higher student fees came in.

London Met this week received a letter from Hefce, England’s high education funding body, saying it would be fined £3700 for each student, totalling £5.9 million.

Last year Hefce imposed fines of just over £8.5 million across the board, with South Bank University paying the most at £2.2 million.

London Met’s vice chancellor Malcolm Gillies wrote to staff to say they were just one of many English universities which had accidentally over-recruited.

“Because of the volatility of admissions in 2011-12 during CLearing, many English universities over-recruited,” Gillies told the BBC.

“Universities have an obligation to accept students in particular categories. We have always been a big university of Clearing and we are of that, of giving opportunity to students.”

The fine will be significantly offset by the tuition fees the extra 1500 students would be paying. Gillies suggested that the eventual net cost to the university would be about £700,000.

Image via CC: Andrew Dunn