While thousands of students protested outside Parliament in sometimes violent demonstrations, MPs voted 323 to 302 to raise maximum fees from £3,290 a year to £9,000.
The Business Secretary Vince Cable told Channel 4 News in December that despite the opposition, the policy was right for tackling Britain’s debt.
“I would love to be Father Christmas and hand out lots of favours and be popular,” he told Jon Snow. “But the position the country is in, with this enormous deficit we have inherited was bound to lead to difficult decisions.
“I know we have to explain it better to the country, but I don’t regret the decision that has been made and I certainly don’t regret my own role in it.”
The vote threatened to split the Liberal Democrats who campaigned against a tuition fees rise during the election.
In a bid to cut the deficit, the Government announced huge savings in the October spending review, which includes a 40 per cent cut in teaching budgets.
Higher education budgets are to be cut from £7.1bn to £4.2bn by 2014.