Kingston University will charge some students the maximum £9,000 in tuition fees, despite slipping towards the bottom of university league tables.

It means some will have to pay £27,000 for a three-year course starting in September 2012, while the majority will pay £25,500.

The university fell 25 places to 98th out of 118 in the Guardian’s 2011 league table, and at least seven institutions above them will levy lower fees.

Alex Smith, 21, a third year history and politics student, said: “It was always going to happen, but it’s absolutely ridiculous.”

Chris Dingle, student union president-elect, said: “The students’ union remains ardently opposed to the increase in tuition fees and will continue to maintain this opposition.

“However we are also realistic in that we accept fees must go up at Kingston while the Government continues its current policy of cuts in higher education.”

New Vice Chancellor Professor Julius Weinberg said: “From the outset, Kingston University has been very clear about its concern at the Government’s desire to increase tuition fees and we have reached our decision after very careful consideration.

“Despite our finances having been very well-managed for many years, like most other institutions of a similar size which offer an extensive range of courses, we have found that only this fee level will enable us to maintain a stable financial position in the face of significant funding cuts.”

The Government had said institutions could only charge more than £6,000 in “exceptional circumstances”, and would have to help disadvantage students in exchange.

The university said it would use almost £2.9m, rising to more than £7m, from the money raised by tuition fees to support students from low incomes or no family history in higher education.