Labour leader Ed Miliband has unveiled plans to dramatically reduce the cap on student tuition fees.
In his most eye-catching policy announcement since winning the leadership a year ago, Mr Miliband said Labour would limit university fees to £6,000 a year - down from the £9,000 maximum introduced by the coalition.
The £1 billion move, revealed in The Sunday Mirror, would be paid for by requiring graduates earning more than £65,000 a year to pay higher interest on their student loans and by cancelling the Government's cut in corporation tax.
The policy will heap pressure on the Tories and, in particular, the Liberal Democrats who are accused by students of breaking pre-election promises not to raise tuition fees.
The announcement comes on the eve of Labour's annual conference in Liverpool, where Mr Miliband is seeking to demonstrate the party is on the side of hard-pressed families worried about their children's futures.
"Parents up and down the country are incredibly worried about their sons and daughters," Mr Miliband told The Sunday Mirror.
"We want to take action to make it easier for people to go to university and not feel burdened down by debt. If we were in government now, we would cut the maximum tuition fee from £9,000 to £6,000 a year."
Mr Miliband said ditching the Government's proposed cut in corporation tax from 28% to 23% is "fair" because "we shouldn't be cutting taxes for the banks at the moment".
"We should be helping our young people - helping them help themselves to get the skills they need and to help our economy," he added.
Universities Minister David Willetts said: "Ed Miliband promised a graduate tax and now he's accepting fees have to increase to finance universities in tough times. So why should students trust anything he says? He says one thing to become leader and within a year does a U-turn."