For starters, an analogy. When the EU emissions trading scheme started, power generators were given free allowances to cover almost all their historical levels of emissions: they'd only need to buy a few allowances at the margin, at whatever was the prevailing price. Politicians (notably in Germany where they don't understand how markets work) convinced themselves the free allocation meant the price of electricity wouldn't go up.
Wrong. Using the allowances they'd been gifted incurred an opportunity- cost because they could have sold them instead. So, as any fule could have told them (this fule did), the price of electricity went up by the full amount of the price of carbon.
Anyhow: those University fees, with rationale in italics.
Oxford £9,000 - best in UK, got to keep up standards
Impressive Coll, London £9,000 - thinks it's the best
Cambridge £9,000 - needs £ to catch up with Oxford
LSE £1,000 - supplemented by Gaddafi bursaries
Oxford Burkes £9,000 - hopes to be mistaken for Oxford
Univ. of Loamshire £10,500 - didn't understand the system
Squalor Metropolitan Uni £9,000 - thinks it will gain status
Groveller 's Coll £7,500 - Vice Chancellor wants peerage, hopes to curry favour with Clegg
Wigan Uni £9,000 - because we're worth it
Sheffield Hellhole £6,000 - because, errr, we're not, & Clegg's our MP
School of Social Engineering £8,500 - thought this was a clever idea, now trying to increase to £9,000
Urban Central Poly £9,000 - taking the piss
University of Life £9,000 - that's just the way it goes