Universities and colleges in the West Midlands have been fined almost £450,000 for recruiting too many students.
Eight institutions across the region have lost a total of £446,250 of public funding in two years after exceeding their limits on student places.
The sanctions, which were imposed by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), will see Staffordshire University lose £108,750 for taking too many students for the 2010/11 academic year.
The university, which declined to comment on the fine, has already been docked £135,000 for exceeding strict government limits on students numbers during the 2009/10 year.
Also set to lose out is Walsall College with a £41,450 fine, which was also fined £45,000 for the 2009/10 year.
Affected institutions will lose £3,750 for each student recruited beyond strict targets, which were brought in amid soaring numbers of students applying to universities.
The HEFCE is clawing back £8.1 million nationally from 19 higher education institutions and £500,000 from 33 further education institutions for the 2010/11 year.
The student cap was put in place to limit the cost of the system to the taxpayer, and the funds will be withheld from university and college grant payments in the last four months of the current academic year.
The fines come as the head of the University of Birmingham urged the Government to allow universities to increase admissions to force down tuition fees.
Vice-chancellor Professor David Eastwood urged the Government to deregulate controls on student numbers from next year. He said expanding higher education places to meet demand would force down fees at less popular universities and cost the taxpayer less.
“I would like to see an unequivocal commitment by government to deregulating numbers control,” Professor Eastwood said. “The key policy imperative is to say that numbers will follow informed student choice. At that point all institutions have to think in a very different way about their market position, about student demand and about the way legitimate competition will work.”
Other regional institutions which will also lose out are Solihull College, which is set to lose £18,750, North Warwickshire and Hinckley College £15,000, North East Worcestershire College £11,250 and Stourbridge College at £7,500.
A HEFCE report also revealed how Newman University College in Bartley Green was docked £56,250 and City College Birmingham lost £7,500 for over -recruitment during the 2009/10 year.
The largest fine nationally for the current academic year was London South Bank University, which will lose £2.2 million from its annual grant after accepting almost 600 students too many.
Pro Vice-chancellor Phil Cardew blamed the over-recruitment on a “late surge” in accepted offers. He said: “We monitor applications carefully, but in 2010 we were not able to react swiftly enough. We have put in place new processes for 2011 that will ensure we are better able to meet these requirements in the future.”