Two students who took the government to court after arguing that the tuition fee increase broke human rights laws have lost their case.
On Friday Lord Justice Elias and Mr Justice King, sitting in the High Court, London, ruled Business Secretary Vince Cable had failed "fully to carry out" his public sector equality duties before implementing the regulations.
But the judges said it would "not be appropriate" to quash the regulations because there had been "very substantial compliance".
They argued the move will erect "a barrier" to higher education and threatens to widen the already large gap between rich and poor.
The High Court was asked to rule whether the government had breached the 2010 Equality Act and had to declare if it had failed to comply with its obligations under Article 2, Protocol 1, and Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights to protect the right to education without discrimination.