The Deputy Prime Minister and Prime Minister have appointed Simon Hughes MP to the role of Advocate for Access to Education.
The Advocate for Access to Education will work with the Government to ensure that its policy goal of increasing participation in higher education by those from the most disadvantaged backgrounds is met.
Speaking about the appointment, the Deputy Prime Minister said:
Simon Hughes’ record championing the concerns of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds make him ideally suited to lead this important work to ensure that an increasing number of young people with the talent to succeed at university have the chance to do so - regardless of their starting point in life.
I know Simon will be tireless in seeking the best ways to communicate the opportunities open to young people, just as he will be a strong advocate for them to government.
The Prime Minister said:
I am pleased that Simon is taking on this important role, listening to young people and working with them on how best to communicate and explain the opportunities open to them.
On accepting the role, Simon Hughes said:
It is a privilege to be asked to take on this role, and I will do so with urgency, enthusiasm and determination.
Parliament has settled the maximum university fee level in England from 2012 and we now have a critically important task to ensure that every potential student has access to all the facts about the costs, benefits and opportunities of further and higher education.
I will work with every person of goodwill to ensure that from 2011 we have the best system of educational advice, information and support in place, designed to benefit all potential students and to ensure that disadvantaged young people increasingly gain access to further and higher education.