David Willetts backs the new taskforce on student finance, headed by Martin Lewis of MoneySavingExpert.com and former NUS President Wes Streeting.
The independent taskforce will work to combat the myths around the changes to English student finance in 2012 and will seek to reassure potential students about what they can expect when applying for university and beyond.
It is to be independent of government and set its own agenda - membership is of university, student groups, experts and others.
It will will provide a valuable boost to the government’s public information campaign on student finance for 2012 students, launched last month.
Martin Lewis said;
“For 20 years we’ve educated our youth into debt when they go to university, but never about debt. For that we should hang our heads in shame.
“With the huge 2012 changes coming, we must ensure students understand the true cost of their education, so they can decide whether it’s worth it.”
Universities Minister David Willetts said,
“I strongly back this new initiative. The group will be well resourced by the sector and we will be listening to what it says.
“It is vital that people understand how the new system will work from 2012. This independent group has the expertise and reach to communicate to a huge number of prospective students, families and teachers as well as to universities.
“Under the new system no new student will be asked to pay up front for their tuition. There will be more financial support for students from low-income households. Graduates will not be asked to repay their loans until they are in well paid jobs. I thank all those who are coming together from a wide range of organisations to help ensure the public have the facts.”
Student Finance Information
The press, radio, media partnership and social media campaign links students and parents to a new dedicated Direct.gov.uk microsite, which describes how the tuition loan system will operate, how to get a student loan, help with living costs and what support is available from government.
The Independent Taskforce on Student Finance Information is made up of the National Union of Students (NUS), the National Association of Student Money Advisors, UCAS and the higher education bodies Universities UK and GuildHE, as well as being supported by many others.
Its primary aim is to co-ordinate, advocate and champion best of breed communication, gathering together the best examples of apps, web tools, guides, speakers, literature and more, allowing all interested groups access to the best unbiased educational tools to help students understand the changes.