In his first Guardian post, Wes welcomed the Higher Education Policy Institute’s report, which calls for a national bursary scheme for students.
Wes says the report is “a breath of fresh air for those of us who have long argued that the current system of individual bursaries is bureaucratic, confusing and deeply inequitable.”
NUS is campaigning for a fairer funding system for all students and dismisses Russell Group universities’ claims that a national bursary system would create many losers and few winners.
“Some, such as the Russell Group and the 1994 Group of universities, argue that this system can be justified as a golden carrot to entice students from poorer backgrounds to apply to socially elite universities,” explained Wes.
“But there is no actual evidence to suggest that bursaries are having this effect. In 2006-7 the Russell Group and 1994 Group spent around £31m on bursaries, but applications by students from the poorest backgrounds increased by just 0.1 per cent.”
Wes will be blogging on the Guardian throughout the year, addressing the key concerns facing students in further and higher education.