I woke up this morning to headlines that the Government was going to allow wealthy young people to buy a place at university.
The Universities Minister, David Willetts, was forced to come to the House to make a statement. Thankfully, he made it crystal clear that under no circumstances should the well-off be able to buy access. What he is proposing is that employers and charities should be able to sponsor students through university. Because these places wouldn't require any public subsidy, this would increase the total number of university places available.
In principle, this is a good idea provided the access requirements for those who are sponsored are the same as for those who rely on public subsidy.
I admire David Willetts a great deal but there is no denying that the announcement of this policy created a lot of unnecessary alarm. The sooner the Government publishes a White Paper setting out its higher education policy in detail, the better.