Nick Clegg to propose student finance premium

Freshers students at university

Nick Clegg is to propose new student finance help in the form of a premium aimed at young people on free school meals making their way into higher education.

The deputy prime minister would like to see the move – which is likely to be worth around £2,500 a year – introduced in a bid to get the poorest scholars heading to university.

Mr Clegg hopes the initiative will serve to give less wealthy youngsters a guarantee they will receive financial assistance should they chose to take a degree, while the scheme is being promoted as part of a new social mobility review.

The leader of the Liberal Democrats will suggest students are recruited by universities “on the basis of an ability to excel, not purely on previous attainment”.

He is to note the most important factor when it comes to entering higher education is the person individuals are likely to become, rather than the status they were born in to.

It is expected Mr Clegg will suggest society in Britain is too closed – so this move could go some way to opening it up more to everybody.