David Willetts’ live Q&A with students – Full Transcript


Following his announcement of the governments plans to raise the tuition fee cap to £6,000 and up to £9,000 in exceptional circumstances, David Willetts, Minister of State for Universities and Science took part in a live Q&A session on The Student Room.

Students have dominated the news lately as national protests have taken place to fight against the proposal to increase tuition fees. The presence of David Willetts on The Student Room gave students the unique chance to address their concerns directly to an MP.

We followed his progress during the discussion and with the help of The Student Room’s new post rating system we were able to judge how well received David Willetts responses were to students’ questions:

  • 14 posts in the hour
  • 12 questions answered
  • 26 positive post ratings
  • 25 negative post ratings
  • 1 personal reputation point
  • 9,000 views of the Ask David Willetts sub-forum

Download a full transcript of students’ questions and David Willetts’ responses

The most controversial response was to a question about passing the countries debt on to the next generation and the responsibility of ‘baby boomers’ to do their bit. The response from Willetts was that “baby boomers do have an obligation to the next generation” and that he believes “we can put our universities on a stronger footing and give students more financial power”. This response received 9 negative responses from The Student Room’s members.

Suprisingly the response that received the most praise from students was regarding whether university is a right or a privilege, which has often been a dividing point amongst students. The response from David Willetts was that he does “not believe that everyone can gain from going to university”, which was well received by The Student Room members and received 11 positive ratings.

The Student Room is the perfect place to talk to students and get information about their opinions, fashions and educational and lifestyle trends.

In a question about his relationship with the NUS, Willetts praised the use of The Student Room, which he said “enables me to be in contact with students directly” and if his video sign off is anything to go by then we hope to have him back on the site to answer more students’ questions in the future.

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