Sir Roger Bannister's working party to consider the place of sports scholarships in British universities met for the first time this week.
The group, which will report back to sports minister Iain Sproat next April, is to meet monthly.
The 14-member group, whose names were announced last week by Mr Sproat, is dominated by experts from universities already heavily involved in sport. Best known is the former Great Britain hockey captain Mary Nevill, lecturer in sports science at Loughborough University. Other university representatives include Soviet sports expert Jim Riordan of Surrey University, Liverpool John Moores dean Frank Sanderson, ex-chair of the British Society for Sports Psychology and John Kane, pro vice chancellor of Brunel University and vice president of the International Council for Sports Science.
There are also two recent students including Bath and Scotland rugby player Eric Peters, current Edinburgh University student and vice-chairman of the British Universities Sports Association Alistair MacEwan, Committee of Vice Chancellors and Principals tax expert David Anderson-Evans and Sports Council member Tim Marshall.
They have been asked to:
* Review the present position and obtain details of best practice
* Review factors affecting student sport participation
* Examine existing programmes
* Recommend means of encouraging a wider spread of support programmes
* Consider how they might encourage private sector help
*Look at ways of recognising and celebrating sporting achievement in universities.
Sir Roger said one of their first moves would be to write to university-educated members of national squads in major sports to ask them about their experiences and seek suggestions for improvements.
He said that there already appeared to be a consensus among institutions, sports bodies and government about the need for better support for student sport.