Don’t believe the gripes about fees: campaign to drum up applications begins

A high-profile public information campaign will be launched today to persuade young people to apply to university for 2012-13 entry despite the trebling of the tuition fee cap.

May 9, 2011

Through radio and newspaper advertisements and internet sites popular with teenagers, the government campaign will deliver the message that students will not face any upfront cost for tuition fees, which will be £9,000 at many universities.

Celebrities involved in the campaign include the actress Helen Baxendale, and a television partnership with Channel 4 is planned. A new government website has also been set up to explain the changes (yourfuture.direct.gov.uk).

Ministers have been criticised in recent months for not communicating to prospective students how the new system will work, and there has been a fear that many young people will put off applying for university as a result.

Although the campaign will not shy away from using the term “tuition fee”, it will focus on explaining that students will have to contribute towards the cost of their studies only after they have graduated and are earning at least £21,000 a year.

The communications push, which starts this week and will cost £1.5 million initially, has been designed by marketing agency Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe Y&R, which has also been involved with campaigns for Marks & Spencer.

simon.baker@tsleducation.com

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