TSR recently moved to a brand-spanking new office and David Willetts, Minister of State for Universities and Science, came along to officially open our new home.
While he was here, we took the opportunity to ask him a few key questions. Watch the video below to find out Willetts' thoughts on tuition fees, social mobility and what it was like to work with Margaret Thatcher - or scroll down for key quotes from the interview.
Key quotes from The Student Room's interview with David Willetts, Minister of State for Universities and Science
On the importance of The Student Room
I think it's fantastic the information and advice that students get via The Student Room.
Actually we want to see [universities] continuing to improve the range of information. When the raw data comes out, students often want to access that in fresh and interesting user-friendly ways. That's where The Student Room comes in.
On social mobility
We've actually had a record percentage of low-income 18-year-olds applying to university this year - so that's the good news.
The bad news, where I'm very frustrated, is that we've got a big decline in applications from mature and part-time students. That's because we've been putting our limited communication budget into narrow-casting to those scool-leavers. I think the challenge for The Student Room and for government is how we can get that message out to 30 and 40-year-olds who can't be reached directly through school or college, who may be thinking of going back to university or going to university for the first time and may have picked up just from reading the papers that they all have to pay when they don't.
That's the model and, after the controversy (which I'm very aware of), I think it's already beginning to settle down and students realise they don't have any costs up front. It has enabled us to ensure that universities remain well-funded even in a time of great austerity.