BBC Scaremongers About Student Loans



On Thursday Martin Lewis, financial guru, kicked off about the media’s scaremongering about student loans (12:22)…Victoria Derbyshire is particularly guilty of this….having camped out on several student protests on the issue without making any real  effort to detail the way the student loan system works nor to challenge the student’s claims about the system….and many, many politically motivated comments from guests go uncorrected on BBC programmes about this issue as they attack the government.


Lewis had a good old rant about the media….which is slightly abridged here…..

‘I get angry…this constant ‘Are you not worried about the cost? Are you not worried about being in debt?’  ….now the kids have actually done their work and understood this…they understand that you don’t pay to go to university….but I’ve heard on every television channel this badgering of students ‘Are you not scared of the debt?’…and you know what…they’re going to be if the media does not stop focusing on this rather irrelevant ‘How much are you borrowing?’ and start focusing on how much you will repay which is actually what counts.

The media needs to grow up, the students understand it, their parents understand it…but I have to say that the biggest ignorance about how student finance works tends to be in journalists who deliberately try and create a scare story constantly fixating on the figure of debt….and the way the questions are phrased to the students, the way that we are trying to drag out of them ‘Come on admit that it is scary!’

They say there is no smoke without fire but sometimes there is only smoke because someone is ignorantly waving a match underneath to make it burn…’





Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to BBC Scaremongers About Student Loans

  1. KarenK says:

    On the other hand Martin Lewis is completely biased towards the student loan system – probably being paid by the government to promote its benefits – so neither is a particularly unbiased representation of the truth.

    My experience shows that most students and parents don’t really understand how the system works. They are told they can go to university if they want , and might not have to pay it all back but realistically it is mostly the interest that will not be paid back rather than the original amount borrowed which will still be an average of £35,000 or more.

    Yes I agree, it seems like a good system and there is scaremongering in the media about it but the other side of the story is very biased too. When does Martin Lewis mention that most students will still need to get part time work or borrow from their parents to cover their costs? Or that it will still be taken in to consideration when you try to take out a mortgage as it is an expense you have to cover?


    • Ken says:

      The banks have said that the student loan is NOT a consideration when applying for a mortgage as the way it is repaid as a small percentage of income, depending on the level of income, does not make it unnafordable.

      The current system is the equivalent of going into a bookies and placing a bet, but not having to pay the stake money unless the bet wins, then it is only taken as a small percentage of the winnings.

      Nobody is being priced out of going to university. As for having to do part time work? So what?

      It is an excellent system for students. It is a lousy one for tax-payers, because most students will never ever have to pay it back in full.


  2. Guess Who says:

    “need to get part time work or borrow from their parents to cover their costs?”
    As a family we are tapping the numbers on this right now.
    Oddly, even the kids have grasped without needing to be told that when you borrow money it needs paying back, and there are costs additional to the Uni fees.
    The point on mortgages is a fair one, but again, a sad fact of life that many have understood is that getting what you want takes funding, and often that needs decisions on what is affordable or when.
    Of course in some cases, even when not an opt-in choice, the funding TO certain entities is a given.
    Interestingly student accommodation does see much effort from TVL sales persons keen to ensure those in digs think they have to cover Mark Byford’s pension shortfall and Newsnight’s libel compo liabilities, even if they only watch YouTubes on a broadcast capable Lappy..
    Quite unique compared to the rest if the world.


  3. Max Roberts says:

    Of course, proper investigative journalism would be asking what proportion of university graduates have actually benefitted in any way from obtaining a degree. Anyone who graduates with a 2.2 degree or worse in the social sciences or humanities has just wasted three years of their life, and spent a huge amount of money. A bit like negative equity, but with intellect rather than houses. The problem is, by churning out huge numbers of graduates, the currency of a degree has been debased, which is why employers expect one, because everyone else has got one.


    • DJ says:

      Yep, that’s one of the most frustrating things about the BBC. For all the rebel posturing and supposed independence, it never, ever steps outside the box. They’ll ask why we don’t spend more on students but they’ll never question the assumptions which underpin the education bubble.


    • Sir Arthur Strebe-Grebling says:

      Surely most of those who graduate with poor degrees in useless subjects end up ‘working’ in the public sector or the bBBC?


  4. JimS says:

    Martin Lewis has appeared several times on the Jeremy Vine Show trying to put the same message over.
    Vine doesn’t listen, he goes back to his script – “How will the poor dears ever pay for it?”.
    Lewis takes a call: “I will pay my son’s university bill, I don’t want the debt hanging over him.” Lewis patiently explains that that is the wrong thing to do, this is cheap money that might never need to be repaid, go for the max!
    Back to Vine: “But how will he manage to repay the loan?” Aggghhh!
    Meanwhile over on More Or Less they are having a little dig that the student loan scheme might be costing government too much, which, it concedes, means that the students are getting an extra subsidy. Typical BBC reporting: High cost loans – BAD for students, Low cost loans – BAD for taxpayers. Either way the message is Tory government is BAD.


  5. Demon says:

    I used to hear Mr Lewis onm the Whine Show and always got annoyed with him when he was encouraging listeners to try and screw the small shopkeeper for every penny they could. My father had been just such a shopkeeper and I know how tight the margins are. Once on a train we were sat in the buffet car and Mrs D. suddenly said in a big, loud voice “Look there’s that bloke from the radio that you can’t stand.” He left very quickly then without buying a coffee, whether he heard my wife’s comment or not I don’t know.

    However, on this he is absolutely right and needs praising for being brave and defending the government’s policy, on the BBC, so vigorously.


  6. Rufus McDufus says:

    I seem to recall the BBC telling us there’d be less people going to university as they can’t afford it, but again there’s record numbers going so they’ve got it wrong again.

    This is my hard-luck story. I went to university in the 80s. The course I was on (microelectronics and computing) was cancelled halfway through due to not enough students on it. I had to change course (to physics). I was on full grant but my local county council deemed a change of course (involuntary in my case) as a reason to drop the grant, and I had to pay tuition fees. I had to work nearly full time to pay my way. I wasn’t entitled to any benefits as I was in full time education. My situation wasn’t entirely unusual back then either. It’s a fallacy that everyone got their university education paid for.


    • Expat John says:

      Absolutely, Rufus. Been there, done that. My LEA at the time would only fund three years of a degree course, my family couldn’t afford a four year degree.


  7. Expat John says:

    In my youth, 6% of 18 year-olds went to university. In my experience, the vast majority of that 6% had a broadly common level of education and intelligence and, as you might expect, a widely differing world view – but almost always one that was articulately expressed and well argued ad priorem.
    Then along comes some idiot who decides that University (higher) education is suitable for >= 50% of the population.
    Guess what, when you vote for it, someone has to pay for it.
    If you want little Hugo to get a degree in media studies, or little Florence to study fashion, then someone is going to have to pick up the bill.
    Live with it: Stop voting for things that you expect other people to pay for.


  8. best cordless hand vac

    However, in case you tell me the jeans are 100% cotton, they are available in many styles
    and colors, and they also. In many cases the surviving children who lost a parent, grandparent or sibling in many cases are forgotten in relation to condolence letters.
    Cordless handheld vacuum Thereof, https://5Linxuniversity.Zendesk.Com/, It is employed when you might be applying for a job or seeking promotion.
    You ought to understand the concept in the topic and how the author delivers his ideas in every his paragraphs.