‘Martin Lewis: Student Loans Decoded’ – groundbreaking video goes live today

MSE’s FREE programme demystifies the cost of university for young people, parents and teachers

A new, definitive video guide to the English student finance system is launching today, created by the UK’s biggest consumer website, MoneySavingExpert.com (MSE). In the video, Martin Lewis shatters popular myths and challenges the widespread misinformation that risks many young people not understanding – in practical terms – whether they can actually afford to go to university.

Martin Lewis: Student Loans Decoded – filmed in front of a lively group of 100 pupils at Queens Park Community School – is a no-nonsense, authoritative guide to student finance and the real impact of higher education on both students’ and parents’ pockets.

This easy-to-follow programme focuses on the current English system (introduced in 2012) and is intended for prospective university students in years 11 – 13 and their parents. Designed to be watched at home or in the classroom, it is a valuable resource for teachers and students. The programme is available in full on the MSE website here(1).

Embedded YouTube Video

MSE’s first specially produced 45-minute programme (with an optional 15-minute Q&A) is broken up into five chapters:

MSE is relinquishing copyright(2) for non-commercial use to allow teachers in schools and colleges (or universities) to show it to pupils. It can fit within one lesson but can also be broken down by chapter.

Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert.com, said: “For nearly 30 years we’ve educated our youth into what we call debt when they go to university, but never educated them about debt. The political spittle over student finance compounds that, leaving the subject widely and horrendously misunderstood. Some people rightly choose not to go to university based on finances, but many choose not to go based on financial myths. That’s tragic.

“We need to help people assess the practical impact of university on their pockets. Too many are put off by the high price tag on tuition fees, and the overall ‘debt’ figure they’re left with, which bears little resemblance to what they repay. Too few consider the greater practical challenge of how to afford to live while studying, and then there’s the hidden parental contribution the state doesn’t like to tell people about.

“I hope this new 45-minute mythbusting programme, designed to fit into a school lesson, will help explain how the finances really work – after all, it’s only once you know that, that you can correctly analyse whether you can afford to go to university. We are very deliberately waiving copyright for all non-commercial usage, so parents, teachers, universities, and anyone else who wants to watch it can do so. Hopefully this programme will mean fewer people writing off university for the wrong reasons.”


Notes to editors

(1)    If you wish to embed this video into learning resources on your website, please inform the MSE press office and use this code:

<iframe width="1280" height="720" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/mO_rAsMuAlM" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

(2)    If you are a journalist or other member of the press, please get in touch with the MSE press office to discuss usage terms for this video.