Students in the UK are to have their own minister in government to speak up for higher education students, and to influence university policy. Lord Triesman, the former head of the AUT's lecturers union will be the first person to fill the position. An independent National Student Forum will also be set up to advise ministers on students issues, and ?Student Juries? will be set up to inform the new forum
The changes come about as students see themselves more as consumers, and are demanding more from their education, especially with the rises in fees. There has been a growing trend of students threatening legal action against universities who they see as not giving value for money on certain courses. The NUS has welcomed the move, and is delighted that the government appears to be listening to students in regards to its education policy.
The Universities Secretary, John Denham, says it would put "students' voices at the heart of government". The real issue will be if the government really listens to students' issues, or if the new system becomes little more than an opportunity for student wannabe politicians to add another line to their CVs.