The decision to raise tuition fees to up to £9,000 a year is an “absolute outrage”, Lord Sugar's right-hand man on The Apprentice told students at Kingston University.
Nick Hewer, the peer's trusted adviser on the BBC show, warned that the policy would lead to thousands of students “shying away” from higher education.
“It's an absolute outrage because education is a right,” he said in response to a question. “This measure will mean students from poorer backgrounds will shy away from higher education.”
Mr Hewer told The Independent: “Ministers have tried to defend their proposals — under which fees would rise from £3,300 to between £6,000 and £9,000 — by stressing nobody will have to repay their fees until they earn at least £21,000 a year.”
However, Mr Hewer added: “A lot of families can't cope with the concept of owing £20,000. If you lose a proportion of bright, poor kids from higher education, then it's the country's loss.”