Uttara Adhunik Medical College (UAMC)

'If house prices were lower, student debt would not be so controversial', says architect of higher fees

But in recent months the former Universities Minister has unexpectedly found his landmark reforms to higher education at risk of unravelling.

With Jeremy Corbyn riding high on the hopes of a younger generation determined to see Labour dismantle tuition fees, Theresa May has been forced to revisit an area of Conservative policy that, until six months ago, seemed set in stone.

For Lord Willetts, now a Tory peer heading up a social mobility think tank, it is a chain of events which has prompted a degree of self-reflection. Speaking to The Sunday Telegraph he reveals that while he remains a committed advocate of tuition fees, he feels it is time to be “flexible” with the small print.