In a policy shift that’s sure to shake university education to its very foundations, the Tory Party is expected to announce all new and existing student loans, along with their subsequent administration and payback arrangements, are to be transferred to the controversial moneylender Wonga. Damian Hinds is to confirm the change in a briefing later this week.

Speaking at a fringe meeting last night he told party activists: ‘It’s the perfect solution. Student loans are a constant source of bother to us, and our hitherto shambolic handling of the issue has brought us so much bad press and a catastrophic disconnect with younger voters. Well we’re the party of privatisation, aren’t we? So what could be better.’

However the news has provoked a swift response from the NUS who have slammed the move. Speaking to reporters an angry spokesman said: ‘We condemn this idea in the strongest terms. Students struggle enough as it is repaying loans at an interest rate of 3.1%. What are they going to do when Wonga jacks that up to 4000%?’

But Wonga spokesman, Big Baz, commented: ‘What are these kids getting their knickers in a twist for? They want dosh to go out on the piss every night and we’ve got loads of it. It’s that simple, so they don’t need to go concerning themselves with distracting and irrelevant stuff like interest rates. We take all that worry out of the equation for them. All they gotta do is wedge us up whatever amount we’re demanding…err… I mean asking for, and that way nobody’s gonna get hurt, are they?”

Nick Clegg was unavailable for comment but a source close to the former deputy PM him told reporters: ‘I think Nick would be broadly in favour of this, especially if it meant he could get into some kind of ministerial post by publicly lending it his full support.’