A website allowing strangers to sponsor students up to £15,000 a year in exchange for sex has been exposed.
SponsorAScholar.co.uk says it helps women between the ages of 17 and 24 cover the cost of their university studies and claims that it has arranged for 1,400 women to be funded by wealthy men.
It offers students “up to 100% of your tuition fees” in return for two-hour sessions with men between one and four times a term. The meetings must “always” take place in a private place, “such as a hotel.”
“Because of the considerable sums of money our sponsors are offering in scholarship, they tell us that they have expectations of a high level of sexual intimacy with their chosen student,” the website says.
The website claims that it has a roster of hundreds of students and suggests that it operates within the grey area in Britain’s sex laws, which allow escort agencies to function legitimately by offering introductions between the clients and the students.
The sponsors range from men aged 28 years to 50 years old and they “want to have discreet adventures with a student whilst helping them fund their studies through a scholarship.”
SponsorAScholar.co.uk uses a false company and VAT number that belongs to the legitimate dating site Match.com. A spokesperson for Match.com said: “The website is not affiliated with Match.com in any way and we are in the process of contacting them to legally require that all references to Match.com are removed immediately.”
This revelation has caused charities to urge young women to say safe, and to not be tempted to use the website.
Rachel Griffin, director of the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, which promotes personal safety, said: “Meeting a complete stranger in private could be highly dangerous at any time but when it is in connection with a scheme like this, the risks are sky-high.”
The NUS has accused the website of trying to “capitalise on the poverty and financial hardship of women students.”
NUS Women’s Officer, Kelly Temple, said: “It appears to be… exploiting the fact that women students are in dire financial situations in pursuit of an education.”
The website now appears to have closed, saying: “Sorry website unavailable for maintenance”.