Man behind ‘sex for tuition fees’ website is named - students were offered up to £15,000 a year to cover cost of university

Student tells how she was encouraged to dress as a schoolgirl before being pressured into sex

The man uncovered as running a “sex for tuition fees” website has been named after being secretly filmed.

Earlier this week, The Independent revealed how young women were lured to meetings with the man through the SponsorAScholar.co.uk website.

An undercover reporter recorded a meeting with the man who told her that sponsorship was dependent on a "high level of sexual intimacy" with men in two-hour sessions in hotel rooms up to four times a term.

The man filmed by The Independent was said last night to go under the name Mark Lancaster, but when contacted by a television programme refused to speak about the Sponsor a Scholar scheme. He had previously claimed to have arranged for 1,400 young women to win sponsorship.

When he met the undercover Independent reporter, he told her that to qualify for the scheme she would have to undertake a "practical assessment" with him to prove she would offer "the level of intimacy" that would be demanded by sponsors.

There were concerns last night that the scheme may have been a front to allow him to take advantage of young women. A student, whose identity was kept secret, told Channel 4 News that when she went to a rented flat with the man for an interview, she had been encouraged to dress up in a schoolgirl outfit before being pressured to have sex.

After he told her, "It's time now for the practical," she froze and felt unable to fight off his advances: "Then he just kissed me before I really had time to think about it or ask any questions … and I just froze because I really didn't know what to do. Then he started undressing me.

"I was in a different city, and he'd picked me up from outside the place and walked me in so in my mind I was, like 'I can't leave right now because I don't know where I am and if I do leave and he chases me, I don't know what to do'. So I just froze and went along with what he was doing."

Despite having had sex with the man, she was sent an email telling her that she had failed to secure sponsorship but that she could reapply in a couple of months. The student said she had contacted the Sponsor a Scholar scheme because she was struggling to pay her tuition fees.

Since being exposed by The Independent the SponsorAScholar website has been taken down. It had claimed to offer students up to £15,000 a year for meetings with wealthy businessmen in search of "discreet adventures".

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot