NEON were at the Conservative Party Conference on Monday 2nd October 2017 to host a fringe event on the sustainability of student finance. Held in partnership with the New Statesman, over 50 people packed the room to hear from an expert panel of speakers. The panel which included former Minister for Higher Education, Lord David Willetts, Professor Kathryn Mitchell, Vice Chancellor of University of Derby, Shakira Martin, President of the NUS and Dr Graeme Atherton, Director of NEON, took part in a lively debate taking many questions from the audience. The panel covered the question of fee levels, the reintroduction of maintenance grants and the impact of the terms ‘loans’ and ‘debt’ on people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Dr. Atherton also spoke about NEON’s research project ‘Does Cost Matter?’ and presented a summary of the research that has taken place over the last three years.