Female students struggling with tuition fee debts are joining a controversial dating site in order to meet "sugar daddies" who will pay to date them.
Dating site SeekingArrangement.com has published figures showing the 20 British universities with the highest number of students registered on the site.
Nottingham University tops the list with 61 sign-ups, while Kent and London School of Economics follow in second and third respectively, according to the Daily Mail.
The University of Cambridge, according to recent rankings, the "best university in the world", comes fourth, with 46 students signing up to the site.
The dating site boasts of providing a safe place for "like-minded Sugar Daddies, Mommies and Sugar Babies to meet each other".
On their profiles, Sugar Daddies state the basics, along with their "budget".
"Dr Jeff", from New Jersey, describes himself as a wealthy doctor seeking group activity - and can provide a monthly budget in excess of $20,000. Another potential partner, located in the UK says: "Princess required fro relaxed gentleman", and is open to negotiating the amount he is willing to pay.
The idea is two individuals will start up a "mutally beneficial relationship", with the sugar daddy providing an allowance for his sugar baby.
And in return?
There have understandably been concerns the site is merely advocating prostitution, while SeekingArrangement states it provides a service for individuals to find "love, companionship, friendship or some financial help".
The US site, established in 2005, continues:
"Who is to say what is 'right' or 'wrong'? In the past, Kings, Shahs and Emperors have had multiple lovers or concubines. In many cultures, liaisons between the wealthy, generous and the beautiful were even considered an art form. The French had courtesans. The Japanese had geishas. And in today’s society, we now have sugar babies."
Founder Brandon Wade, who has just created a new dating site "Miss Travel" said over the past few years, the number of students using the site has "exploded".
"[The UK's new tuition fees have been great for business, Wade said. "We've had a huge influx of beautiful, highly educated young women."
The founder attributed high levels of graduate unemployment to the reason why so many have joined after finishing their studies.
"They need a generous sugar daddy to help them through this time. They get taken to places they could never afford in a million years."
In an interview with GQ magazine, Wade defended his site saying" "Calling women 'prostitutes' who want something more out of a relationship than just this abstract notion of love is a comment and a stigma that is born from pure jealousy."
"The truth is, in my opinion, love is a concept that's been invented by poor people."
"These people aren't wealthy, they aren't beautiful, they aren't the cream of the crop - so what do they have? They have love. For everyone else there's our website."
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