A RAYNERS Lane student is hoping to change the way young people debate politics through a new website.

Siraj Datoo, 20, of Torbay Road, hopes The Student Journals may one day help the media gauge opinion on university campuses across the country, and may even influence politicians.

The site is a national forum where students can debate the issues that affect their lives and is designed to give a voice to people who do not feel the student union represents them.

He said he supports the National Union of Students (NUS) but thought it was important for people at university to have an independent outlet for them to express their opinions.

Mr Datoo, himself student at the University of Warwick, said: “At the moment there's student newspapers, which I like, but for me they pretty much represent students on a local level so only people at that university are going to read it.

“I realised through my year at university in essence I was frustrated with the NUS for not really representing students in a way that represents all students.

“It would always be the NUS opinion and because we had another opinion we didn't really have anywhere else to go.”

The French and international studies student, who has been a blogger for five years, set the website up with little cash, striking a deal with a developer for the site.

He rejects any comparison with the story of Facebook, started as a student networking site by Mark Zuckerburg at Harvard Business School.

As the site develops he hopes it will also offer students opportunities, for example to review film premiers and other events.

Mr Datoo said: “I think that just the fact that students don't have anywhere they can voice their opinion undermines their position in society.

“Students need somewhere where they can say this is what I believe. There will be polls on the website where people will be able to vote.

“It's not only students but media across the country will be able to go and look at the website and see this is what students think now.”