The Minister for Universities and Science told the Conservative conference in Birmingham that the promise made in Opposition to provide scholarships to the children of soldiers, sailors and airmen killed on active service during the last 20 years, would be honoured now that the Party is in power.
The new scheme, which is expected to cost around £800,000 a year, will provide individual scholarships worth an anticipated £8,200 a year.
Mr Willetts declared: 'There is one group of families to whom we have a special debt - the brave men and women who have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. We promised in Opposition that the children of servicemen and women killed in the last 20 years on active duty should have access to education scholarships.
'That is one small way of recognising the ultimate sacrifice that they have made, and I can confirm today that my department will set aside funding for new higher education scholarships for the children of deceased servicemen and women.'
The new Government will also go further, and continue to fund service personnel leaving the Armed Forces to acquire new qualifications, with enhanced funding. 'We plan to offer an enhanced scheme that covers more ex-Service personnel. Quite simply, it is the right thing to do,' Mr Willetts told the conference.