HEFCE grant letter is 'breakthrough moment' for postgraduate study, says 1994 Group

The 1994 Group of leading universities has responded to the Higher Education Funding Council for England's (HEFCE's) letter setting out funding for higher education 2012-13. 

The letter includes the news that HEFCE will provide an additional £1,100 per full time student for postgraduate students starting in 2012-13. 

Professor Michael Farthing, Chairman of the 1994 Group and Vice Chancellor of the University of Sussex, said: 

"This is a breakthrough moment for postgraduate study, an issue which has been ignored for far too long. For months now the 1994 Group has been calling on Ministers to take action to ensure that funding is in place to support postgraduate teaching. We are delighted that these calls have been heard and that HEFCE will allocate £1,100 to institutions for each full time postgraduate student starting in 2012. 

"Welcome as today's news is however, there is still work to do. Even with the direct grant announced today institutions will still need to charge fees to cover the costs of postgraduate courses. As things stand postgraduate students are not able to access the same subsidised loans as undergraduates. With public finances so tight we need to apply some innovative thinking so that talented and motivated students have access to the finance needed to progress to postgraduate level. One idea might be to encourage banks to offer more career development loans on more generous terms than is currently the case. 

"The high level skills of postgraduates are absolutely essential to the country's long term economic prospects, not to mention the role postgraduate study plays in developing the next generation of researchers. Today's news is a step in the right direction but we need to keep up the momentum to ensure the long term viability of postgraduate study." 




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Mark Fuller

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Notes to Editors:

1.    The 1994 Group represents 19 of the UK’s leading student-focused research-intensive universities. It was established in 1994 to promote excellence in University research and teaching.

2.  12 of the top 20 universities in the Guardian University Guide 2012 league tables are 1994 Group members. 8 of the top 20 universities in the 2012 Sunday Times University League Table are 1994 Group members. 9 of the top 20 universities in the 2012 Complete University Guide are 1994 Group members.


3.  In 17 major subject areas 1994 Group universities are the UK leaders, achieving 1st place in their field (THE RAE subject rankings 2008). 57% of the 1994 Group's research is rated 4* 'world-leading' or 3* 'internationally excellent' (RAE 2008, HEFCE).

4.    The 1994 Group represents: University of Bath, Birkbeck University of London, Durham University, University of East Anglia, University of Essex, University of Exeter, Goldsmiths University of London, Institute of Education University of London, Royal Holloway University of London, Lancaster University, University of Leicester, Loughborough University, Queen Mary University of London, University of Reading, University of St Andrews, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of Surrey, University of Sussex, University of York.


5.  The HEFCE letter setting out funding for 2012-13 can be read via http://www.hefce.ac.uk/pubs/circlets/2012/cl03_12/


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