Higher Education committee report shows that post-graduate crisis has reached boiling point, says 1994 Group

The 1994 Group of leading universities has welcomed the Postgraduate Education report by the Higher Education Commission.


Alex Bols, Executive Director of the 1994 Group, said:


“Today’s report shows that the postgraduate crisis we warned of is fast reaching boiling point. We simply must not be prepared to accept flat-lining numbers of UK students studying Masters courses. Postgraduate skills are vital to the country’s future prosperity but with more than 75% of students in France going on to study a Masters within two years of completing their Bachelors degree and more than 50% in Germany, compared to fewer than 10% in England, we are in danger of falling behind.


“We also need to recognise that postgraduate qualifications are fast becoming a key differentiator for employers looking to recruit the very best talent.  Postgraduate opportunities mustn't be limited to just those with the private financial means to stay on.


“The report makes some excellent recommendations that we wholeheartedly support, particularly with regards to finance. It seems blindingly obvious that options to fund postgraduate study are needed.  With rising undergraduate debt, increasing fees at Masters level and little or no living costs support for postgraduates a financial support system is becoming an economic imperative, as well as a fair access necessity. Establishing a taskforce to develop solutions to this is a sensible idea and we will gladly play a part.


“Any financial support system will need to be nuanced enough to consider the diversity of the postgraduate market and offer different solutions depending on the mode of study. It is therefore good to see that the report calls for business to play a major role. Tax breaks for employers funding par- time students or those studying a stand alone professional qualification could well be an option.


“We also need to remember that university research is a major contributor to the UK’s long term economic success and that a healthy pipeline of postgraduate students is needed to ensure future generations of world class researchers. Because of this, and the benefits to businesses and individuals, the Government needs to make investing in postgraduate study a priority.”





Media Contact:
Mark Fuller

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07952 286 223



Notes to Editors:


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


2. The 1994 Group publication ‘The Postgraduate Crises’ was published in February and can be read via http://www.1994group.ac.uk/documents/120215_PostgraduateCrisis.pdf


3.  9 of the top 20 universities in the Guardian University Guide 2012 league tables are 1994 Group members. 5 of the top 20 universities in the 2012 Sunday Times University League Table are 1994 Group members. 6 of the top 20 universities in the 2012 Complete University Guide are 1994 Group members. The University of Bath is the Sunday Times University of the year.

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

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