The Future of Postgraduate Education

Westminster Higher Education Forum 17 October 2012: The Future for Postgraduate Education

There is clearly widespread concern about the lack of progress on funding for postgraduate education.   On 17th October, the Westminster Higher Education Forum convened a conference to discuss the way forward.

The speakers and discussants included:

  • Baroness Sharp of Guildford;
  • Professor Stephanie Marshall, Deputy Chief Executive (Research & Policy), Higher Education Academy;
  • Luke James, the NUS’s Postgraduate Taught Officer;
  • Professor Matthew Lambon Ralph, Associate Vice-President (Research) and Director of the Manchester Doctoral College, University of Manchester;
  • Karen Wallbridge, Capability Development Schemes Manager, Transport for London;
  • Janet Bohrer, Assistant Director for Standards, Quality and Enhancement, QAA;
  • Professor Sir John O’Reilly, Vice-Chancellor, Cranfield University;
  • Lord Haskins, Pro-Chancellor, The Open University;
  • Alison Mitchell, Deputy Director, Vitae;
  • Dr Louise Leong, Head of Research and Development, ABPI (Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry);
  • Professor Penny Jane Burke, Director, Centre for Educational Research in Equalities, Policy and Pedagogy, University of
  • Professor Rick Rylance, Chief Executive, Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and Chair, Research
    Councils UK Executive Group;
  • Professor Geraint Johnes, Dean of Graduate Studies and Professor of Economics, Lancaster University;
  • Dr Tania Lima, Science without Borders Programme Director, UK Higher Education International Unit;
  • Christopher Millward, Associate Director, HEFCE.

So, a very wide range of perspectives with some passionate advocacy of the need to support postgraduate study in the UK.  But, our roving reporter reports – no answers yet – not even the beginning of some answers… and depressing.  HEFCE are aware of this, and are tasked with publishing a funding statement for 2015-on in the Spring of 2013.  Watch this space.

The NUS has put off announcement of its own proposals which, we hear, is for Government loans, plus a cap on numbers.  Again, watch this space.


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