Budget, PGR

PhD Loan scheme Vs RCUK studentships – cause for concern?

The recent budget from Treasury flagged increased support for postgraduate study and PhD students, which would be in addition to the existing support, largely delivered through RCUK centres for doctoral training.

This report on THE suggests that the sector should be mindful of the potential implications that the latest announcement may have. The BIS line on this is that the new funding is intended to widen opportunities that participating in postgraduate research offer.

Could loans genuinely entice those who aren’t currently applying? Would loans simply make existing applicants better off during their studies? What proportion of these would likely be postgraduate and what would be PGR? With a figure of £25,000 as the maximum per award, this is far from the equivalent stipend awarded to RCUK PhD students over three years, and if loans are to contribute to fees as well as living costs, there could be questions as to how awards like this could be effective.

A consultation on the design and terms of the postgraduate research loans would be published in due course.

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