Postgraduate studies will be ‘domain of the wealthy’
Richard Garner has been Education Editor of The Independent for 12 years and writing about the subject for 34 years. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a disc jockey in London pubs and clubs and for a hospital radio station. His main hobbies are cricket (watching these days) and theatre. On his days off, he is most likelt to be found at Lord’s or the King’s Head Theatre Club.
Monday 25 February 2013
Postgraduate studies risk becoming the preserve of the wealthy after a major slump in the number of students opting for the courses.
Latest figures, obtained through a Parliamentary question, show an 8.5 per cent drop in take up of the courses between 2010/11 and 2011/12.
The number of UK graduates opting to go on to further study fell from 171,210 to 156,600. The decline was most marked in the south-west where numbers fell by 20 per cent. In the north-west they fell by around 4,000 (or 16 per cent). Fees for undergraduate courses rose to as much as £9,000 a year last September.
The figures, given by Universities Minister David Willetts, prompted a warning that Britain could be at risk of failing to compete on the economic world stage.
Gareth Thomas, a Labour MP and a former higher education spokesman for the party, said: “The British economy needs its postgraduates more now than at any time before.
“More and more of Britain’s future jobs are going to depend on cutting-edge research, imaginative new technologies and knowledge-based innovation. The drop in postgraduate numbers is a further sign of the crisis in higher education funding.”
Mr Willetts revealed he had asked the Higher Education Funding Council for England to undertake a review of the impact the Government’s reforms had had on postgraduate education.
The figures follow a report by the Higher Education Commission showing the UK is already one of only three countries in Europe – the others are Andorra and Kazakhstan – where fewer than 10 per cent of students go on to postgraduate studies. In most major European countries the figure is between 15 and 24 per cent.
In a separate report, the National Union of Students warned that the current fees structure was in danger of putting off poor students from going on to postgraduate studies because of the debts they had already incurred. The courses would be just for rich and international students, it argued, suggesting there should be targeted state support for postgraduate students.
- 1 Forget 'The Dress': Here are five of the biggest news stories you might have missed
- 2 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 5 Saudi Muslim cleric claims the Earth is 'stationary' and the sun rotates around it
British are sexually uptight, dirty and drink too much – according to Spanish book
PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
White and gold or blue and black – what colour is the dress? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
Saudi Muslim cleric claims the Earth is 'stationary' and the sun rotates around it
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Russia's roadmap for annexing eastern Ukraine 'leaked from Vladimir Putin's office'
£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...
£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...
£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...