Rates of qualification from postgraduate research degrees

HEFCE has published a report that presents projected rates of qualification for students on postgraduate research degrees. The data show that around two-thirds of the 10,140 students who started research degrees in English higher education institutions (HEIs) in 2009-10 are projected to qualify within seven years, and around three-quarters will qualify over a longer period 

Rates of qualification from postgraduate research degrees

The analysis uses a new method to calculate rates of qualification from postgraduate research degree study and replaces the research degree qualification rates (RDQRs) method that has been used by HEFCE since 2007. This updated method means that the data are not directly comparable with those calculated and published by HEFCE previously. It is intended to provide more relevant information and be less burdensome to HEIs and HEFCE than the previous one, which involved verification of data going back several years. The new method is consistent with the one we use to calculate completion rates for undergraduate students, and aims to be more objective, fair and reliable.

Rates of qualification from research degree study are projected for students living in the UK and EU, who started full-time research degrees at English HEIs in 2008-09 and 2009-10. Qualification rates are provided by HEI, projected over periods of 7 and 25 years. We take 7 years as the first point by which there is a reasonable expectation that the majority of students who will ever complete their qualification will have done so. We take 25 years as the point where any student who will ever complete has done so.

The data show the proportions of full-time research degree starters that are in each of three end states that have been projected at 103 HEIs in England. That is the proportion of the cohort expected to have:

• qualified
• transferred to another institution, or
• become absent from higher education

To download a copy of the report, please click here.

(Source: www.hefce.ac.uk)