Successful Postgraduate Support Schemes Published

Postgraduate students at more than 40 universities will receive support through the HEFCE Postgraduate Support Scheme, a £25 million publicly-funded programme. 

Successful Postgraduate Support Schemes Published

The scheme will test ways of supporting progression into taught postgraduate education in England. It aims to ensure the continued success of taught postgraduate provision by working with universities and employers to stimulate participation by students who would not otherwise progress to this level.

The 20 successful pilot projects will support more than 2,800 students and involve a range of support activities including financial and pastoral support, mentoring and networking, curricula change, funded studentships, work placements and a variety of bursary and loan schemes. Most of the 20 projects will be working with a range of partners including other higher education institutions and employers.

David Willetts, the Universities and Science Minister, said:

Postgraduate study is good for students, good for universities, and good for the economy.

We want talented graduates from all backgrounds to feel inspired and able to continue their education.

This £25 million investment will help develop partnerships, explore different ways of financing postgraduate study, and attract students from less advantaged backgrounds to postgraduate education. It will also provide a big boost to our internationally renowned postgraduate sector.’

The projects were recommended by a panel chaired by Professor Chris Brink, Vice-Chancellor of Newcastle University, and including members of HEFCE’s Strategic Advisory Committees, as well as representatives from the UK Council for Graduate Education and the National Union of Students.

The scheme was agreed by the HEFCE Board in response to evidence in two reports published in July 2013 which highlighted the achievements of the postgraduate sector in England, but also recognised some threats to student opportunity at this level. 

Prof Mick Fuller, UKCGE Chair, said:

The announcement today by HEFCE of the successful bids for the £25M Pilot Postgraduate Support Scheme (PSS) is the best piece of recent good news for PGT provision in England. 

A wide range of projects engaging HEI’s across the full spectrum of PGT providers in England will be supported on some really innovative ideas. The commitment for the majority of funding to end up sponsoring students to undertake PGT study will be really exciting news for many final year undergraduates and recent graduates contemplating postgraduate study as well as people who are considering to return to university to up-skill or to change career direction. The initiative should see an upsurge of interest in applications for 2014 entry and provide HEFCE and the sector with important intelligence on how to improve the sustainability of PGT courses in the future.

Well done HEFCE and good luck to all the project leaders and their partners — a fertile bed for future UKCGE & HEFCE dissemination and good practice sessions for the future!’

Link to HEFCE Postgraduate Support Scheme: successful project summaries

Link to Intentions After Graduation Survey 2013: Initial findings