UKCGE Publishes Graduate Schools Structures Survey Headline Figures

  • Institutional Structures

Rebekah Smith McGloin

Director of Doctoral School and Research Operations, Nottingham Trent University

Carolyn Wynne

Director — Doctoral College & Centre for Research Capability and Development. Coventry University

The UK Council for Graduate Education is today publishing the headline figure from the 2020 Graduate School Structures Survey. 

Last year, we again undertook the Graduate School Structures Survey — looking at the structure, strategy, culture and organisation in doctoral education at UK institutions. This latest survey continued the important work that the Council has been carrying out for over 25 years.

Tracking a Changing Landscape

The UKCGE has tracked developments and reforms of sector and university policy and practice relating to structures such as graduate schools and doctoral colleges, institutional support for postgraduate researchers, priorities and ambitions in doctoral education.

As the latest Industrial Strategy emphasises the importance of postgraduate education in delivering its research and development targets, equality, inclusion and wellbeing at doctoral level emerge as key sectoral challenges and we begin to explore how research and research training can play a part in post-Covid recovery and growth, this latest UK-wide survey asked important questions about structure, strategy, culture and organisation in UK universities.

Graduate School Structures Survey Headline Findings

The initial results from the 2021 Survey have revealed the predominance of the institutional-level Graduate School (or its equivalent Doctoral College) and its changing remit to include research staff and supervisors. New priorities are people-centred and focus on PGR health and wellbeing and student satisfaction.

Despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic and concerns over the availability of future funding, high numbers of universities want to grow their doctoral communities and many of them are seeking to develop new types of programme and modes of delivery to do this.

Full Report Coming Soon!

The full report, due to be launched in early-2022, will set the survey responses in the context of national and international policy and practice and will provide an in-depth look at changes, challenges, hopes and aspirations for UK and Irish doctoral education through turbulent times drawing on the collective insight of 75 universities.


The UKCGE would like to thank the report authors, Carolyn Wynne and Dr Rebekah Smith McGloin, for giving their time, effort and expertise in the production of the Graduate School Structures Survey 2020/21.