million+ responds to budget announcement

The university think-tank million+ has responded to the budget statement from Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne MP
Commenting on yesterday’s budget announcement, Professor Michael Gunn, Vice-Chancellor of Staffordshire University and Chair of million+ said: “We welcome the Chancellor’s announcement that the funding of postgraduate research is to be reviewed. This will provide a long overdue opportunity to consider how the talents of students and staff in all universities could be better supported.
 
“The plan to extend postgraduate loans to PhD and research-based master’s degree students recognises the financial difficulties encountered by those who wish to study for a postgraduate degree. However, it is likely to have only a marginal impact initially.
 
“In 2012-13 there were 296,470 postgraduate students of whom 27% (79,140 ) were studying for a doctorate and  some of these students would have been supported by the Research Councils.
 
“Only 3% (8945) of postgraduate students were studying for an MRes. The proposal to extend an income contingent loan scheme to these students and some other research students is a first step in the right direction. However, much will depend on the detail of the scheme and whether it will be available to a bigger cohort of students in the long run.”
 
million+ is a leading university think-tank. More information can be found at www.millionplus.ac.uk.

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