This report likens postgraduate education to "an exclusive golf club" which is becoming increasingly exclusive amid rising tuition fees and real terms cuts to research and funding council support. It includes chapters by the British Academy, CentreForum, Confederation of British Industry (CBI), GuildHE, Higher Education Commission, National Union of Students (NUS), Russell Group, Sutton Trust and economists Dr Joanne Lindley and Professor Stephen Machin.
In joint chapter with NUS, CentreForum urges the government to implement an undergraduate style loans scheme for postgraduate taught courses. It is argued that a more restricted loans scheme could be piloted within the government's existing higher education budget before being rolled out in full.
In addition, the report urges universities to take steps towards expanding their endowment capacity and accessing financial markets to enable postgraduate students to draw loans. It also calls for data to be collected to assess how far current funding arrangements are suppressing demand for postgraduate study, as well as a review of the rules, regulations and funding structures in postgraduate education.
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"We welcome this report as a useful contribution to the debate."
- Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)
"Successive higher education reviews have swept this issue under the carpet. Social mobility and the economy are suffering as a result, and people are being deprived of opportunities. We need to review postgraduate funding as a matter of urgency."
- Julian Huppert MP, Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for Cambridge