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Postgraduate Education: Finance

Volume 465: debated on Wednesday 24 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what financial support is made available by the Government to support post-graduate students. (160202)

A range of financial support measures is made available from the Department and its delivery partners to support post graduate students.

Doctoral students supported by the Research Councils receive a minimum stipend of £12,600 (rising to £12,940 in October 2008). PhD stipends have increased across the board, and enhanced stipends of over £13,000 are used to attract students to areas of recruitment difficulty such as engineering, statistics and informatics, economics, veterinary science. Enhanced stipends are also available through the Collaborative Awards in Science and Engineering scheme for students to undertake research in collaboration with industry.

Research Councils support around 3,000 Masters students annually. Stipend support is provided to HEIs who determine the level per student. For instance, the NERC provide a basic maintenance award of £8,080 in 2007/08.

The Academic Fellowship scheme has been developed to provide 1,000 new fellowships over five years with the Research Councils investing £125,000 in each over a five year period.

The Department provides Initial Teacher Training at post graduate level for students in England. A disabled students allowance is available to postgraduate students, including those on taught Masters.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) provides grants to Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in England for taught Masters courses. Funding in 2007/08 is in the region of £100 million.

The Learning and Skills Council provide Career Development Loans totalling around £20 million to around 3,500 postgraduate learners resident in England each year. Approximately 25 per cent. of Career Development Loans are taken out to support HE courses, primarily postgraduate courses such as Masters Degrees.