The bank of mum may not be able to fund postgrad degrees

(62 Posts)
funnyperson Mon 21-Jan-13 15:10:29

I read this article about postgrad degrees in Oxford and my worst fears are confirmed
ttp://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/21/suing-oxford-university-students-wealth?commentpage=2

Please don't blame yourself, funny. I am really furious about what is happening but I don't think it's the fault of ordinary people, really. As far as I can see, there was no-one making a huge fuss about students getting their degrees subsidized, so it's not as if tuition fees were a hugely popular move.

I can see it must feel rotten to be worrying about your DC like that, of course.

mathanxiety Tue 29-Jan-13 18:39:54

One potentially hopeful element to the postgrad scene is Britain's continuing membership of the EU. British students are entitled to study anywhere in the EU for local rates, both at undergraduate level and postgrad.

Hint - vote possibly coming up on EU membership..

funnyperson Tue 29-Jan-13 16:43:09

LRD because a) I didnt save up enough to put DC through college without debt and b) didnt protest when the govt introduced the extortionate fees.

I don't see how you are to blame, funny!

TheCollieDog Tue 29-Jan-13 08:06:33

Thing is, the price charged to non-EU students, both UG and PG is generally a more accurate reflection of the real costs of a university degree.

Since the [unprintable word] coalition decided to withdraw 80% of public funding from public universities, we're seeing real costs.

mathanxiety Tue 29-Jan-13 05:50:46

What I mean by brain drains being expensive to the exporting country is that the govt is being penny wise by cutting support to postgrad students and pretty much forcing universities to recruit full whack fee payers from abroad, and pound foolish because those foreign PhDs will take their expertise with them and their education will ultimately benefit Britain's competition. Bringing in brains from abroad and then letting them off to make money elsewhere is going to cost Britain.

funnyperson Tue 29-Jan-13 04:24:34

I'm cross because I was lucky enough to be born in a socialist society which provided care and opportunity to an extent which I now realise will never again happen in the history of mankind.
Our generation should have fought tooth and nail for our children's education and welfare. But like most I thought it would last forever and did nothing. I feel so much to blame.

funnyperson Tue 29-Jan-13 04:20:07

Postgraduate education is pricing itself out of the market.

I'm cross cross cross because inevitably postgraduate degrees will become the privilege of the wealthy and whilst some wealthy people are brainy not all brainy people are wealthy.

funnyperson Tue 29-Jan-13 04:14:17

Exporting expertise is a national strategy. There are at least 2 problems with the strategy

a) It bankrupts foreign families
b) It drives up the price of education, and the support structure such as student accommodation, to beyond the reach of the average earning UK family.

Whilst a) is perfectly consistent with a colonialist ethic, b) was not foreseen simply because no one in Westminster has average earnings.

I'm cross with a and b actually.

True, math.

amillionyears Sun 27-Jan-13 07:41:50

Mainly European students I think.

amillionyears Sun 27-Jan-13 07:41:18

That first sentence is true mathanxiety. The person I am talking about upthread, is surrounded by students from abroad.
Didnt quite understand the second sentence.

mathanxiety Sun 27-Jan-13 02:07:56

Worse, the only people who can afford postgrad degrees may be students from abroad, so essentially Britain is exporting expertise. A brain drain always costs a lot more than the cost of supporting brains at home.

TheCollieDog Sat 26-Jan-13 20:45:31

Yes, the research future of this country is in terrible trouble. I think we'll look back in 20 years and look at a first class world standard (2nd only to the US) education system, relatively open to any qualified student, and wonder when was the actual moment a government pressed the destruct button.

amillionyears Sat 26-Jan-13 17:57:02

Agreed.
Also, tbh, having only a load of people from very wealthy backgrounds being able to do research, would seriously impact on quality imo.
[wince] I feel I am being richist here.

mathanxiety Sat 26-Jan-13 17:49:44

Professor Steve Smith, vice-chancellor of Exeter University, said: "The latest data is that 1.8% of GDP goes on research and development. The average in the OECD is 2.34%. That is a third more. And a lot of our competitors, Japan, Korea, are above 3%.

The UK is seriously shooting itself in the foot here. Postgrad research drives technological breakthroughs and therefore industry.

amillionyears Sat 26-Jan-13 16:51:29

Yikes.
It is going to be even worse than I thought.

LaFataTurchina Italy Sat 26-Jan-13 15:58:04

My stand alone MA is funded (2011-2013). It's not teaching, PGCE or medical related but it is in a 'useful' subject.

Also, I think 3 plus 1 still exists at some uni's. i.e. at my old uni if you got a 2.1 in some departments you could stay on and do a free MA (I graduated in 2010).

But I thought the government had decided to do away with funding for stand-alone MAs?

takeaway2 Fri 25-Jan-13 20:16:21

My first phd student I supervised was on an ESRC +3 scholarship (them days!). I have also had a v highly rated project (rated by ESRC) that didn't get funding. I tweaked it, and got university funding and a phd student to work on it. Several other phd students are either funded by their organization (nhs) or government (other country's university).

The is a lot of competition but there is money. Just got to hunt a bit more...

amillionyears Fri 25-Jan-13 18:28:38

The person I was talking about had a 2:1 at degree level, but a distinction in a fairly relevant masters. The the jobs he did after the masters, particularly one of them, also helped. And he was willing to apply and travel anywhere.

(That sounds grouchy, and I'm not: I appreciate that I am dead lucky. I just find it hard to understand the process.)

I count myself very lucky to have funding off a 2:1. But my peers who didn't get it were certainly not told why - and I know they asked. I think maybe it varies from discipline to discipline?

There are four of us in my year with some kind of funding - I forget whether two or three are AHRC, but one definitely isn't.

We were simply told it's partly a matter of luck, and that they will often find that a project that isn't funded is perfectly good. Of course, it's quite likely we don't get told the real reasons - but that does make it harder for us to know what's going on.

TheCollieDog Fri 25-Jan-13 16:39:34

In my department (nationally top five for the discipline in a tip top of the league table university) has 3 funded AHRC Doctoral studentships, plus 3 funded by an international collaboration, for 2013-14 academic year.

To get one of these, students will need pretty much First Class honours and Distinction or near distinction at Masters level. That's about the level of competition and the numb of studentships, as actually a good 2, i and a good project will suffice (that's what I had back in the day, and was offered a studentship and a job straight out of my BA).

So the fact that someone doesn't get offered funding can be related to a number of issues. But it's usually a very individual admissions process, so applicants offered a place but no funding are likely to be told why if they ask.

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