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Funding for a masters.

(75 Posts)
Sadusername Sat 28-Nov-15 19:23:43

My eldest DD deferred doing a masters. (my advice in part). I had read that the government were going to introduce student finance for masters degrees. The article below refers to it and I am sure at the time there was information on the .gov site
www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-30293964
However I haven't really heard much since. Does anyone know if this is still going ahead or have any more information?

jillymill Sat 28-Nov-15 21:14:37

Master's loan funding was confirmed in the Autumn Statement on Thursday.

www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/479703/bis-15-573-support-postgraduate-study-response.pdf

Section 2.4, para. 16: "The Government can confirm postgraduate Master’s loans will be available for academic year 2016/17"

The max loan amount will be £10,000. They will be available to all those under 60 (increased from age 30), will include distance-learning as well as f/t and p/t courses, and will be on similar repayment terms to the current undergraduate loans but at a rate of 6% over the threshold of £21k. There are ELQ restrictions for those with a Master's level degree (including 4 year integrated Masters).

Molio Sat 28-Nov-15 21:23:53

Yes the last update was the 25th. £10,000 is going to go a long way isn't it. That won't even cover most fees, never mind a contribution towards living costs. It does remarkably little for those whose parents can't support them. A sneeze but no more.

Sadusername Sat 28-Nov-15 21:38:48

Well it wouldn't go far in London! The fees for the course my dd wants to do varies from place to place, from about £4000 to £9000 for a year. Luckily she is in a relatively cheap part of the country and has been saving for a couple of years so for her at least it will be very helpful.
Thanks for the update though.

Molio Sat 28-Nov-15 21:49:05

Many, many fees are in the £14,000 range for an arts course and that's without living expenses. The standard cost is £26,000 all told. £10,000 doesn't even begin to cut it.

titchy Sun 29-Nov-15 11:01:50

It's better than nothing Molio! We've been lobbying for this for ages....

If you've just got your first job post graduation the loan means you can do a masters part time without having to beg steal or borrow most of the fees. It's a good thing....

BoboChic Sun 29-Nov-15 11:05:29

It may sound counter-intuitive, but it is in everyone's interest not to encourage too many masters degrees. There is already a bit of a pointless educational arms race going on with students undertaking masters degrees as a way of purchasing access to effective careers service advice and help getting a job (yes, LSE and UCL). Is this really where we want to go?

possiblefutures Sun 29-Nov-15 11:11:44

There is already a bit of a pointless educational arms race going on with students undertaking masters degrees as a way of purchasing access to effective careers service advice and help getting a job (yes, LSE and UCL).

Really!? IME (inc with one of those institutions) university careers services are certainly not worth the cost of a masters, and I've never come across this!

BoboChic Sun 29-Nov-15 11:17:51

I know lots of international students who go to London to do masters degrees purely in order to perfect their English while looking for a job. They are quite happy with the cost-benefit analysis.

However, I also know plenty of students who undertake masters degrees in the UK for proper academic and self-development reasons and realise quite quickly that they have been sold a dud because the true purpose of the masters degree is a TEFL/careers service package.

Molio Sun 29-Nov-15 11:20:44

Yes it is much, much better than nothing titchy but it still excludes the vast majority of new graduates from arts and humanities masters degrees, unless their parents can bridge the £16k gap. I thought the talk was originally of £16k rather then 10k - that's disappointing.

ImperialBlether Sun 29-Nov-15 11:21:06

My daughter did hers at Liverpool and took it over two years while working the rest of the time. Could she do something like this?

possiblefutures Sun 29-Nov-15 11:23:01

I think we may be at cross-purposes re the meaning / use of the term careers service!

So you are saying that you know of masters courses at UCL / LSE that have no useful / substantial content? Do you have any examples?

yeOldeTrout Sun 29-Nov-15 11:25:46

Is this new masters funding available for law conversion courses?

BoboChic Sun 29-Nov-15 11:25:26

possiblefutures - I have examples from people I know who have undertaken masters degrees at those universities (and Kings) and been sorely disappointed at the quality from the outset. These are students who have studied at top universities/Grandes Ecoles/B-schools and worked in top firms beforehand and I trust their judgement on this one. I have also heard similar from academics working in those institutions.

titchy Sun 29-Nov-15 11:47:05

Trout - no, law conversion won't qualify. Afaik it's MA, MSc, MFA or LLM only.

yeOldeTrout Sun 29-Nov-15 12:03:31

ta, (also bummer)

titchy Sun 29-Nov-15 12:03:33

Molio the problem with increasing the amount available would have been that a) it would be too expensive for the Govn - RAB charge still a factor, and b) the sector would simply raise fees to the maximum available to borrow.

asilverraindrop Mon 30-Nov-15 13:27:42

I'm currently doing a humanities master's part time at one of the universities you mention, BoboChic, having previously been to Oxbridge, and I have found it far more stretching and demanding than I anticipated - though of course, being humanities it's largely self-directed learning with not many contact hours, so it would be possible to bypass much of the educational content if so inclined and not too bothered about one's marks. I realise that the plural of anecdote is not data, but I certainly don't think you can dismiss all MAs etc. There's plenty of rigour in mine.

BoboChic Mon 30-Nov-15 14:53:50

I am absolutely not dismissing all Masters degrees. That was not my point.

redleader Mon 30-Nov-15 15:32:43

In certain professions you cannot get chartered unless you have a masters

asilverraindrop Mon 30-Nov-15 17:34:41

Could you be more specific about which Masters degrees you are dismissing, then, please?

bittapitta Mon 30-Nov-15 17:42:46

molio my humanities Masters tuition fees only cost £4k a few years ago. I just checked and it's now £9k. At a top London uni. Your figures are extremely high.

BoboChic Mon 30-Nov-15 18:12:41

I don't want to "go public" on specific courses, so I'm not going to name the ones I have been told about as not being of themselves very rigorous.

Molio Mon 30-Nov-15 18:15:52

Yes well unfortunately my figures are the figures for two of my DCs' courses. One humanities course at Oxford (about a thousand cheaper but then it was a year ago), one at UCL. £13,950 is the precise amount and I don't think they haggle.

hefzi Mon 30-Nov-15 19:39:22

In the NW, the majority of the MAs are in the £3500/£4500 mark: the government has given universities 10k bursaries to use this year, and our students are doing very well out of them - some of them still work part-time, but others are just cutting their cloth (average student rent etc between £4 and 500 for somewhere close to the department and fancy: lower if they are prepared to use a bus and don't want en suite etc)

Courses with masses of foreign students on have far higher fees - they are buying the access to London, often, and the name of the university on their CV: it doesn't really equate to the quality of the course itself, in many cases. Place like Oxford charge top whack because they can - simple supply and demand. It's well worth students really doing their research on where they want to go - and also, whether it's worth taking on the extra debt. Don't forget too that many places offer merit-related funding, usually of a fee waiver but sometimes also a stipend too - and some also have bursaries based on WP etc Some institutions also offer fee discounts for their own graduates.

Your MA is far more about the course itself, rather than the institution (unlike undergrad), in terms of "worth" - and if your DC want to go into academia, it's probably better to apply for a 1+3 (which is intensely competitive) and go to university where there is a DTC, to improve their chances of +3 funding: institutions that have a DTC favour their own first when it comes to applications.

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