Autumn Statement

03 December 2014

Loans scheme for taught postgraduates

Commenting on the announcement of a postgraduate loan scheme in the Autumn Statement, Dr Wendy Piatt, Director General of the Russell Group, said:

“Postgraduates are critically important to the economy and society as a whole and the Chancellor is right to help ensure there are no barriers to participation in postgraduate taught study.

“We welcome the government’s reassurance that this significant investment in postgraduate support will not create additional regulation, restrictions or costs in the future or divert funds from existing budgets for research and teaching. We are also pleased that the loans are not restricted to certain subjects and that the system is clear and simple to understand so that most students considering postgraduate study can be sure they will receive financial help."

Professor Sir David Eastwood, Chair of the Russell Group, added:

“The benefits of studying high quality postgraduate programmes to students and to the economy are significant and growing, and the availability of loans will enable qualified students to take advantage of postgraduate study across the full range of academic and professional programmes. The Chancellor is to be congratulated for developing a funding model which will enhance investment in higher education without repurposing existing expenditure.”

Dr Wendy Piatt added:

“While today’s focus is on postgraduate taught (PGT) students, it is important that the vital contribution that postgraduate research students make to the UK economy is recognised and facilitated. We look forward to working with the Government in shaping the final model for the PGT loan system but also on ways of helping our universities in the fierce global competition for the best research students.”


Science and innovation

On the science and innovation announcements in the Autumn Statement, Dr Wendy Piatt, Director General of the Russell Group, said:

“We welcome the Government’s ongoing commitment to funding and support for science, research and innovation and appreciate the promise to increase capital funding to £1.1 billion per year from 2015-16 and maintain it in real terms until 2020-21.

“Maintaining the highest standards of equipment and facilities at our leading universities is important in sustaining our world-class research environments, attracting highly sought-after internationally-mobile researchers as well as high levels of international R&D investment.

“Smaller scale scientific infrastructure, like individual labs and high-spec instruments, are vital to researchers and for teaching students, but they are also highly valued by the businesses that our universities work with.

“We also welcome the announcement of £200 million to be allocated through the Research Partnership Investment Fund and the additional funding for the High Value Manufacturing Catapult Centres which work closely and successfully with our universities.”

“We look forward to more detail on the Science and Innovation Strategy in the coming days.”



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