The government have published a consultation on support for postgraduate study. This much-trailed set of policies comes at a critical time.
With a consultation period unusually spanning a General Election against civil service good practice guidance, there is a risk that a new government with a fresh mandate could choose to ignore the sector’s wishes. Or if they plan to introduce other measures affecting higher education (e.g. lowering undergraduate fees), then there is a further risk that spending assumptions made by BIS this week become redundant and funding for postgraduate support gets traded away in the political storms ahead.
Either way, we are keen to paint an accurate picture of the sector’s desires about postgraduate student support – it’s shape and structure and how best to make it work. We will therefore publish our own response to this consultation, well ahead of the new government, that accurately reflects the sector’s views.
We do not want a new government to use the political climate of the General Election as an excuse not to take serious action on postgraduate support.
So please send us your consultation responses – what you’ll be writing for BIS anyway is fine. The deadline from BIS is 29th May 2015 which we will therefore match. The consultation documentation and questions can be found here.
We’ll provide further updates about this work as it develops.