As part of June's White Paper on Higher Education, the government has finally responded to the BIS Postgraduate Review, which was chaired by Sir Adrian Smith, and reported in April 2010.
You can view the government response to the review here.
Overall, there is very little to get excited about here. Much of the response refers back to ongoing work within the higher education sector. Where we would have hoped to have seen robust proposals on the futureof postgraduate funding (notably absent from the White Paper), the government has merely committed to monitoring participation in postgraduate study in order to determine whether there is a problem with access.
The arrangements for Funding Council funds to support postgraduate taught study from 2012 are currently under consultation by HEFCE as part of its teaching grant and student numbers consultation. NUS will be responding to the consultation in due course, but we expect little change at taught postgraduate level, as only the higher-cost courses currently receive HEFCE funding at present.
There is more of interest in the issue of public information for taught postgraduates. The government has asked HEFCE to prepare proposals on creating a national student survey of taught postgraduates and to explore whether the Key Information Set should be extended to taught postgraduates. These proposals will be put before HEFCE's Higher Education Public Information Steering Group, on which NUS is represented. If successful, these proposals could mean that prospective taught postgraduates will be able to view student satisfaction data in their chosen subject, and access comparable information on different taught postgraduate courses. This could potentially be very welcome.
Do you have comments, thoughts or feedback on the government response to the review? Comment below or contact us.