by Louise Lancashire
, posted on 28 Oct '20

October Postgraduate News Wrap-up

How is it the end of October already? With the 2020-21 academic year underway, every university is having to adapt to the new environment we find ourselves in. This is reflected in this month’s postgraduate news. Here’s a summary of the top stories and the opportunities they offer.

New Zealand has been a source of positive news recently. They were noted for their quick response to the spread of COVID-19. Unfortunately for prospective international students, this included closing the country’s borders. However, as The PIE outline, New Zealand is re-opening to international Masters and doctoral students from November. There are some caveats (only 250 students will be able to enter at first and there will be a period of managed quarantine) but this is still a huge positive as postgraduate courses lead the way back to international study. We hope the process goes smoothly for New Zealand’s universities and their students.

The OfS have joined together with Research England to launch a new funding competition to address the underrepresentation of Black, Asian and minority ethnic students on PhD programmes and other PGR study options.

The OfS’s own data shows that these students appear to face additional obstacles when transitioning from undergraduate study to postgraduate research (with less than 20% of students at high-tariff universities coming from a BAME background).The new £8 million fund will be available to identify and share good practice, highlight policy challenges and changes and tackle demonstrable barriers to BAME progression at PGR level.

This is another very welcome move towards truly widening participation at PhD level.

Some good news from UK and Europe, as the Financial Times reports that all of the top 10 higher education institutions in their 2020 rankings of Masters in Management degree courses have seen an increase in applications compared with 2019. It appears some students are continuing their full-time education at postgraduate level as they defer joining a potentially turbulent job market. This article makes particular reference to prospective postgrads being attracted by “technology-savvy schools”. With most universities responding to the pandemic with increased online learning, it suggests they should be promoting the technology and infrastructure they have in place to support students and emphasising how postgraduate study can be used to ‘up-skill’ while the job market settles.

This article details how the University of Surrey are providing full-time postgraduate (and undergraduate) students with free digital access to selected key course textbooks. This is a fantastic example of how a university is adapting to remote learning and the financial challenges students are facing – we salute you Surrey!

There may be more universities offering this than we know about, but we imagine this will become more common with teaching moving online and publishing in general.

If you’d like to discuss any of the above opportunities and how we can support you with your postgraduate campaigns, please contact your Account Manager, email [email protected] or call +44 (0)114 268 4940

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