As our economy realigns to meet new challenges, postgraduate skills will become more and more important. Yet at a time of great change in the HE sector, postgraduate education suffers from a lack of profile. This inquiry, reporting in Autumn 2012, will examine the issues that will shape the postgraduate sector in the years to come.
A vibrant system of postgraduate education is vital if Britain is to achieve its ambition
to be “the leading knowledge-based economy of the world.” Yet postgraduates are
almost entirely absent from the debate about the future of our higher education
A perfect storm is on the horizon for prospective postgraduates. They face higher
tuition fees than any generation before them, coupled with financial institutions which
are reluctant to lend money. Simultaneously, globalisation and changes in the UK’s
industrial base mean that postgraduate degrees are more important than ever before
in getting ahead in the labour market.
This report, the product of an eight-month inquiry, calls for the postgraduate sector
to be brought in from the cold and fully embraced as part of an integrated education
system. It identifies policy shifts which will be needed to ensure that Britain remains
a competitive place to do research and do business. It also explores access to
postgraduate education, “the next frontier of widening participation”, and makes
recommendations on how postgraduate provision should be funded in the future.
Our system of postgraduate education remains world-class, but there are a number
of areas where current policy and practice is out of step with our national vision for
this sector and for our economy. In these areas policy change is urgently required.
There is no room for complacency. Coasting on our past successes is not an option.
Failure to act will put at risk our future prosperity.
The Commission will be undertaking a programme of follow-up and advocacy work - centred on the report's recommendations. To find out how to get involved please contact: