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Postgraduate student support

Posted on 09/12/2013

Postgraduate students at King’s College London will receive support through the Postgraduate Support Scheme, a £25 million publicly-funded programme, the Higher Education Council for England (HEFCE) has announced today (9 December).
The scheme will test ways of supporting progression into taught postgraduate education in England. It aims to ensure the continued success of taught postgraduate provision by working with universities and employers to stimulate participation by students who would not otherwise progress to this level.

The King’s pilot project will seek further to diversify the College’s postgraduate student population in Nursing, Psychiatry, the Cultural Industries, theatre-related careers and Informatics across postgraduate taught and postgraduate research programmes. It will test new ways of engaging under-represented students, including pre-sessional and extra-curricular activities, a new kind of mentoring support and scholarships for tuition fees and living costs. It will be delivered in partnership with the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and the Maudsley Charity.
The 20 successful pilot projects across the higher education sector will support more than 2,800 students and involve a range of support activities including financial and pastoral support, mentoring and networking, curricula change, funded studentships, work placements and a variety of bursary and loan schemes. Most of the 20 projects will be working with a range of partners including other higher education institutions and employers.
David Willetts, the Universities and Science Minister, said: 'Postgraduate study is good for students, good for universities, and good for the economy.

‘We want talented graduates from all backgrounds to feel inspired and able to continue their education.

‘This £25 million investment will help develop partnerships, explore different ways of financing postgraduate study, and attract students from less advantaged backgrounds to postgraduate education. It will also provide a big boost to our internationally renowned postgraduate sector.’
Steve Egan, HEFCE Interim Chief Executive, said: ‘The range and innovative approaches in the schemes which universities have devised to increase take up of postgraduate courses is impressive. We will work closely with the projects to see what is working well and to communicate this widely to build strong foundations for this critical aspect of higher education.’
Mick Fuller, Chair of the UK Council for Graduate Education, said: 'This is the best piece of recent news for PGT provision in England. A wide range of projects engaging HEIs across the full spectrum of PGT providers will be supported through some really innovative ideas. The commitment for the majority of funding to end up sponsoring students to undertake PGT study will be really exciting news for final year undergraduates and recent graduates contemplating postgraduate study as well as people who are considering to return to university to upskill or to change career direction. The initiative should see an upsurge of interest in applications for 2014 entry and provide HEFCE and the sector with important intelligence on how to improve the sustainability of PGT courses in the future.'
The projects were recommended by a panel chaired by Professor Chris Brink, Vice-Chancellor of Newcastle University, and including members of HEFCE’s Strategic Advisory Committees, as well as representatives from the UK Council for Graduate Education and the National Union of Students.

Notes to editors

For further media information please contact the Public Relations Department on 0207 848 3202 or

For further information about King's visit our 'King's in Brief' page.

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