NPC Responds to the funding councils resesarch consultations

The NPC has submitted its responses to both the research and assessment review led by Sir Gareth Roberts and also the consultation on Improving Standards in Resesarch Degree Programmes, where the postgraduate voice is of vital importance.

With regards to the research and assessment review, NPC gives a warm welcome to the proposal to assess research competences including the development of researchers and equality of opportunity in the research environment. NPC stresses the need for the outcomes of this consultation to go hand in hand with the improving standards in research degree programmes consultation, which has a number of common areas of interest. To view the response, please Click Here

Responding to the Improving Standrds in Research Degree Programmes Consultation is important for the NPC, being the only national organisation submitting a response on behalf of postgraudates who will be greatly benefiting from the introduction of such standards. In the current consultation, however, NPC expresses some concerns over some matters including:

  • The need to have mid career development for academic staff who may form their own ideas on how to supervise research students in a way that suits them only.
  • Recommendation of 6 students per supervisor is not necessarily a suitable guide as to how many PhDs a supervisor should be overseeing. The ideal number will depend on a number of factors including teaching hours, research activity of the academic and resources available.
  • There is a need for confidential and impartial feedback mechanisms where a research student can forward any complaints about their supervision with confidence that their concerns will be dealt with fairly. NPC's experience has been that many students have found it difficult to make such complaints due to fear of being ostracised.

To view the response Click Here.