NPC Talks to the Government

After cancelling their last meeting in February, Margaret Hodge MBE, Minister for Life Long Learning, Further and Higher Education finally met the NPC for the first time on the 22nd of May. They were joined by NPCs Honorary President, Prof Sir Martin Harris, to convey NPC policies on postgraduate funding directly to a government audience. The main issues included the much-welcomed benefits brought forward by the white paper to help increase the numbers of research students in the UK, and issues arising from the NPCs recent report on postgraduate funding and priorities. Margaret Hodge was particularly receptive to the recommendation of encouraging Regional Development Agencies to help determine where funding can be better channelled, a mechanism through which postgraduate funding could increase in the future. Other issues raised included the criteria for providing career development loans and the concern that the white paper does not appear to accommodate both taught and research postgraduates, particularly in light of the need to allow graduates to undertake a postgraduate taught degree in order to pursue a research degree. For more information visit: www.npc.org.uk/features

Tim Brown