It's been a busy couple of weeks for postgraduates with Part-time Students gaining more financial support and Cambridge going to the ballot over Intellectual Property rights.
Jessica Shepherd wrote in the Times Higher on the 21st October that Rammell ups cash support for part timers. Hardship funds allocated to institutions would be increased from £3 million to £12 million from September 2006. This has been welcomed by the OU and Universities UK although part time students continue to pay fees upfront. NPC policy argues that the AHRB should relax their rules against funding part-time postgraduates when there is a good reason why an individual would be better suited to part-time work. Mr Rammell added to the launch that the Higher Education Funding Council would consider proposals for increasing support to institutions for part-time students.
In Cambridge, meanwhile, Intellectual Property Rights are under discussion with Cambridge planning to follow similar guidelines to other universities to ensure that academic research is exploited more efficiently and the university can better share the spoils of academics innovations. Phil Batty at the Times Higher notes that this debate has been ongoing with drafts in their third form in three years of internal debates. The policy has been argued to give students extra obligations that mean they will always come off second best if they are pitted against staff over IPR. The NPC believes that the responsibility should rest on the Institution who should seek to defend the student against exploitation as students are usually not in a position to defend themselves.