CHAPTER 6: Policy reforms |
200. Two recent policy reformson higher
education and immigrationare likely to have a significant
impact on the HE sector. Although it is too early to assess the
effect with any accuracy, the evidence we received indicated significant
concern about the outcome of the reforms.
Higher education reforms
201. The Higher Education White Paper, Students
at the Heart of the System, was published in June 2011. It
was intended to put HE on a sustainable footing by introducing
repayable tuition loans, delivering a better student experience
(by improving teaching, assessment, feedback and preparation for
the world of work), and increasing social mobility. The reforms
also sought to increase competition within the market so that,
to succeed, HEIs would have to appeal to prospective students
and be respected by employers.
In addition, the Government made a commitment to improve and expand
the information available to prospective students, including more
information about individual courses and about graduate employment
prospects. The White Paper also called on HEIs to "look again
at how they work with business across their teaching and research
activities, to promote better teaching, employer sponsorship,
innovation and enterprise," and introduced a new risk-based
approach to quality assurance (see paragraph 118).
Another important aspect of the reforms was a substantial reduction
in teaching grants from HEFCE and a sharp rise in the maximum
STUDENT NUMBERS IN STEM
202. One possible effect of the HE reforms is
that students may be discouraged from entering HE because of the
level of debt they may incur. STEM subjects are generally more
expensive to teach than others and, with a system of variable
fees, it is possible that STEM courses may end up being more expensive
to study. Employers are worried about the effect that the reforms
may have on STEM student numbers. Rolls Royce told us: "we
are very concerned that the new arrangements could result in a
drop in graduate numbers at a time when our requirements are increasing".
Many others agreed.
CONTROL OF STUDENT NUMBERS
203. Prior to 2011, each HEI had a limit on the
number of students it was able to recruit. The limit was determined
according to a formula and based on previous history.
As part of the HE reforms, and in order to encourage HEIs to keep
tuition fees low, the Government have introduced the core and
margin system whereby around 85,000 student places will be contestable
between institutions from 2012-13, allowing unconstrained recruitment
of students scoring the equivalent of AAB+ or above (65,000),
with a flexible margin of about 20,000 places to reward HEIs that
combine good quality courses with value for money (having an average
tuition fee of below £7,500 a year).
204. The possible consequences of this initiative
for STEM provision have caused a great deal of concern.
Some anticipated, for example, that uncapping recruitment of AAB+
students would inhibit, rather than expand, provision of STEM
because, as Million+ put it: "STEM students are less likely
to achieve AAB+ than their non-STEM counterparts; the higher costs
associated with STEM and STEM-related provision will make it hard
to support STEM subjects below the £7,500 threshold for access
to margin places".
205. In October 2011, HEFCE announced that they
would "exclude numbers associated with currently identified
... [SIVS] from the calculation to create the margin, on condition
that institutions at least maintain their entrant levels to SIVS
Further to this, in May 2012, the Government announced that the
threshold would be lowered from AAB+ to ABB+ and that, from 2013-14,
an additional 5,000 places would be allocated to HEIs with lower
fees. This means, in practice, that about one third of student
places will be uncapped. It is not clear what effect these developments
will have on STEM provision.
206. The recent adjustments to the core and
margin system may allay some of the concerns about the effect
of the HE reforms on STEM provision. However, we invite the Government
to explain in their reply to this report on what evidence this
change of policy was based and the timescale in which it was implemented.
FUNDING STEM SUBJECTS
207. Imperial College London explained the different
costs associated with STEM courses, compared with a humanities
course, as follows:
"in 2009-10, the full cost to the College of
educating a HEFCE fundable taught student in some engineering
subjects was £15.7K per annum. Hence, despite the rise in
undergraduate tuition fees, leading institutions will still face
a deficit on much of their taught STEM provision. In contrast,
we calculate that the average cost to Russell Group institutions
of educating a humanities student is around £7.1K per annum."
208. There is, therefore, a real danger that,
with variable fees, STEM courses may end up being more expensive
than other courses which could, in turn, impact the number of
students wishing to go on to postgraduate study.
209. HEFCE told us that "following these
reforms, the Government will maintain some public funding for
teaching, around £2 billion, to fund additional costs and
public policy priorities that cannot be met by a student-led funding
CaSE, and others, told us that this additional funding for high
cost subjects would not be sufficient to cover the additional
costs of STEM courses:
"£1,500 per student for resource-intensive subjects
such as science and engineering ... is the equivalent of a 17%
subsidy for HEIs which charge £9,000 per annum, or 20% for
those charging £7,500 per annum".
Another way to avoid charging more for high cost subjects would
be for HEFCE to subsidise some of the costs through their SIVS
funding. However, as we have said (paragraph 89), the money available
for SIVS funding is significantly limited. The Wellcome Trust
suggested that the Government "should seek a commitment from
institutions that students choosing to study STEM subjects will
not face higher fees than other students at the same institution".
210. Another possible consequence of the new
funding model is that cheaper humanities courses may end up cross-subsidising
the generally more expensive STEM courses, "thus creating
an unhealthy and unwelcome tension between different areas of
Humanities students are likely to object strongly to their fees
being used to subsidise other courses and STEM students may object
to funding allocated to STEM being spent elsewhere. We recommend
that HEFCE publish the quantitative evidence on which they base
their funding model for public subsidies for STEM subjects with
a view of reassuring stakeholders that these subsidies, in conjunction
with students' fees, are sufficient to cover the cost of STEM
211. As part of the HE reforms and the efficiency
drive across government, capital funding for universities has
been reduced significantly: £1,040 million less in non-recurrent
and capital funding from the 2009-10 position. These reductions
are not offset by any increase in income to universities from
and are likely to have a disproportionate effect on STEM subjects
because, for example, "the teaching of science and engineering
often requires a significant injection of capital funding for
A number of HEIs and professional bodies expressed concern about
the implications of reduced capital funding for the provision
of STEM courses with a significant practical element.
The Open University, for example, said that it had "caused
regrettable pressures on the ability of institutions to offer
a state of the art laboratory experience".
This may, in turn, limit the number of STEM student places that
HEIs can offer because "the ability to take additional students
in the chemical sciences, and STEM subjects more widely, is restricted
by the capacity of laboratory space and facilities that are available
to any one institution".
LONGER UNDERGRADUATE COURSES
212. Higher fees may deter some students from
taking well-regarded and important courses in STEM, such the MEng,
which last four years instead of the more usual three.
The MEng "offers a fast track route towards professional
qualification as a Chartered Engineer.
Rolls Royce told us that they were "concerned that there
could be a particular disincentive to participation in four year
(They currently require engineering applicants in the UK to be
qualified to MEng or to engineering Masters level.)
The Council for the Mathematical Science said: "the quality
of UK undergraduate degrees in the mathematical sciences is high.
At the 'top' end, quality has been enhanced by the increasing
popularity of Integrated Masters degrees. There is a serious risk
to the viability of these in the era of high fees",
and the Institute of Physics expressed the worry that the HE reforms
"may also have an adverse impact on the uptake for the four-year
integrated Masters degreesthe MPhys/MSciwhich
are now the norm for those considering a career in university
or industrial R&D".
PLACEMENTS AND SANDWICH COURSES
213. As we have noted (in paragraph 179), the
Wilson Review recommended that all undergraduates should have
the opportunity to undertake some sort of internship during their
period of study as a way to "enhance graduate skills levels
and ensure a smooth and effective transition between university
and business environments".
Under the new fees regime, there is a risk that students may be
discouraged from doing placements because of the fees that they
would have to pay during the placement and the interest that would
be accumulated on the student debta point made by GlaxoSmithKline:
"students would be deterred from applying to do a sandwich
year, as this would be seen as leading to an additional year of
214. It is too early to assess the impact
of HE reforms on the sector. We recommend that the Government
have particular regard to the effect of the reforms on STEM provision.
We support the role that the Government have given to HEFCE to
monitor unintended consequences and to intervene, as appropriate,
to protect strategic or vulnerable provision that will not be
supported by the market. However, we have some concern that HEFCE
may not have sufficient funds to intervene should it be necessary
and recommend that the Government ensures that HEFCE will have
the necessary resources should these circumstances arise.
215. International students contribute significantly
to the UK economy. Between 2010 and April 2012, the Government
made a number of changes to their immigration policies as part
of their commitment to reduce net migration "from the hundreds
of thousands to the tens of thousands".
They included, for example, the introduction of a new category
under Tier 1, capped at 1,000 visas, for persons of exceptional
talent and achievement in science or the arts (with applications
subject to endorsement by the Royal Society, the Royal Academy
of Engineering, the British Academy or the Arts Council). The
immigration reforms likely to be of most concern to students are:
- Tier 2 (skilled workers): the
introduction of a cap on the number of visas available to skilled
workers of 20,700 (down from 28,000 in 2009) although "high-quality
graduatesincluding those in STEM subjects ... will not
count against the numerical limit";
- Tier 4 (student visas): the introduction of accreditation
requirements for colleges, changes to the standards of English
required, working rights, dependants' sponsorship and restrictions
on working hours (but no overall restriction on the number of
visas available); and
- Tier 1 (post-study work route): closure of the
route from April 2012 and replacement with more selective arrangements
under Tier 2.
216. These changes are intended principally to
tackle "bogus colleges"
and students who use the student visa system simply to gain access
to the UK. To this extent, we support the Government in their
efforts to address a problem that gives a bad name to our HE system
and to bona fide overseas HE students who intend to return
to their countries of origin after their studies.
217. As with the HE reforms, it is too early
to assess the full effects that the immigration reforms will have
on HE. However, substantial anecdotal evidence from HEIs, professional
bodies, employers and others suggests that they are already having
a significant impact on STEM provision in some areas. In May 2012,
68 Vice-Chancellors, governors and university presidents wrote
a letter to the Prime Minister warning that the immigration reforms
could lead to foreign students going elsewhere, costing the economy
NUMBER OF STEM OVERSEAS STUDENTS
218. In 2010, the Home Office carried out a study
in which they estimated that around half of overseas students
in the UK were studying at HEIs, of which around half were studying
postgraduate courses and the rest a mixture of undergraduate or
Data from HESA shows that, between 2009-10 and 2010-11, there
was an 8% rise in non-EU undergraduates and a 5% rise in non-EU
Within STEM subjects, in 2009-10, 13% of first degree qualifiers,
55% of Masters degree qualifiers and 42% of PhD qualifiers were
219. The Wellcome Trust, the AMS, and the University
of Southampton each argued that restrictions on skilled immigration
from outside the EEA presented a significant threat to the sector.
In evidence to a House of Commons Home Affairs Committee inquiry
into student visas, Professor David Wark from Imperial College
London said that 29% of the student body at Imperial College London
were non-EEA, and they accounted for 62% of their fee income.
Therefore, he said, "from a purely financial point of view,
it would be devastating to Imperial to have any significant cut
in the number of students".
220. At a recent Universities UK event, Professor Julia
King, Vice-Chancellor for Aston University, said that the university
"a dramatic reduction in overseas student applications
and admissions, leading to a significant reduction in income to
the university. Comparing 2011/12 with 2010/11, the biggest impact
on applications was on India, with a 39% decline, followed by
Nigeria at 27%, resulting in a 30% drop in admissions from India
[equal to 200 less overseas students than planned]. In the current
academic year about £3million less incomeon a university
turnover of £120 million, and it looks as if it is happening
again for the coming year."
221. The University of Salford also told us that
most of their Masters courses depend on overseas students and
that, without them, many would be closed on economic grounds.
222. Within the discipline of engineering, where
the UK is particularly reliant on overseas students, Professor Wark
said that 40% of their students were non-EEA students and that
if they were to lose them "it would have a severe impact
on our ability to perform research that keeps Imperial College
as a world-leading institution".
In 2009-10, 34% of engineering first degree qualifiers and 64%
of engineering postgraduate qualifiers were from overseas (including
other EU countries).
The Engineering Professors' Council told us that "almost
all engineering departments in the UK would be running at a loss
if it were not for overseas students' fees",
and that, in a poll they had conducted, 16 out of 27 HEIs reported
a reduction in overseas applications to Masters courses.
Professor King, speaking at the UK Universities event with
reference to Aston University, said that "48% of engineering
PhDs were obtained by non-EU students, up from 43% in 2004, compared
to an average across all courses of 29%". She went on to
say: "We are highly dependent on overseas students to keep
our engineering courses running and solvent!".
223. In addition to the fee income provided by
overseas students, they also have a positive effect in the classroom.
Professor Cantor told us: "I believe fiercely that having
international students and home students at the same time, not
only in my institution but also in others, enriches the educational
224. We should congratulate ourselves that our
HEIs are able to attract substantial numbers of overseas students
in such a competitive international market. We are concerned,
however, that some HEIs rely too heavily on the income derived
from international students. We question the long-term viability
of such an approach. HEIs must ensure that their business model
is truly sustainable.
225. We are concerned that changes to the
immigration rules may reduce the number of overseas students coming
to study to the UK and, therefore, the income that HEIs derive
from these students to support other activities. This may result
in a general reduction of provision of STEM courses that rely
on this income to make them viable.
POST STUDY WORK ROUTE
226. Another area of concern raised by witnesses
related to the closure of the post study work (PSW) route.
The PSW visa enabled foreign graduates to work in the UK, for
up to two years, after obtaining a UK degree.
This visa had been highly valued by overseas students as a way
of gaining work experience before returning to their countries
of origin, and to help to fund their study. According to a National
Union of Students survey, 94% of overseas students said that availability
of the PSW route was a very important factor in deciding to study
in the UK and nearly three-quarters of those surveyed said they
would not have come to the UK without the option for PSW.
Professor King made a similar point;
and Jo Doyle, Director of the International Office at the University
of Southampton, said:
"When the changes to the post-study work regulations
were announced this time last year, we were running at a 23% increase
in applications. By the end of the recruitment cycle, that had
reduced to 11%, and I think that that is probably a direct result
of the post-study work change. This year, our applications are
up only 3%, so that is quite a big shift. In the three years that
I have been talking about, the biggest growth has been in postgraduate
applications, with 47%, 44% and 32% respectively. Again, it was
running at 32% at the time of the post-study work announcement
last year, and it then reduced to 13% by the end of the year.
This year, our growth in postgraduate taught applications at this
stage is only 4%. So I am looking at the same period over four
227. The Government have replaced the PSW route
with more selective arrangements under Tier 2,
notably making a job offer paying more than £20,000 a year
a requirement for a visa. Several witnesses suggested that this
could make it much more difficult for talented international graduates
of UK universities to enter the UK workforce.
The UK Border Agency (UKBA) told us that the limit was set following
guidance from the Migration Advisory Committee.
It is not, however, clear if this guidance was intended specifically
for graduates. We would ask the Migration Advisory Committee
to reconsider its advice. We would further ask the Committee to
monitor the impact of the changes on both the number of graduates
who stay on to work in the UK and on the number who decide not
to study here, due to the real or perceived barriers created by
the closure of the PSW route.
228. Perhaps the most worrying aspect of the
immigration reforms is the message it conveys to overseas students
that the UK does not welcome them.
Professor George told us that "especially in India ...
there is a perception that we are closed for business and that
it is difficult to get in".
Professor King said: "the UK is seen as no longer welcoming
overseas students ... whereas other English-speaking countries
are trying hard to be welcoming".
229. In 2011, the UK Council for International
Student Affairs (UKCISA) recommended in their student survey that
"given all the recent negative publicity surrounding student
visas, UK Border Agency (UKBA) needs to work with the Foreign
and Commonwealth Office and British Council to develop a positive
communications strategy clarifying areas of concern and uncertainty
and emphasising that the UK, after a period of visa reform, continues
to encourage, value and positively welcome well-qualified students".
230. Other barriers identified during the inquiry
include: the lengthy and cumbersome bureaucracy associated with
gaining a visa and the high cost; and the challenges of dealing
with changes to visa policies throughout the duration of a student's
course. Also of concern is the UKBA website which is perceived
as unwelcoming. The Home Office conceded that more could be done:
"on the website, I take your point that we could probably
make that a friendlier, more welcoming place to be".
231. HE is a global market and the UK has to
compete with other countries that are positioning themselves to
attract international students. The perception that the UK does
not welcome students may be having a detrimental effect on recruitment
from some countries such as India. The UK must be seen to welcome
the brightest and the best and the Government must increase their
efforts to dispel perceptions that the UK does not welcome students.
We recommend that the Government develop a strategy to send out
a more positive message through the UKBA website, immigration
agencies and the British Council.
232. Several witnesses were critical of the available
data on migration and suggested that better co-ordination of data
between UKBA and HEIs was needed to enable them to track students.
The Home Office conceded that it was "not possible to routinely
disaggregate visa statistics by institution-type, educational
establishment or subject".
233. A House of Commons Home Affairs Committee
report into student visas noted that the Office for National Statistics
used data from a variety of sources to compile net migration figures.
This was because the Government did not have a simple method of
counting people in and out of the country.
A 2011 briefing note by the UK Statistics Authority on immigration
statistics stated that: "the currently available statistics
on immigration and emigration fall some distance short of painting
the comprehensive picture that Parliament would want to be available
to inform the public policy debate".
234. The UKBA is currently implementing an e-borders
scheme, an electronic system to carry out checks on travellers
before they begin their journey, which is anticipated will improve
data collection. However, it will still not enable linkage of
entry and exit information. It will also not be possible to produce
direct migration counts because the information collected from
carriers will not routinely include country of residence of the
235. The lack of reliable statistical data is
a concern because the Government are not able to identify problems
with their visa system soon enough to put in place a mitigation
plan. Data from HESA is more accurate but by the time it is published
it is 18 months out of date (see paragraph 70). This problem is
particularly acute for the HEIs that we spoke to who are reporting
that the HE reforms are having a significant impact upon their
recruitment of overseas students already.
236. We recommend that the Government, working
with HEIs, as a matter of urgency, make further efforts to co-ordinate
data collection and ensure that data is shared between UKBA and
HEIs. In addition, the Government should collect real time data
on the effects of changes to immigration policies in HEIs with
a view to setting up a mitigation plan, if necessary, and to enable
policy decisions to be based on the latest information. This should
be achieved by September 2014.
CLASSIFICATION OF OVERSEAS STUDENTS
237. The Government define migrant, using a United
Nations definition, as someone who comes to the UK for a period
longer than 12 months. As a result, most overseas students who
come to the UK to study undergraduate courses will be classified
as migrants. This classification is particularly significant because
of the Government's commitment to reduce net migration. Since
"students now represent the largest proportion of non-EU
net migration" (around three quarters),
a reduction in net migration means, in effect, a reduction in
the number of overseas students. The classification fails, however,
to acknowledge that most overseas students return to their countries
of origin soon after finishing their studies.
Oxford Brookes University warned of the consequences of this approach
as follows: "by including students in the definition of 'immigrants'
the UK is threatening approximately £20bn worth of exports.
International students are a free good. They are educated at somebody
else's expense and pay us large sums of money to be educated here.
The vast majority return home at the end of their course. The
current policies are a calamity that will cost UK Plc billions
of pounds and severely damage UK HEIs."
238. This policy is also contrary to the BIS
policy of expansion of the HE sector to promote economic growth.
Damian Green MP told us that the Rt Hon David Willetts MP
was leading a task force to maximise opportunities for HE.
Lord Clement-Jones, on 30 April 2012, told the House of Lords
that: "the Home Office is targeting net migration figures
that include overseas students, which is directly contrary to
the policy of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills".
Professor Edward Acton of the University of East Anglia,
commented: "it is vital that the tension between the Government's
net migration target and its support for university-level recruitment
239. A possible solution, suggested by several
witnesses, would be to follow the example of other countries in
classifying migrants as either "temporary" or "permanent".
The efforts of the Home Office, in tackling net migration, would
then be concentrated on permanent migrants. According to a recent
report by the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR), the
UK's three most obvious competitors in the global market for overseas
studentsthe United States, Australia and Canada"measure
student flows in a way that does not contribute to permanent net
migration figures, even though they show up in net migration statistics".
Lord Henley, Minister of State for the Home Office, told
the House of Lords, however, that it was "not appropriate
to discount [overseas students] from net migration statistics"
because they are consumers of public services". Furthermore,
he warned, the Government would be accused of "fiddling the
figures" if they were to follow this suggestion.
We strongly disagree with this assessment. Making a distinction
between temporary migration (which would include study at a sponsoring
HEI) and other forms of migration would reconcile the contradictory
policies emanating from BIS and the Home Office, and also send
the right signal to the world that the UK welcomes the brightest
and the best to the UK. Given the significant contribution that
overseas students make to the economy and that the majority leave
the UK following their studies and do not therefore contribute
significantly to net migration, we recommend that the Government
make a distinction in the immigration statistics between HE students
and other immigrants and uses only the latter category to calculate
net migration for policy-making purposes.
Policy reforms and their compound
effect on taught Masters provision
240. In addition to the consequences of the HE
and immigration reforms which we have already described, the evidence
we received suggests that there is a danger that they could have
a compound impact on stand-alone Masters provision producing a
"triple whammy" effect due to higher fees, a lack of
student finance and a decline in overseas students choosing to
study in the UK.
HIGHER FEES AND LESS PUBLIC FUNDING
241. The Browne Review suggested that funding
from HEFCE for stand-alone Masters should be reduced on a similar
basis to undergraduate support. In January 2012, however, HEFCE
agreed to provide an additional £39 million to maintain funding
for these courses at levels prior to the HE reforms. For STEM
subjects, other than medicine, this translated to around £1,500
got each student. 
However, this is a "transitional"
arrangement and it is unclear what the funding arrangements for
stand-alone Masters courses are going to be post 2013-14. Many
Research Councils are also reducing or removing their provision
for taught Masters provision.
242. Several witnesses noted that neither the
HE reforms nor the Browne Review had paid much attention to postgraduate
provision, in particular to the funding of taught Masters.
Since fees for stand-alone Masters courses are unregulated,
there is a real danger that, if funding from HEFCE and others
dries up, fees for STEM courses will be increased in line with
undergraduate degrees. This could act as a deterrent for students
already burdened with large undergraduate debt. Million+ told
us that, as a result of funding cuts, "universities will
have no option but to increase postgraduate fees with effect from
Physiological Society warned:
"if the costs are excessive then fewer students
are likely to apply. The resulting reduced intake is quite likely
to render the course uneconomic to run, leading either to its
withdrawal or to an increase in the, at present, unregulated fees
charged. Consequently there may be a serious loss of stand-alone
Masters training provision."
243. Professor Michael Farthing, Vice-Chancellor
of the University of Sussex, said: "it could take years to
re-establish Masters courses if they are wiped out by falling
demand ... [because] the development time to re-establish those
programme is years, not weeks or months".
This is of particular concern with regard to provision in those
areas where skills are required to support economic growth in
the UK and where the UK is lacking such skills (for example, in
the geological sciences, environmental sciences, and toxicology)
and many witnesses suggested that public funding should be provided
in strategic areas.
244. Oxford Brookes University said that, as
a result of public funding cuts, "the UK tends only to run
stand-alone Masters courses that are clearly instantly profitable".
A similar warning comes from IET which warned that "the new
fees regime will discourage students from doing a Masters as to
not to incur greater debt. Fees are putting off UK students now
and the supply of researchers is already drying up".
Reduced provision in stand-alone Masters could have significant
impact on employability skills and, in turn, on economic growth.
The Institute of Physics, therefore, called for public funding
to support Masters courses "in areas that are of national
LACK OF STUDENT FINANCE FOR MASTERS
245. The Browne Review stated that student finance
provision for Masters courses "was not necessary as the private
benefits to individuals would be sufficient to generate investment".
It is too early to say whether this will be the case following
the HE reforms. However, some witnesses were concerned that the
lack of student loans to finance Masters courses would further
erode student numbers in Masters courses. This situation is in
stark contrast to the availability of student loans for undergraduate
courses that include an integrated Masters course. The Wilson
Review recommended that "HEFCE should monitor 'postgraduate
taught' enrolments and identify any barriers to enrolment that
have been created by the new student loan system and advise the
government of its conclusions".
246. Fees for Masters courses will have to be
paid in advance. Students will, therefore, have to rely on commercial
loans or private wealth to finance their studies, which will restrict
access to this type of postgraduate provision.
CaSE warned that, since undergraduate fees are rising to £9,000
a year, they "expect postgraduate fees to rise above that,
given they are for higher qualifications. This will exacerbate
the access problem if financial support is not introduced".
247. The lack of finance available to students,
and the higher fees payable from September 2012, will act as a
further disincentive for UK domiciled students to study STEM Masters
degrees. This will have a marked impact across the STEM industry
but particularly to those employers which have to recruit UKrather
than foreignnationals (such as defence and within Government
248. At present, students can apply for professional
career development loans. But, although subsidised by Government,
their terms and repayment conditions are considered to be fairly
onerous. Fewer than 2% of current Masters students fund their
studies in this way.
As an alternative, it has been suggested that private finance
schemes could be developed in a more targeted way to support some
form of student loan to postgraduate students.
Other proposals include some form of government-backed income
contingent loan scheme to some groups of postgraduate study;
making available postgraduate loans, to be repaid by the student
once salaries exceeded £15,000;
and qualifying postgraduate level STEM as SIVS.
249. We recommend that the Government extend
the student loan scheme currently available to undergraduates
to cover STEM Masters degrees and that payment starts when the
graduate earns over £15,000 with a view to recovering the
250. There is a potential compound effect
of policy reforms on stand-alone Masters provision. The new higher
fees regime combined with the lack of student finance is a threat
to the number of UK domiciled students who decide to pursue postgraduate
education. Added to which, immigration reforms are already having
an impact on certain HEIs who may in turn reduce Masters provision
significantly. Little is known of the effect that this "triple
whammy" will have on postgraduate provision. By the time
the effect is quantified and analysed, it may be too late to put
remedial action in place. This reinforces the importance of our
recommendation (in paragraph 107) to set up an expert group
to consider the supply and demand for postgraduate provision.
251. The risks associated with the HE and
immigration reforms are high and potentially costly. The anxieties
expressed to us by employers, HEIs and professional bodies are
real and we urge the Government to heed them.
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for student places, October 2011. Back
Imperial College London. Back
The Wellcome Trust, Royal Astronomical Society, Institute of Physics,
Russell Group, Academy of Medical Sciences, CaSE, Society of Biology,
Syngenta, University of Manchester. Back
Royal Astronomical Society, Institute of Physics, Russell Group,
Royal Academy of Engineering, CaSE, Society of Biology, Universities
UK, Million+, the Physiological Society. Back
The Wellcome Trust. Back
Royal Astronomical Society. Back
The Physiological Society, Russell Group, University of Oxford,
ABPI, GlaxoSmithKline, Royal Society of Chemistry, Q 328. Back
Open University. Back
Royal Society of Chemistry. Back
Engineering Council. Back
Royal Academy of Engineering. Back
Rolls Royce. Back
Council for the Mathematical Sciences. Back
Institute of Physics. Back
Op. cit., A review of industry-university collaboration.
The Conservative Party, The Conservative Party Manifesto,
April 2010. Back
The Government. Back
Q 432. Back
Home Office, The migrant journey, 2010. Back
The Government. Back
http://www.hesa.ac.uk/content/view/1897/239/ -Table 1. Back
The Government-data from Tables 1-6 in Appendix 6. Back
House of Commons Home Affairs Committee, 7th Report (2010-12),
Student Visas, (HC 773). Back
Universities UK Immigration debate, 29 February 2012. Back
University of Salford. Back
Op. cit., Student Visas. Back
Data from the Government's evidence. Back
Engineering Professors' Council. Back
Op. cit., Universities UK Immigration debate. Back
Q 61. Back
Professor Edward Acton, Aston University, Imperial College London,
Queen Mary's, University of London, the Wellcome Trust, Academy
of Medical Sciences, University of Southampton, QQ 282-284,
Q 467. Back
House of Commons library note, Immigration Tier 1 (Post study
work) visas, 28 March 2011. Back
Op. cit., Universities UK Immigration debate. Back
Q 283. Back
Which are exempt from the total restriction on numbers for Tier
The Wellcome Trust, University of Southampton, AMS. Back
Q 289. Back
AMS, University of Southampton. Back
Q 467. Back
Op. cit., Universities UK Immigration debate. Back
UKCISA, Tier 4 student survey, 2011. Back
Q 299. Back
The Government. Back
Op. cit., Student Visas. Back
UK Statistics Authority, Immigration Statistics Monitoring
Brief 5, 2011. Back
Op. cit., Student Visas. Back
House of Commons briefing note, Immigration: Tier 4 (student
visa) reforms, June 2011. Back
Op. cit., The migrant journey. Back
Oxford Brookes University. Back
Q 298. Back
HoL Hansard, Col 1934, 30 April 2012. Back
Professor Edward Acton. Back
IPPR, International students and net migration in the UK,
April 2012. Back
HoL Hansard, Col 1935, 30 April 2012. Back
The Government. Back
RCUK Supplementary evidence. Back
UK Deans of Sciences, Imperial College London, 1994 Group. Back
The Government. Back
The Physiological Society. Back
ABPI, University of Central Lancashire, British Computer Society,
UK Deans of Sciences, Institute of Physics, Science Council, Geological
Society, the Physiological Society, British Medical Association,
University of Oxford, Royal Society of Chemistry. Back
Oxford Brookes University. Back
Institution of Engineering and Technology. Back
Institute of Physics. Back
Op. cit., A review of industry-university collaboration. Back
Sygenta, University of Surrey. Back
Centre Forum, Mastering postgraduate funding, 2011. Back
Russell Group. Back
1994 Group. Back
Op. cit., Mastering postgraduate funding. Back
1994 Group, Geological Society. Back