Banking on postgrads

January 6, 2006

There are responsibilities, not just riches, in seeing postgraduates as the best source for future income ("The postgrad cashpot", December 16).

Postgraduate students are vital for the research development of our universities and carry increased responsibilities and needs. An increase in postgraduate numbers demands greater responsibility in supervision standards, welfare support and representation. The marketisation of higher education and the spillover of increasing undergraduate fees into postgraduate education will decrease the attractiveness of further study.

At a time when the European Commission notes that Europe is 700,000 scientists short of reaching the Lisbon goal of a competitive and dynamic set of knowledge-driven economies, we should be increasing our financial, representational and welfare support and encouraging the development and support of research rather than considering postgraduates as a short-term "cashpot".

Simon Felton
General secretary
National Postgraduate Committee

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