Mastering the research

July 22, 2010

Your report "Concentrating cash will harm UK, says v-c" (15 July) confuses an important statistic about the research environment. Research degrees are heavily concentrated in research-intensive universities. The Russell Group and 1994 Group together train 70 per cent of all research students in the UK.

Your report quotes figures about all postgraduates, but this is misleading. Most postgraduate courses at the master's level are not research degrees and serve as professional preparation courses. Indeed, it is now very difficult to get jobs in the professions without such degrees, which accounts for the major expansion in provision in recent years.

The case for research concentration or otherwise must consider the number of research-degree students only, not the number of all postgraduate students.

David Bogle, Head of the Graduate School, University College London.

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