UK Research and Innovation has agreed to change its guidance on student interns, after it emerged that some were being paid as little as £200 a week.
The umbrella funding agency supports a number of internship schemes across the country and said amended guidance would ensure that the universities operating the schemes pay “at least the national living wage”.
The changes come after the alarm was raised about vacation bursaries at the University of Oxford, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). These paid £200 a week in the summer of 2018. For a 35-hour week this would equate to £5.71 an hour, versus a national minimum wage of £5.90 for over-18s and a national living wage of £7.83 for everyone aged 25 or more. Employers are not obliged to pay interns a minimum wage.