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PhD loans get lukewarm response

Image: Tim Sheerman-Chase [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr

Creating income-dependent loans for PhD candidates could have unintended consequences and disturb other funding schemes, according to science and higher education bodies.

In their responses to the government’s consultation on postgraduate loans, which closed today, the Royal Society, GuildHE and the Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE) said they were broadly in favour of loans of up to £10,000 for students on taught masters courses. Such loans could be valuable in widening access to postgraduate study, they said.

However, the system of loans of up to £25,000 for PhD students, first proposed in the budget on 18 March, proved more contentious. The responses generally preferred the idea of extending existing funding systems to increase PhD uptake among people from lower-income backgrounds.

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