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Costs and Benefits of Doctoral Programmes: Institutional Perspectives Professor Dianne Berry Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research University of Reading.

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Presentation on theme: "Costs and Benefits of Doctoral Programmes: Institutional Perspectives Professor Dianne Berry Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research University of Reading."— Presentation transcript:

1 Costs and Benefits of Doctoral Programmes: Institutional Perspectives Professor Dianne Berry Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research University of Reading

2 Plan for today Costs & Benefits of supporting PGR students per se Costs & Benefits of supporting PGR students per se JM Consulting report 2005 JM Consulting report 2005 Reading study 2007 Reading study 2007 Growth of formal generic training programmes / Graduate Schools, etc Growth of formal generic training programmes / Graduate Schools, etc Dilemma for HEIs Dilemma for HEIs Areas for discussion Areas for discussion

3 What Costs and Benefits? Can interpret at two levels Can interpret at two levels Costs & Benefits of supporting PGR students per se Costs & Benefits of supporting PGR students per se Costs & Benefits of providing formal training programmes, Grad Schools etc Costs & Benefits of providing formal training programmes, Grad Schools etc

4 Costs / Benefits of PGR Students per se Supporting and training research students costs significant amounts of money Supporting and training research students costs significant amounts of money JM Consulting report (2005) calculated actual costs and concluded that costs were far greater than most HEIs had envisaged. JM Consulting report (2005) calculated actual costs and concluded that costs were far greater than most HEIs had envisaged.

5 JM Consulting Findings Costs for 3 year programme ranged from £52K (Band C) to £87K (Band A) - ( data) Costs for 3 year programme ranged from £52K (Band C) to £87K (Band A) - ( data) Costs included fee waivers, time spent on supervision, subject-specific training, consumables, equipment, examiners, management & administration, estate costs. EXCLUDED – transferable skills training and stipends Costs included fee waivers, time spent on supervision, subject-specific training, consumables, equipment, examiners, management & administration, estate costs. EXCLUDED – transferable skills training and stipends Rate of cost recovery ranged from 14% to 62% - i.e. significant shortfall Rate of cost recovery ranged from 14% to 62% - i.e. significant shortfall

6 Stipends JM Report excluded cost of stipends but many HEIs spending lot of income on stipends JM Report excluded cost of stipends but many HEIs spending lot of income on stipends Nationally, over 30% of stipends are funded by HEIs Nationally, over 30% of stipends are funded by HEIs Less than 20% funded by Research Councils Less than 20% funded by Research Councils

7 Non-financial benefits Report concluded that HEIs would need to weigh the non-financial benefits of supporting PGR students against significant costs incurred. Report concluded that HEIs would need to weigh the non-financial benefits of supporting PGR students against significant costs incurred. Benefits included – PGRs form next generation of researchers; important contribution to research environment; contribute to QR volume measure; contribute to outputs; contribute to supervisors research programme; provide status for supervisors and Departments Benefits included – PGRs form next generation of researchers; important contribution to research environment; contribute to QR volume measure; contribute to outputs; contribute to supervisors research programme; provide status for supervisors and Departments

8 Reading Study ( data) Biological Sciences / Chemistry Costs - £73.6K Shortfall – range from £35.3K (for RCUK funded) to £47.6K (Home - fees waived) Psychology / Geography Costs - £55.9K Shortfall – range from 22.6K to 34.9K

9 Reading Study (cont.) English / Sociology Costs - £42.2K Shortfall - range from £13.9K to £26.2K

10 Reading Study (cont.) Agreed with benefits identified in JM Consulting Report Agreed with benefits identified in JM Consulting Report Identified additional benefits Identified additional benefits Contribute to formation of collaborative links with other Departments / HEIs, commerce, industry & professions Contribute to formation of collaborative links with other Departments / HEIs, commerce, industry & professions Opportunity to pilot research in new areas Opportunity to pilot research in new areas Allow more cost effective use of equipment etc. Allow more cost effective use of equipment etc. Contribute to teaching and other aspects of Department Contribute to teaching and other aspects of Department Benefits for students themselves! Benefits for students themselves!

11 Additional costs of Generic Training Programmes / Graduate Schools Since JM report, much more resource going into developing generic training programmes / formation of Graduate Schools Since JM report, much more resource going into developing generic training programmes / formation of Graduate Schools Roberts money contributing (in some HEIs) but institutions having to top up Roberts money contributing (in some HEIs) but institutions having to top up Organisation / management taking considerable staff resource (including senior management time) Organisation / management taking considerable staff resource (including senior management time)

12 Dilemma for HEIs PGR support / training costing significant amounts of money - But PGRs are key part of research focused Universities PGR support / training costing significant amounts of money - But PGRs are key part of research focused Universities In order to keep recruiting PGRs, need to provide better training and support environments (costing even more money) In order to keep recruiting PGRs, need to provide better training and support environments (costing even more money)

13 Areas for discussion Can costs be reduced, while maintaining standards (more shared provision)? Can costs be reduced, while maintaining standards (more shared provision)? Coping with increasing costs of supporting PGRs in some areas of Science Coping with increasing costs of supporting PGRs in some areas of Science Incentivising timely submission; level of registration fees for year 4 and beyond Incentivising timely submission; level of registration fees for year 4 and beyond Will additional investment eg in Grad Schools / Advanced programmes pay off, in terms of extra recruitment? Will additional investment eg in Grad Schools / Advanced programmes pay off, in terms of extra recruitment? Many HEIs investing in developing training programmes / Graduate Centres etc without significant amounts of Roberts funding; and Roberts Funding may end in 2011 Many HEIs investing in developing training programmes / Graduate Centres etc without significant amounts of Roberts funding; and Roberts Funding may end in 2011 How can we do more to maximise benefits that PGRs bring? How can we do more to maximise benefits that PGRs bring?


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